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Farming running in the family at Staffordshire County Show
17 May 2017
by Dani Wozencroft

Seven-year-old Lilly Madders is once again preparing her calves to show in competitions this summer – with a little help from her family.

The youngster has followed in the footsteps of her mum and grandmother by preparing livestock to display at the Staffordshire County Show.

And they’ll all be back this year to compete again.

Lilly, who attends Yarlet Primary School just outside Stafford, began showing her calves at the half term show last year, where she was named reserve champion.

Her mum Dawn, 33, of Hanyards Farm, said she was very pleased: “Staffordshire County Show was her first one and she did so well, she’s gone on to do other shows so she’s looking forward to returning to Staffs now.

“For a seven-year-old she’s very strong and does very well, it takes about a month’s preparation so we’ve started already for this year.”

And the show, which takes place on Wednesday May 31 and Thursday June 1, will be hard work again for Lilly this year because once she’s finished showing her sheep, she hot-foots it to help her mum and grandmother Mary show the British Blue Cattle they prepare.

“I’m really pleased she’s following the farming line, lots of kids don’t want to do it nowadays,” Mrs Madders added.

“I’m from a farming background and she seems to have got the bug. It’s nice to be at Staffordshire County Show with my daughter and mother-in-law alongside me.”

Lilly’s grandmother Mary Madders, based at Deer Park Farm in Hopton, has been exhibiting Charollais Sheep for more than 30 years.

She mainly assists Dawn and the livestock but said she really enjoys going still.

“It’s really nice to see Lilly there, it’s the future,” she said.

“I just love it for Lilly, it’s a big act to follow but she does it so well, all the judges say she does it properly, looking at them all the time.

“I’m really proud and looking forward to being there again.”

More than 65,000 people are expected to visit the Showground on Weston Road, Stafford, over the two day event.

Other sights not to be missed in the Main Ring include the Bolddog Lings Motorcycle Display Team, show jumping, a parade of cattle and other livestock, the parade of hounds and beagles, the Mounted Games Association and the Young Farmers Floats.

The Country Pursuits area has the Sheep Show, donkey rides and an amazing animal experience for the children where they can get close to and pet a range of animals including sheep, rabbits and guinea pigs.

The Show also boasts cookery demonstrations from top chefs, an antiques fair, painting competition for children, a craft fair and Woodfest, where visitors can get close to nature in the wood adjacent to the Country Pursuits Area.

Richard Williams, chief executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, which organises the two day show, said: “We like to think there is something for everyone at Staffordshire County Show and it is a day out for all the family.

“The Madders family are just one example of this.

“There is so much to do in each area, it is a number of shows within a show, and often we see families walking around enjoying the event together but also other families packed together competing and exhibiting too.”

Staffordshire County Show takes place on May 31 and June 1. Tickets are on sale at the Showground Office or the website now and at outlets across the County from May 1. For more information, telephone 01785 258060, email holly@staffscountyshowground.co.uk or visit  www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk