New Trophy Launched in Memory of Young Farmer
Mr Spink was a 24-year-old dairy farmer from Knaresborough who died in an accident in New Zealand in January. He was a member of Knaresborough Young Farmers who raised over £8,000 in his memory with a 120-strong tractor run in March.
Knaresborough Young Farmers, Ring Steward Michael Warren and Mr Spinks’ family including parents Jane and Graham, sisters Jennifer, 26 and Rachel, 21, and younger brother Matthew, 16, were at the showground to see the new trophy ahead of the Great Yorkshire Show.
The Michael Spink Memorial Perpetual Trophy will be presented by Ring Steward and family friend Michael Warren to the winner of the Ayrshire Heifer Champion on Tuesday.
Mrs Spink said: “Mike absolutely loved the Great Yorkshire Show and he would have loved to have had his name on an Ayrshire trophy. This is not the way he would have intended it, but it’s the next best thing. He loved his Ayrshire cattle, his dad had bought him some manage when he was eight and he loved them.
“Mike had also bought some Ayrshire calves before he went to New Zealand and asked us to look after them for him. They were to form the nucleus of his own herd when he eventually returned to this country. This is something really positive for us and we are so honoured to have a trophy dedicated to him.”
Mr Spink grew up on the family’s dairy farm in Scotton, near Knaresborough, before travelling to New Zealand to work on a dairy farm there last June.
Mr Spink had been a member of Knaresborough Young Farmers since the age of ten and had established a close group of friends there.
Over the years they had raised thousands of pounds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance by organising tractor runs and charging to participate. The group are organising another tractor run next year on 11 March 2018.
Mrs Spink added: “Mike supported Yorkshire Air Ambulance because he was very aware that working on a farm you are very isolated and vulnerable. We know so many people who have had the air ambulance out to them. We did a collection at Mike’s funeral where over 400 people attended and helped raise over £2,500 for them as well.”
The Knaresborough Young Farmers will present the final total raised to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance at the Great Yorkshire Show.
“Mike’s friends from the Knaresborough Young Farmers have been incredible. They couldn’t do enough for us. In March they organised the tractor run and we stood at the Pateley Bridge Showground and saw them all coming in their tractors, we saw all the flashing beacons and that was very emotional. It was an amazing day. We have had nothing but kindness shown to us from them.”
Charles Mills, Show Director of the Great Yorkshire Show said: “We wanted to launch The Michael Spink Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Mike to support his family and his friends to honour his name and remember him at the Great Yorkshire Show. It has been incredible to see how the farming community has come together to support Mike’s family as well as fundraising for such a great cause, we are proud to underpin this by launching a trophy in his name.”