After 26 years of trying Dai Thomas claims supreme beef championship at Welsh Winter Fair. Barry Alston reports.
FOR the past 26 years -- ever since the Royal Welsh Winter Fair began – Dai Thomas has been trying to win the event’s supreme cattle championship.
That wish came true on Tuesday when Miss Wales, his red Limousin-sired, July 2014-born heifer out of a Limousin cross British Blue dam came out top in what was an England-Wales head to head finale.
It was a victory well received by ringsiders, too, for the Llanwnen, near Lampeter, doyen of commercial cattle classes at shows right across Wales and beyond.
The win was made all the sweeter by the fact the 602kg heifer was bred by Gareth Jones who farms little more than a mile away from Dai.
The two-man judging panel of Ceredigion’s Denley Jenkins and Denbighshire’s Glyn Davies found they had little to argue about when they came to their final reckoning – later backed in the sale ring by a £5,400 Jenkins bid.
They also opted for another heifer for their reserve champion, the July 2014-born black Limousin, Here Comes Trouble, shown by Lincoln-based Phil and Sharon Sellers. Weighing in at 684kg, it sold for £4,000 in the auction ring.
The judges also opted for another heifer for their reserve champion, the July 2014-born black Limousin, Here Comes Trouble, shown by Lincoln-based Phil and Sharon Sellers. Weighing in at 684kg, it sold for £4,000 in the auction ring.
Topping the supreme steer championship was another entry from across the English border, Denis the Menace,
a home bred, January 2015-born Limousin weighing 475kg from Darrell and Sara Cheacker, Pilning, Bristol.
Taking the reserve rosette and completing the Limousin dominance was Dynamo, an October 2014, 524kg Pembrokeshire-bred entry from Annie Lewis, Brecon.
Baby beef champion was another Limousin cross heifer, a home bred entry from Jim Hollingsworth, Mold, which failed to sell at £3,700.
The best of the steers was the home bred Mata, from John Owen, Llanerch-y-Medd, Anglesey.
In the sheep ring Aberystwyth farmer and butcher Rob Rattray had a far from easy task choosing his overall championship pair – with two of the contenders coming from the same husband and wife team.
His decision went the way of two homebred Texel ewe lambs from three times previous supreme championship holders, Steve and Sara Gibbons, Talgarth, Powys.
They were bought for breeding purposes at £1,500 apiece by section judge, Alun Richards, Pumpsaint, Carmarthenshire.
For his reserve champion pen Mr Rattray had to decide between the Beltex cross Texel butcher’s weight section lambs from the Gibbons or the runners-up to their overall champion pair.
He finally opted for the second placed Texels from Olwen Jones and her daughter Myfanwy Roberts, St Clears. In the auction ring they failed to sell at £1,000 apiece.
The supreme championship confined to hill breeds went to Badgerfaced Torddu entries from Price Jones, Rhandirmwyn, Llandovery, with Brecknock Hill Cheviots from Will and Sam Workman, Trecastle, Brecon, reserve.
The Gibbons were back in the limelight for the trophy for gaining most points in the sheep section – but had to share it with Cwrt-y-Cadno’s Dafydd Lewis.
Pig judging saw Huw and Ela Roberts,Pwllheli, Gwynedd, heading up the single entries and reserve place for pairs while Gerallt and Joyce Owens, and son, Llyr, from Llannon, Llanelli, topped the pairs and were runners up for the single rosette.
Judge; G. D. Jenkins, Newcastle Emlyn and G. Davies, Lon, Denbigh)
Supreme., and heifer, D. Thomas, Miss Wales (Limousin-cross); res. and res. heifer, P. and S. Sellers, Here Come Trouble; (Limousin); steer, D. E. and S. J. Cheacker, Denis-the-Menace (Limousin); res. steer, A. Lewis, Dynamo (Limousin).
(G. Davies, Lon, Denbigh) Sup. and heifer, J. A. Hollingsworth, Jeanie, (Limousin cross); res. and steer, J. R. Owen, Mata (Limousin); res. steer, A. Wareham, Double-o-Seven (British Blue cross); res. heifer, B. and E. Hughes, Magw (Aberdeen Angus cross).
(R. Rattray, Aberystwyth) Sup., S. and S. Gibbons (Texel); res., O. E. M. Jones and E. M. Roberts (Texel).
Pure native hill and upland breeds (A. Davies, Brenan, Aberystwyth) Sup., R. Jones and Son (Hill Radnor); res., G. Davies and L. Western (North Country Cheviot).
Pure continental breeds (A. Richardson, Carmarthenshire) Sup., S. and S. Gibbons (Texel); res., O. E. M. Jones and E. M. Roberts (Texel).
Pure lowland breeds (B. Davies, Brecon) Sup., Griffiths and Davies (Poll Dorset/Dorset Horns); res., A. and R. C. Davies (Llanwennog).
Pure Welsh mountain breeds (J. Thomas, Treharris) Sup., D. Price Jones (Torddu Badger Face); res., B. L. and J.E. Jones (Welsh Hill Speckled Face).
Crossbreds (B. Davies, Danygarth, Brecon) Sup., K. Price and L. Parry (Suffolk cross); res., Jones and Hovers (Charollais cross Torwen Badger Face).
Butchers Weights (A. Richardson, Carmarthenshire) Sup., S. and S. Gibbons (Beltex cross Texel cross); res., G. Methias, (Beltex).
Singles (H. Bevan, Abergavenny) Sup. R. Coney (Beltex cross Beltex-Texel); res., R. J. Slade (Dutch Texel).
Pairs (P. Marcheselli, Trefecca, Talgarth, Brecon) Sup., R.J. Slade (Dutch Texel); res., G. Davies and L. Western (Beltex cross Beltex cross).
(D. E. Griffiths, Leintwardine, Craven Arms)
Singles: Sup., H. D. and E. M. Roberts (Welsh); res., G. L. and J. E. Owens and son (Landrace).
Pairs: Sup., G. L. and J. E. Owens and son (Welsh); res., H. D. and E. M. Roberts (Welsh).