THE 2020 ‘Virtual’ British Simmental Show was introduced in the absence of summer shows and also in a year when the Simmental breed was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a ‘live’ national show and sale spectacular at Borderway Mart, Carlisle.

Billed as a ‘good fun’ competition, with no professional photographs allowed and animals pictured in the field by breeders, the ‘Virtual’ Simmental Show proved to be highly popular with a massive 745 pedigree animals entered over the ten classes by 161 breeders from all four corners of the UK, including Cumbrian breeders.With class judging and results rolled out on a week by week basis, the competition built up a tremendous following on social media not only in the UK but from breeders in countries around the world.

The Overall Supreme Champion, Vale Royal Heavenly Girlie, came out of the cow of any age class which saw 157 cows in all entered and one of two female classes to exceed 100 entries. The April 2016 born animal is by the imported sire Auroch Ace and is out of the Hockenhull Redrum sired Vale Royal Girlie. It was a very poignant win for James Arnold whose father Hugo Arnold, the owner of the Hockenhull herd and a legendary name within the Simmental breed, had sadly passed away a few weeks previously.

Judging the Overall Supreme title was the well-known breeder Billy Robson OBE of the Kilbride Farm herd at Ballyclare, Co Antrim who said: “Whilst my Champion was well fleshed it has been great to see so many animals on farm in their working clothes. The future of the Simmental breed looks very good and breeders need to keep the focus on producing what the commercial man wants.”