Experienced eye to select the supreme champion

The highlight of the Royal Welsh Winter Fair for many will be the judging of the supreme cattle championship on Tuesday.

This year Cheshire butcher Chris Stubbs will use his 40 years’ experience of buying high quality cattle to select the champion.

“It will not be easy because the Welsh Winter Fair is the best primestock show I have ever been to and it attracts many fantastic cattle entries,” says Mr Stubbs, who lives at Hollins Farm, Utkington.

“By the time the section judges have done their jobs I will get a ring full of animals that could all be supreme champions under different circumstances.”

He knows that he cannot please all the exhibitors of cattle that reach the final line up, or all the hundreds of ringside judges.

“Stock judging is certainly not an exact science and I do not have x-ray eyes to see what is under an animal’s skin.

“My aim has to be to satisfy myself that I have used all my knowledge to select the best entry.”

His champion will have to be pleasing to the eye, walk well and have the sort of superb conformation that ensures it kills out well and produces high quality beef.

Ringsiders will notice that Mr Stubbs handles cattle more than some judges.

He does the same when buying cattle for his family’s retail shop in Nantwich and the catering outlets he supplies.

The business was started by his grandfather in 1900 and still trades as C Webb and Sons.

When Mr Stubbs joined in 1964, aged 17, he was expected to learn every job, including those in the abattoir the company ran until 1992.

When he began accompanying his father to markets, he was taught how to pick out quality cattle capable of supplying beef that would keep customers coming back for more.

In turn he has trained his wife Caroline to do the same.

Should they decide to buy any entries at the Winter Fair she will be doing the bidding.