- Supreme Champion and Reserve.
- Champion Heifer and Reserve.
- Exhibitor-bred Champion.
- Baby Beef Champion and Reserve.
- Butchers Choice Champion.
- Supreme Champion makes £5,100.
- Reserve Supreme Champion sells for £3,900.
What a triumph there was for the Limousin breed and two generations of a Breconshire farming family at this year’s record-breaking two-day Royal Welsh Winter Fair.
After trying to win the keenly contested Builth Wells supreme cattle championship for many years the dream came true on Tuesday 28th November for Phil Price, his partner Julie Rogers and daughters, Maisie and Ella.
They farm Lower Skynlas, a Powys County Council smallholding at Glasbury-on-Wye, and were showing a Limousin heifer bred by his parents, Bernard and Mary, who farm just a few miles away at Hay-on-Wye.
A bout of flu, however, meant Bernard was not at the Llanelwedd showground to savour the moment and the tremendous ringside appreciative applause.
That came courtesy of Mouse, a March 2016-born heifer by the family’s stock bull, Bringewood Glen, bought several years ago at a Limousin society Brecon sale and out of a Limousin dam purchased at the Ruthin Show Potentials sale.
Weighing in at 628kg, the fair’s auction sale later drew a £5,100 bid from North Yorkshire butchers, B&T Kitson, who also bought last year’s Supreme Champion – a Limousin-sired steer – for £4,000.
That was not the only major championship success for the Limousins. Joint judges — Derbyshire’s Mark Hallam, from Wetton, near Ashbourne, who judged the heifers, and Richard Taylor, from Ripley, near Derby, the steers – were also united in the choice for the Reserve Supreme placing.
Stepping up for the award at the expense of the Steer Champion was Ice Baby, a home bred Limousin-sired entry from Richard Wright, of Bedlands Gate Farm, Bowers Hill, Somerton, Somerset.
An AI daughter of Brecon based Brian Jones’s Bailea Spunky and out of a Limousin crossbred dam, the May 2016-born entry weighed in at 556kg and sold for £3,900 to North Wales butchers, Websters of Rhyl. It also took the Exhibitor-Bred Award.
Another of Mr Wright’s entries, Wee Jimmy, led the steers and weighing in at 518kg was bought by Richard Taylor at £4.40 per kg, with Dark Shot from Neil and Sally Lloyd, Luston, near Leominster, Herefordshire, next in the line but leaving the sale ring unsold. Both were out of Limousin dams.
Justifying their decisions, the judges praised the high standard of the entries before them, stressing that all the meat was in the right places and of the quality being demanded by today’s consumers.
Limousins led the way again in the hotly contested Baby Beef parades, with Little Mix, a home bred entry from Tecwyn Jones, Ty Newydd, Nebo, Llanrwst, Conwy, out in front overall.
By the Colin and Wendy Phillips-bred Powerhouse Elite, who has previously sired no less than three Welsh Winter Fair Supreme Champions, the January 2017-born entry is out of a home bred Limousin dam.
Filling the Reserve slot was Buckfast, a John McAlister-bred March 2017 Limousin cross jointly exhibited by Suzie Dunn and Cameron Jackson, from Willowbank Farm, Throsk, Stirling.
Reserve Baby Beef Heifer Champion was Twinkle Toes, a home bred April 2017-born Limousin-sired entry from Owen Wyn Williams, Llanfwrog, Holyhead, Anglesey, and runner-up for the Steer Championship was the May 2017-born Brutus Cracker Jack from Dai Brute, Llanfihangel Talyllyn, Brecon.
A special “Butcher’s Choice” line-up saw victory going the way of Hubbabubba, an October 2016 T.C. Whitehead-bred Limousin cross heifer shown by Deiniol Hughes, Plas Newydd, Llanbabo, Rhosgoch, Anglesey.
Judging in the pedigree sections saw the Overall Limousin Championship going to Cothi Missy, a June 2016 born heifer bred by J.M. Lewis, Pumsaint, sired by Plumtree Deus out of Powerhouse Hella and shown successfully throughout the summer show season by Llanwnnen, Lampeter, exhibitor, Dai Thomas.
Runner-up was the Reserve Heifer Champion, Raysonhall Matilda, an Ampertaine Ivanhoe daughter from James Nisbet, Sorn, Mauchline, Ayrshire, and bred by Mr and Mrs D. Hill.
Topping the pure Limousin Steers was Buarth Mr Muscle, bred by I.G. Jones, sired by Haltcliffe Dancer out of Buarth Holly and shown by Graham Ward, Peters Marland, Torrington, Devon.
Cowin Milky Bach, bred by Dyfan and Carol James, Conwyl Elfed, Carmarthen, and sired by Netherhall Jackpot out of Cowin Indiana, took the Reserve Steer title for Ifan Phillips, Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire.