Young farmers from Dorset ranked highly when tasked with the challenge of assessing cows as part of an annual competition.

The Melplash Agricultural Society’s Young Farmers Dairy Stock Judging competition was held at Manor Farm, North Poorton and saw teams of two assess four cows.

Following the assessment, the teams would then present their findings to the judges in a two-minute presentation giving a description of what they had seen and comparisons between the animals, they were then marked based on accuracy of observation and comparisons.

Philip Hardwill, Melplash Agricultural Society Chairman, said: “The Young Farmers stock judging competition had always been a very important fixture in the Melplash Agricultural Society Calendar – I was very impressed by the high standards shown by the competitors.”

Beaminster duo Enya Hayball and Harry Curtis ranked in second place, whilst William Fooks and George Goringe also from Beaminster came third - taking the top spot however was Millie Carson and Grace Wilcox from Wedmore who were also the recipients of the Junior Shield.

There was also a category for intermediates and seniors to take part in on the day with the rules differing slightly to get them to assess six cows and rank them from best to poorest.

Taking both the top spot and the Melplash Agricultural Society Shield were Joanna House and Lauren Hutchings of Marshwood Vale YFC, in second place was Elizabeth Bell and Emily Bell of Wedmore YFC and in third place came Sophie Raymond and Owen Swatridge of Beaminster YFC

The Seniors category on the other hand saw Jasper Love and Henrietta Love of Sherborne YFC receive the Francis W Hunt Trophy and first place.

Awards were also given to Best Newcomer – George Goringe of Beaminster YFC and Highest Placed Individual, Elizabeth Bell of Wedmore YFC.

The prizes were presented by the Melplash Agricultural Society President, Michael Fooks.

The competition was particularly poignant this year as the Francis Hunt Cup, presented to the winners of the Senior class, celebrated the 50th anniversary since it was first presented to the Society by Mr F. J. Hunt who is the grandfather of Philip’s wife - Sarah Hardwill, in memory of his son, Francis Hunt.