6 December 1996

Judgment of Gwent wins top trophy

GWENTS stock-judging team won the John Spear trophy, the most coveted award in NFYFC competitions at the Royal Smithfield Show.

The team, comprising Matthew Edwards and Catherine Price, winners of the senior and junior beef judging classes respectively, Robert Edwards, 9th in the senior pig class, and Stephen Williams, 4th in the junior pig class, scored 889 marks, 55 more than runner-up Cumbria A (Ian Thompson, Gillian Robinson, Richard Geldard and Emma Hetherington) and 73 more than the third-placed team, Devon B (Fred Jones, Anita Williams, Richard Buckpitt and Denby Smith).

Forty teams took part in the competition in which competitors judged stock both on the hoof and the hook. But there is much more to winning than placing the animals in the same order as the judges, as the latter made clear in their summaries at the awards presentation. While David Brewer commended the junior pig judges for smart, punchy, forceful presentations, Richard Western noted that in the senior pig class competitors reasoning was often better than their observations and that many marks were lost by running over the time limit when presenting them. Junior beef judge Alan Barrett said that some competitors should take more care to present themselves in a tidy manner. The senior beef judge was Paul Jones who said that the cattle to be judged had plenty of finish and this helped in the cooking and ensured flavour.

The competitions were sponsored by Barclays Bank and regional agricultural manager Richard Waters from Banbury, Oxon, presented the prizes.

The winners were:

Pig judging

Junior: 1 Richard Harris, Glamorgan; 2 Denby Smith, Devon B; 3 Richard Morgan, Shropshire A; 4 Stephen Williams, Gwent.

Senior: Equal 1 Andrew Morgan, Herefordshire B and Nigel Owen, Montgomery; 3 Stuart Cartmail, Staffordshire; 4 Andrew Brewer, Cornwall A.

Team: 1 Glamorgan (Julia Wheeler and Richard Harris); 2 Devon B (Richard Buckpitt and Denby Smith); 3 Robert Edwards and Stephen Williams.

Beef judging

Junior: 1 Catherine Price, Gwent; 2 Gillian Robinson, Cumbria A; 3 Christine Hope, Herefordshire B; 4 Matthew Williams, Radnor.

Senior: 1 Matthew Edwards, Gwent; 2 John Wood, Lancashire A; 3 Laurie Ibbotson, Derbyshire; 4 Geoff Ley, Devon A.

Team: 1 Matthew Edwards and Catherine Price, Gwent; 2 Ian Thompson and Gillian Robinson, Cumbria A; 3 Geoffrey Probert and Christine Hope, Herefordshire B.

Everyone a winner – all the award winners, with the exception of a few who had to rush for their trains…

Richard Waters presents trophies to Richard Harris and Julia Wheeler, the top pig judging team (left) and (right) to Nigel Owen and Andrew Morgan, who shared first place in the senior pig judging competition.

Left: Gwents top scoring team (l to r) Matthew Edwards, Catherine Price, Robert Edwards and Stephen Williams receive the John Spear memorial trophy from Richard Waters.

Matthew Edwards and Catherine Price receive their trophy. This is the second year running that Catherine has won the junior beef judging award.