Show champion from Yorkshire is just 14 and already dominating the world

“Cattle are interesting, there’s more about them than sheep,” says 14-year old Liam Jackson-Carr of Eltock Farm, Carlecotes, who is not afraid to vent his feelings and had an amazing agricultural show season last year with his Hereford bull.

“I like working with them. Any spare time I get I’ll go and wash and brush them. I’ll just put it out there, at school I’m doing stuff like algebra that I really don’t think I’m going to need in my life, but this is just great.”

Liam’s preference for cattle over sheep might echo Kaleb Cooper of Diddly Squat in Clarkson’s Farm and he might also sound like many other teenagers over aspects of schoolwork, but he is also a level headed young show person and has clearly not let success go to his head over what he achieved in the show rings in England and Scotland last year. He also doesn’t see farming as his future income when asked where he might be 10 years from now.

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“I’d like to be a farmer, yes, but in the long run there’s no money there. I’m either thinking of becoming maybe a joiner or a mechanic.

Liam Jackson-Carr with one of his pedigree Hereford cattle.Liam Jackson-Carr with one of his pedigree Hereford cattle.
Liam Jackson-Carr with one of his pedigree Hereford cattle.

In the meantime, Liam is enjoying his still relatively short showing career that started after his parents Damien Carr and Emma Jackson bought him his first calf two years ago. For his mum it is a return to the days when she had cattle on her granddad’s Law Slack Farm at Hade Edge.

“We used to have a South Devon herd,” says Emma. “We had to get rid of that when I went to university, but Liam had been helping his granddad and his uncle John who has Limousin cattle and a couple of years ago he said to me and my husband, ‘Mum, dad I want a cow’.

“We did a bit of research into different breeds and decided on the Herefords. They are such a placid, easy going breed. We met with lovely local breeder Heather Whittaker at her farm in Norwood Green near Halifax where she has her pedigree Coley’s Herefords and bought Liam his first cow Marigold, which was in-calf and had a calf at foot.

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“Heather helped Liam tremendously because he wanted to start showing with Marigold’s baby calf, also Marigold. He showed her in 2022 at the Great Yorkshire Show and Penistone Show.

LIAM JACKSON credit MacGregor PhotographyLIAM JACKSON credit MacGregor Photography
LIAM JACKSON credit MacGregor Photography

It was at the Great Yorkshire Show in July 2022 that Liam spotted Coley Vincent, the bull that was to bring Liam so much success last year.

“Vincent came back with us from Harrogate,” says Emma. “He’d been having a reasonable year. He was a junior bull at that time and cost a reasonable sum of money.

“His first show of 2023 was Northumberland County Show, then in the senior bull classes,” says Liam.

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“He got male champion and breed champion there. After that we went to the Royal Highland Show and he got male champion, breed champion and interbreed champion. At Norfolk County Show he was male champion and reserve breed champion; at the Great Yorkshire Show he was male champion and breed champion. Then we went back up to Perth for the Scottish National Show where he was male champion, breed champion and interbreed champion; and he finished off at Penistone Show, our local show, as male champion, breed champion and interbreed champion.

Liam pays tribute to a showman who helped him throughout last year’s show season.

“I’ve had great help from lots of people and because I’m not just old enough to be on my own with a bull the size of Vincent in the show rings I have to get someone else to come in the ring. Andrew Hughes who works with Heather Whittaker came with us to all the shows and was always in the ring with me.

“I can show my calves on my own. I did all the showing with JC Wilbur last year, my bull calf we’d had born earlier that year. He took junior male champion at the Royal Highland and had a first place at Norfolk County Show. We then sold him to a local farmer.

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Liam’s cattle prefix JC Herefords is made up of his parents’ surnames’ initials and Liam certainly knows how to ensure he keeps them on side as he also pays tribute to them and he’s also level-headed enough to know that the kind of success he had last season doesn’t come around every year.

“My mum and dad have been my biggest help. I have 14 in my herd now, which includes five cows and two heifers in the breeding herd, three bull calves and two heifer calves, all progeny from Vincent.

“I think we got a bit lucky, landing right with our first bull. We’ve already chosen our show team for this year. It will be JC1 Austin and JC1 Marigold as the main ones. They both went to the Hereford Pedigree Christmas Calf Show at Shrewsbury where Austin won his class and took reserve junior bull. Marigold got third place out of class of 16. They are both looking good for this year with JC1 Pearl also a possibility, to go up in the pairs class with JC1 Marigold as they look very alike; and also JC1 Ace.

Liam says Vincent won’t be in the show rings this year.

“Vincent has now been retired. He’s gone out on a high. Austin looks good and very much like Vincent. I’ve had a couple of offers for him but I won’t part with him just yet. I want to use him for a couple of years to get the herd built up a bit more.

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Emma says last year’s calves where Liam’s first crop and that Vincent managed both his showing and his work with the cows and heifers admirably.

“We start calving at the end of April. While Vincent was showing we couldn’t have him covering cattle. After the Great Yorkshire Show he had a week or two with the big girls before we took him to Perth, he was back with them after Penistone Show.

Texas beckoned, not for Vincent but for Liam and his parents, when they found Vincent had become Hereford Bull of the Year along with Solpoll Trailblazer.

“It was amazing,” says Emma. “We went to Texas as both had been put forward for Bull of the World. We got the silver medal.

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“Everybody’s been so helpful and encouraging. I think people see Liam as the next generation coming through.

“On one occasion Liam put a nose ring on upside down. Fortunately, somebody told him just before he went in the ring, gave his cow to somebody else to hold and helped Liam change it over.

“I’d never had any show training,” says Liam. “I’ve learned from mistakes and people showing me what to do. What is really great is being with everyone and making mates.