This year's All Breeds All Britain (ABAB) Calf Show on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20, October, is returning to the East of England Showground at Peterborough. Organised by Holstein Young Breeders (HYB), the Calf Show features seven British dairy breeds taking centre stage from throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, for what is one of the highlights of the dairy calendar.

The Calf Show features classes for Holsteins and six other dairy breeds, including: British Friesian, Jersey, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire and Dairy Shorthorn.

Young breeders compete to claim top awards and recognition, whilst demonstrating their showmanship skills amongst rivalling peers. The Saturday sees the showmanship classes followed on Sunday with 36 individual calf classes followed by the championships. Adding a little competitive fun, the Holstein Young Breeders teams will also be required to construct stands based on the event theme, whilst also making sure their cattle lines and calves look immaculate. The team which embraces the theme the best is rewarded for its inspiration and efforts.

Showmanship classes will be judged by Isobel Jones who works for Holstein International. Isobel grew up working with her family’s Knowlesmere herd and now owns the elite Jones Holstein herd with her husband Gary. Between the two herds they have won numerous national shows around the world including – UK with Knowlesmere Goldwyn Abrakaboom, Italy with Hallow Atwood Twizzle and most recently Swiss Expo with Sunnibelle Dempsey Esprit.

Isobel has shown cattle all around the world, with her competitive showmanship highlights being overall champion showman at 2010 All-European Show, champion showman at the All-Britain Calf Show 2009 and reserve champion showman All-Britain 2011.

On the Sunday, Javier Alverez Lastra who has been on the Spanish national judges list since 2006 and has been part of the official panel of European judges EHRC since 2013, will cast his professional eye as judge of the calf show. Javier Álvarez currently works as a manager in the team of the Research Center Blanca from the Pyrenees, managing a herd of 347 head of Ponderosa Holsteins, included in the project. He has judged many events across Spain with the most recent highlights being the Spanish National Holstein CONAFE 2018 held in Gijón. At an international level, Javier Álvarez has judged in countries such as Portugal (Agroleite, Gándara, Agroter (Island of Terceira), Gándara) and Sweden (National competition 2014).

A number of other awards are also presented at the event including two special awards. The Dick Stapleton Award will be presented to a young person who has been particularly helpful throughout the weekend and The Louise Hartley Award in memory of Lancashire HYB member, Louise Hartley, who sadly lost her battle to cancer in 2016, will also be presented.

In celebration of Louise Hartley's life, the Louise Hartley Memorial Fund was set up to give a youngster with an interest in agriculture the chance to further their career. Kindly donated by Alta Genetics the winner will receive a place on either an Alta Genetics tour of America or Europe or the opportunity to attend a Alta Genetics Dairy Manager School in the UK to develop their skills and learning.

"Supporting young people is very high on our agenda at the East of England Agricultural Society so we are extremely delighted to welcome back the All Breeds All Britain calf show to the showground in Peterborough," said society agriculture development manager William Haire.

"We recognise how powerful events like this are and the positive effect participation has in developing young people’s skills and confidence which benefits them throughout their lives, so we are proud to be able to play a part in making this happen."

Hannah Williams, head of events and marketing for Holstein UK, commented: “The annual All Breeds All Britain Calf Show brings together young dairy farmers from across the UK to compete, learn and network. Breeds represented will include Holstein, Guernsey, Jersey, British Friesian, Dairy Shorthorn, Brown Swiss and Ayrshire calves.

"It’s a highpoint of the HYB calendar and it’s really inspiring to see so many young calf handlers demonstrating sophisticated skills at such a young age. The East of England Arena and Events Centre was a fantastic host last year so we look forward to returning this year.”