11:40am Friday 2nd December 2011
Keen interest in baby beef cattle among buyers seeking animals with show potential was reflected by a flying trade at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair when a number of young animals topped £4000 in the sale ring.
The day’s leading price of £4700 was paid by Elfed Williams of Sennybridge, Brecon, for a British Blue-sired baby heifer out of a Limousin x dam, bred and exhibited by R. W. & L. A. Jones, of Builth Wells.
Mr Williams, the buyer, who himself entered five cattle at the event and won a number of prizes, has been a major supporter and prize-winner at the Winter Fair for several years.
This year’s supreme champion, also a heifer, an 18-month-old Limousin-sired contender exhibited by Andrew and Christopher Owens, of Llandysul, Ceredigion, was bought by the judge, Alan Davies, butcher, of Berriew, Welshpool, for £4,500.
In the sheep section the supreme championship went to R. Hall & Son, of Carlisle, Cumbria, for a pair of Beltex ewe lambs which sold for £520 each to the judge William Lloyd Williams of Machynlleth.
They also exhibited the reserve champions which sold at £480 a piece to the same buyer.
W. H. Weaver, of Malvern, Worcestershire, claimed the supreme prize in the lamb carcass competitions with a home-bred Beltex x Texel x which sold for £800 to Randall Parker Foods of Llanidloes. Master Rhys Lewis of Glanelan, Rhayader won the supreme champion (pairs) in the lamb carcass competition which sold for £270 to T.W. Roberts, Cardiff. The championships for both pairs and single pigs went to Andrew T. Davies & Son of Aberystwyth, with Tomos Wyn Howatson of Llansannan, Denbigh, as reserve.
There was an entry of over 600 in the horse section. The supreme champion was Casino Scandal exhibited by Mrs Ann Bassett and the coveted award for the best Welsh pony or cob went to C. & G. P. Granger & Mitchell for Cargarsar Silver Phantom. The Fair was opened by Moss Jones, Director of the Welsh Agricultural Organisation Society who warned that a fall in the value of the euro could have a devastating effect on lamb exports.
"We all have to be concerned about the crisis that is paralysing economic activity throughout Europe," he said. "A fall in the value of the euro could have a devastating effect on our ability to export our lambs for example, while a prolonged squeeze on available credit will serve as a drag on investment."
Mr Jones said he was confident that the Royal Welsh would remain in the vanguard and a force for good putting a positive face to the world at large on farming and the rural way of life in Wales.
"The Royal Welsh is about people and its success lies in the way it has blended the experience and wisdom of many who have given years of service on its committees or worked in a range of capacities," he said.
With memories of the 2010 Winter Fair hit by snow and ice still fresh, the society had taken precautions this year against the possibility of repeated bad weather. These included a stockpile of grit, a contractor on standby, and investing in electrically heated tape to protect water pipes against freezing. In the event, however, they were not needed and visitors poured through the gates at Llanelwedd over the two days of the Fair to create a record attendance of 27,995 – 6840 up on last year and 999 up on the previous record that had stood since 2006.
See the next issue of Wales Farmer for more reports and pictures from the Winter Fair.
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