Guaranteed to draw quality stock and a keen crowd, the Royal Welsh Winter Fair saw first time champions in both the cattle and sheep sections. Laura Bowyer reports from Builth Wells.
It was the turn of Phil Price and Julie Rogers, Glasbury-on-Wye with Mouse, a March-2016 born Limousin heifer to stand victorious at Builth Wells, making it the family’s most successful trip to the Royal Welsh Winter Fair yet.
Bred by Mr Price’s father Bernard, it is by stockbull Bringewood Glen and out of an ex-show heifer which was purchased at Ruthin show potential sale. Previously this autumn, the heifer stood first in its class at Harrogate’s Countryside Live while also being named champion home-bred.
The heifer graced the packed cattle ring, before the hammer went down to Kitson and son butchers, North Yorkshire for £5,100.
Reserve was another heifer, this time by the name of Ice Babe and from Richard Wright, Somerton, led by Clive Groves and also took the best exhibitor bred title. Born in May 2016, it is out of a home-bred British Blue cross Limousin cow, it is by semen from Bailea Spunkie. Later that day, it sold for £3,900 to R.G.B. Webster and son, Rhyl.
A thatcher by trade, Mr Wright runs six cows at his Somerset home and was also responsible for the champion steer, Wee Jimmy, which was privately purchased in May. Since being in Mr Wright’s possession, the steer has already won its class at Exeter’s Agrifest and second at Agri Expo. Bred by Brian Jones, Senni, of the Bailea herd of Limousins, it shares its sire, Dragon Blues Factor, with the reserve steer from Leominster-based Sally and Neil Lloyd.
The Lloyds’ July 2016 born steer, Dark Shot, and was purchased at the May store sale at Brecon this year, again from Breconshire breeder Brian Jones. It was British Blue-sired champion at the English Winter Fair and was out a Limousin.
In the baby beef classes, Tecwyn Jones, Llanrwst clinched another championship with heifer Little Mix, weighing in at 395kg. By the Limousin, Powerhouse Elite, it is out of the home bred Black Beauty, which has already stood champion at the Royal Welsh and Smithfield Winter Fair. The heifer also won baby beef titles at Anglesey and Eglwysbach shows this summer.
The reserve title went to Scotland, to Miss Suzie Dunn and Cameron Jackson, Stirling with their steer Buckfast which is by a Limousin bull and out of a Limousin cross female.
Elsewhere on the showground, a busy morning of sheep championships climaxed with the supreme title handed to Hywel and Enfys Williams, Llanddeusant, Carmarthenshire with their pair of Dutch Texel ewe lambs. With a combined weight of 97kg, they too had their best trip to the fair yet, after winning reserve in the continental championship last year. The same exhibitors also took the supreme championship at Anglesey’s winter fair this year. That afternoon the lambs went on to sell for £520 each to Anglesey-based judge and butcher Tom Hughes.
Standing their ground among the continentals and lowland breeds was a pair of Black Welsh Mountain ewe lambs from Anest Fflur Thomas, Corwen, which went on to sell again to Mr Hughes for £320 per head. Bred by Ieuan and Evelyn Lloyd, Llanrwst, they were purchased at Welshpool’s coloured sale at the end of September for £58 per head.
Proving to be a force to be reckoned with, on his first time showing at the Winter Fair 26 year old Daniel Jerman, Llanidloes took two sheep championships – the crossbred section with a pair of Suffolk cross Cheviot cross Mules and the pure lowland breeds with a pair of Poll Dorsets. Both pairs were home-bred.
In the carcase hall, the singles champion was a Beltex from Simon Blandford, Ledbury, weighing 21kg and graded an E3L. It went on to sell at £2,100 to outgoing Royal Welsh president and Castell Howell-chief, Brian Jones, Carmarthenshire. Mr Blandford also took the championship at the recent English Winter Fair.
Reserve was T. and K. Coney and sons, Narberth with a Beltex cross Beltex cross, at 19kg and an E3L.
The carcase pairs judging saw Robin Slade, Almeley, Hereford come out on top with a pair of Dutch Texels, selling to Lewis Roberts of La Marina restaurant, Cardiff. Reserve pair was from Mr Blandford, again with Beltex.
Meanwhile in the pig ring, the pairs championship was claimed by Andrew Davies, Llanon, Aberystwyth, who has won the title at Builth a number of times. The home-bred Welsh cross Large White gilts weighed 81.5kg each. In the sale, they went for £390 each to R.L. Evans, Newcastle Emlyn. Huw and Ela Roberts, Pwllheli had the reserve with a pair of home-bred Welsh gilts.
Myrddin James, Llangeitho, Tregaron won the single pig champion with a Pietran cross Welsh cutting gilt, weighing 79.5kg and later selling to sheep judge Mr Hughes for £450. The reserve was of the same breeding and was shown and bred by Brynley Davies, Lampeter.
Cattle (M. Hallam, Ashbourne and R. Taylor, Ripley) Sup. and fem., Price and Rogers, Mouse (Limousin); res. and res., fem., R. Wright, Ice Babe (Limousin cross British Blue-Limousin); male, Richard Wright, Wee Jimmy (British Blue cross Limousin); res. male, S. and N. Lloyd, Dark Shot (British Blue cross Limousin).
Baby beef (I.T. Edwards, Corwen) Sup. and fem., T. Jones, Little Mix (Limousin cross Limousin cross); res. and male, S. Dunn and C. Jackson, Buckfast (Limousin cross Limousin cross); res. male, D. Brute, Brutus Cracker Jack (Limousin cross Limousin cross); res. fem., O.W. Williams, Twinkle Toes (Limousin cross British Blue cross).
Sheep (T. Hughes, Llanfairpwll) Sup., H. Williams (Dutch Texel); res., A.F. Roberts (Black Welsh Mountain).
Cross-breds (R. Beynon, Dryslwyn) Sup., D. Jerman, (Suffolk cross Cheviot cross Mule); res., Elvet and K. Jones and Hovers (Charollais cross Welsh)
Native hill and uplands (W. Francis, Abercynon) Sup., C. H. Davies (North Country Cheviot); res., I.T. Davies and son (Hill Radnor).
Pure Welsh Mountains (E. Jones, Kidwelly) Sup., A.F. Roberts (Black Welsh Mountain); res., H. Pritchard and P. Jones (Badger Face).
Butchers’ weights (S. Cobbald, Sudbury) Sup., M. Owens (Beltex cross); res., D.C. Evans (Texel cross).
Pure lowland (R. Beynon) Sup., D. Jerman (Poll Dorset) Sup., D. Jerman (Poll Dorset); res., Wakeham-Dawson and Harmer (Southdown).
Continental (S. Cobbald, Sudbury) Sup., H. Williams (Dutch Texel); res., R. Slade (Beltex).
Lamb carcase (single) (L. Jones, Merthyr Tydfil) Sup., B. Blandford and sons (Beltex); res., T. and K. Coney and sons (Beltex cross).
Lamb carcase (pairs) (J. Pursglove, London) Sup., R. Slade (Dutch Texel); res., B. Blandford and sons (Beltex).
Pigs (single) (R. Evans, Beulah) Sup., M. James (Pietrain cross Welsh); res., D.B.M. and R.C.M. Davies (Pietrain cross Welsh).
Pigs (pairs) (R. Evans) Sup., A. Davies (Welsh cross Large White); res., H.D. and E.M. Roberts (Welsh).