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Marshall led his belted Galloway cattle into the ring fully kitted out in the St Andrew’s College pipe band regalia during last week’s Canterbury A&P Association beef cattle competition at Canterbury Agricultural Park.
"I was just going to get a kilt, but the school said ‘why don’t you wear the full pipe band uniform?’," Marshall said, who is in year 10 at St Andrew’s College in Christchurch.
A team of one bull, two cows with calves at foot, two yearling bulls and two yearling heifers was entered in the competition from a stud of 15 Galloway cows.
Fortunately, he had support from his parents Andrew and Udette Stokes, brother Daniel (13) and some family friends as the cattle were in "a grumpy mood" on the day, particularly the 4-year-old bull.
"They would rather be in the paddock. The bull has just come out of a mob of cows so I think he would rather be out with his cows," Marshall said.
"They are just quite a cool breed, different to everything else. There’s just something special about them, I don’t know what it is, but I love them.
"I love being able to look at them and decide what bull to put over them and seeing the off-spring come out."
Marshall started his Galloway cattle stud in 2016, as an 11-year-old, and he was aware of just one other Galloway stud in the South Island.
To begin with, his father looked after the bulls as they were too big for the youngster to handle, but Marshall has been showing bulls for the last two years.
"It’s just about control and showing them who’s boss. That big bull hasn’t had a halter on him since he was calf so he’s a bit grumpy today."
With no competition in the Galloway classes, Marshall was looking forward to competing against other cattle in the all breeds classes in the afternoon.
The Stokes family has been breeding cattle for four generations, with Marshall’s dad Andrew Stokes running an Angus stud.
The family farms at Lees Valley, near Oxford, and Marshall has been showing cattle since he was 3-years-old, starting out with calves.
Younger brother Daniel was just as keen, Marshall said.
"He’s one of my handlers and he keeps me together. He helps me out a lot."