Highland cow ‘stars’ to make debut at Nottinghamshire County Show

Michael and Sandra Burgess, with their Highland cattle Darcy and her newborn calf Bacus
Michael and Sandra Burgess, with their Highland cattle Darcy and her newborn calf Bacus (image: Penguin PR)

Iconic Highland cows will be taking centre stage for the first time at Nottinghamshire’s County Show this month as they look to attract new fans.

The shaggy-haired and spiky-horned cattle have earned celebrity status in their village of Norwell, near Newark, with people frequently stopping for photos.

But now owners Michael and Sandra Burgess say they’re taking their friendly animals onto the show as it welcomes the cows to its competitions for the first time on May 11.

The couple, who have bred cattle for twelve years, say that despite their distinctive horns and big builds, the animals have developed a friendly attitude from their upbringing.

Michael, who manages the farm where they live, said: “If they are looked after, they are so friendly and so attractive. The coats, the horns and their general nature mean that so many people like them.

“This is my life, I don’t know anything else seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year. We are in a beautiful environment all the time – what else could we possibly want.”

The family will bring three of their herd of 15 to the show.

Sandra Burgess with a highland cow
Sandra Burgess grooming a highland cow

Sandra, Michael’s wife, says her favourite bit about working with the cows is grooming them from birth.

“The best part for me is having the calf – particularly this one who I have bottle-fed for eight months,” she said.

“It’s looking after the babies, grooming them and getting them ready.”

Sandra adds the show is “brilliant for the children” who don’t typically get to see animals like Highland cows in the countryside.

“A lot of children now don’t get to see animals out in the country and the kids can go up to the cows and stroke them and the children enjoy it,” she said.

Michael and Sandra have owned Highland Cattle since 2012 and compete in livestock competitions across the UK, with neighbour Helen Lorman joining them for the last three years.

Helen Lorman with a highland cow

Helen, who works in health and social care, said: “I moved to the village eight years ago and started to get involved because I could see them from the back of my house.

“I started taking photos of them and it escalated, so I have been doing the showing for the past three years.

“It helps to come out here on my days off and play with these ridiculous, fluffy creatures. Its just a real break from what I do week to week.”

The Nottinghamshire County Show takes place on May 11 at the Newark Showground, with the group showing two-year-old bulls Linus and Perceus and two-year-old heifer Ebony.

The event is staged by the Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society, with tickets being sold at a discounted rate of £13 until May 3.

To find out more visit their website here.

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