Welsh exhibitors made their presence felt in championships at last weekend’s English Winter Fair livestock showcase, Stafford, where G and E Jones of Anglesey’s crossbred Limousin heifer Eye Catcher made Overall Supreme Cattle Champion with Berwyn Hughes of Ceredigion’s crossbred Limousin heifer Cwtch taking Reserve Champion.
Eye Catcher led by Meleri Jones was clearly in the sights of championship judges Michael Alford of Devon and Gwyn Edwards of Corwen having won her Limousin-sired crossbred heifer class earlier in the day. “It’s fantastic as a show animal, has fantastic confirmation, and fantastic cover just where it’s needed,” said Mr Alford. “You couldn’t draw a better beast if you were asked; she’s my kind of animal.”
The Jones’ run 20 pedigree Limousin cattle under the Trisant prefix alongside other livestock enterprises in mid Anglesey. “She’s homebred and was Reserve Heifer Champion at Builth this summer,” explained Meleri.
Eye Catcher made £4,400 when selling to Northallerton, North Yorks-based butcher Anthony Kitson.
Reserve Cattle Champion Berwyn Hughes still had a splendid show. His cache of trophies included overall pedigree champion with the Limousin heifer Cwmlimo Harriet, Reserve Champion crossbred heifer sired by a British Blue called Siani, and – deservedly – the Champion Stockman’s prize.
In the Baby Beef classes Shropshire-based show partnership Christine Williams and Paul Tippetts saw their British Blue x Limousin heifer Hot Buns storm to victory. Having been plucked from an opening class of 39 heifers Baby Beef judge, beef producer and showman Philip Price commented: “She’s just a very showy heifer.”
Hot Buns’ placing put Worcs-based Gilbert Brooke’s steer Flashy Boy in as Reserve Champion in the hotly contested Baby Beef competition. And there was more good news for Williams and Tippett when their champion entered the ring selling at £4,500 to V and G Bowring of Manfield, Notts.
Anyone who thought the Welsh couldn’t exert their might elsewhere were soon to be proved wrong. In the sheep championships – which this year saw a record entry of 150 pens of live sheep – first time exhibitor and Novice class winners Dafydd Lewis and Gethin Mathias of Llanwrda, Carms, led a pair of pure-bred Beltex ewe lambs to victory in the Blue Merle-sponsored Overall Sheep Championship taking on the might of more seasoned exhibitors. These went on to sell for £340/head later in the day to Staffs-based breeder Andrew Frogatt.
Reserve Sheep Championship went to Herefordshire-based Robin Slade with his pair of Beltex lambs. These later sold for £500/head to Messrs Garth of Bentham, Lancs.
And there was more Welsh supremacy in the Cattle Carcase classes as Michael Rowlands of Llanldloes, Powys, took both champion and reserve with a cross-bred Limousin heifer and steer, respectively.
His second Champion Cattle Carcase title in two years, Mr Rowland’s heifer made £4.80/kg (£1826.40 gross) selling to retail and catering butcher Owen Taylor & Son of Leabrook, Derbys, which purchased nine cattle carcases in total. His Reserve Champion made £4.60/kg (£1730.98 gross) selling to Bradshaw Bros of Chase Terrace, Staffs.
Lamb carcase championship went to High Peak, Derbys-producers P Ritter and Son (£14.60/kg selling to butcher David Prince of Ashover, Derbys) with David Wadland of Aston le Walls, Northants, collecting Reserve Champion (£12.80/kg to the same buyer).
OVERALL AUCTION PRICE AVERAGES
Cattle (excl Baby Beef) £2.94/kg or £1847/head
Sheep £2.67/kg or £112.65/head
Beef carcases £4.01/kg or £1489/head
Lamb carcases £4.43/kg or £106.64/head