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Sam's memory lives on with funding support for aspiring farmers

Samantha Bailey exhibiting her cattle at the New Forest Show
Samantha Bailey exhibiting her cattle at the New Forest Show

YOUNG people aspiring to a career in agriculture are being urged to apply to a bursary scheme launched in memory of an inspirational cattle farmer and her daughter.

The fund, which is administered by the New Forest Show Society, was set up in the aftermath of former cattle committee chair Samantha Bailey’s tragic death in January 2018 shortly after losing her daughter Florence in the late stages of pregnancy.

Called the Samantha and Florence Bailey Bursary, the cash pot is currently worth £13,000. It has been amassed through donations, plus the proceeds from all child ticket sales at last year’s New Forest Show.

The money will be used to support young people attending agricultural college and fund applicants to complete short courses to support their careers.

New Forest Show chief executive Denis Dooley said: “Sam was a stalwart of the Society and fondly remembered by all involved. The bursary is the perfect way to both remember her involvement and support young people in agriculture.”

Samantha, known as Sam, was a young farmer and estate agent living in Tiptoe, Sway. Following in the footsteps of her grandparents and mother she led a wonderful life breeding and showing the Sandlea herd of Charolais cattle.

The 34-year-old was a popular staff member at Spencers estate agency in Brockenhurst, where she worked her way up to become marketing manager.

Sam joined the New Forest Show cattle committee in 2010, in the footsteps of grandfather John Smith. She was elected chairman of the section in 2012, when her passion for showing cattle was key to attracting the National Dexter Society to hold its annual show at the event in 2015.

Through her chairmanship she met the Queen during her Golden Jubilee visit in 2012, and also Sophie Countess of Wessex and TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh.

New Forest Show chairman Chris Whitlock said: “Her enchanting personality and lust for life was infectious and Sam made an impression on everyone she met.”

In 2017 Sam stepped down to focus her energies on breeding and showing a herd of Charolais cattle and Texel sheep which she and her husband Rob were developing with support from her grandparents, John and Daphne Smith.

Following her death, the New Forest Show Society introduced a new Samantha Bailey Memorial Rose Bowl, which was donated by the Meyrick family.

The bursary scheme was agreed in conjunction with Sam’s widower Robert and her parents-in-law Peter Bailey, who is a former farm manager at Meyrick Estate, and his wife Nancy.

The bursary is open for applicants based in Hampshire who can demonstrate best to a selection committee how the course will benefit their long-term future in agriculture.

For more information call 01590 622400 or visit www.newforestshow.co.uk/samantha-and-florence-bailey.

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