Winning vegetable gardener asked to avoid Somerset show

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David Stirzaker with his trophies
Image caption,
David Stirzaker has won the overall competition four years in a row

A champion gardener has been asked not to exhibit his vegetables at a show in Somerset - because he keeps winning.

David Stirzaker, 73, from near Yeovil, was asked in a letter by North Cadbury and District Horticultural Society not to enter, as it "discouraged others".

He has won the contest for the past four years - every time he has entered.

He said he was disappointed, but the society claimed he had already mentioned not entering and added there was no ill-feeling intended.

"I was very shocked and disappointed because when you show, it's a competition, and if you're not doing so well in a competition you try harder," said Mr Stirzaker.

"I've shown at one show where I have never, ever, won; the same chap wins it year after year after year, but it just makes me more determined that in the end I will win."

At the North Cadbury and District event, Mr Stirzaker has won many individual categories over the past four years, making him the overall champion on each occasion.

Angela Hunt, from the society, said Mr Stirzaker said two years ago, allegedly to the show's organiser and her husband, that if he won again he would stand down and give somebody else a chance.

"It's this comment of his, which when he won for the fourth year running prompted the letter and there was no ill-feeling behind it," she said.

"It was just that he put the thought into our minds and we wondered if he would step aside.

"He is not excluded, the letter said we were asking him not to participate; that's not excluding or banning."

Mr Stirzaker said he did not remember making the comment to the show's organiser. He added he did not think it was worth challenging.

"If this is their attitude, then I quite honestly don't want anything to do with them... can you imagine the atmosphere if I did go in that show this year?"

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