Welsh Winter Fair promises to be a record breaker

Before the arrival of bluetongue organisers were confident the 17th Welsh Winter Fair would break all records.

Attendances had been climbing steadily to peak at 26,996 in 2006 and the horse section, introduced in 2001 when foot-and-mouth stopped primestock classes, regularly pulled in more than 600 entries and many spectators.

With the event also attracting about 300 cattle, 350 pairs of lambs and 180 lambs for carcass competitions, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society journal claimed it was “regarded by many as the finest primestock show in the UK”.

Provisional entries for 2007 are also good, though they could be sharply reduced by the fact that Wales is outside the bluetongue protection zone.

Rules allow animals from protection zones to cross the border for slaughter, so there should be no affect on the 134 single and 33 pairs of lambs entered for carcass competitions. But organisers are worried about entries due to be judged on the hoof, which include a record 325 cattle, 283 pairs of sheep and 75 pigs.

A spokesman said most entries would be forward, hopefully, and the show would go ahead with something like the normal number of quality livestock.

As usual there will be huge interest in the judging of cattle, sheep and pig championships. Last year a 656kg pure-bred Limousin steer exhibited by Meirion and Glyn Howatson from Denbighshire took the top cattle award before being sold for £4500.

Sheep classes also produced a Welsh supreme champion when a pair of pure-bred Beltex ewe lambs from Michael and Heulwen Owens took the trophy back to their Dyfed farm.

WWF sheep champ

Last year’s Welsh Winter Fair sheep champions.

Chris Ball from Abergavenny made it a hat-trick of Welsh supreme championships at the 2006 event when his E2 graded Beltex cross lamb was made the top single lamb carcass.

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