It was a hugely popular and emotional win when Dai Thomas, Dolcoed, Llanwen, Lampeter, Ceredigion claimed the 2015 Royal Welsh Winter Fair supreme championship, at Builth Wells on Tuesday 1st December, with his aptly named and outstanding three-quarter bred Limousin heifer Miss Wales.
Never having missed a Welsh Winter Fair in the event’s 26 year history this was the first time Mr Thomas had picked up the overall supreme championship.
Played out in front of a packed ringside audience a roar went up when the July 2014 born heifer was given the winning tap by the two man judging team of Ceredigion’s Denley Jenkins and Denbighshire’s Glyn Davies.
Mr Jenkins backed up his judging when later paying £5,400 for the champion animal.
Sired by Powerhouse Elite and out of a Limousin cross dam, the 602kg heifer was purchased privately from the breeder, and near neighbour, Gareth Jones, Blaenwaun Ganol, Llanwnnen.
Before arriving at the Welsh Winter Fair Miss Wales had scooped some fifteen championship prizes around the shows and along with her stablemate, the Limousin heifer Princess (also a class winner), had never been beaten in interbreed pairs competitions.
A strong supporter of commercial cattle showing over a long number of years Mr Thomas has previously won the prestigious Smithfield title in 1993 and has taken the reserve supreme at the Welsh Winter Fair.
This championship win however topped the lot for Dai Thomas who said: “This is the ultimate prize for a Welsh exhibitor. It’s a very special moment to win and to do so against such outstanding competition in the classes and the championships.”
It was an emotional win to for the heifer’s breeder Gareth Jones who commented: “I’m delighted for Dai and almost speechless. I’m very proud to have bred the champion something that I never thought of being able to do.”
Mr Jones confirmed that the dam of Miss Wales was back in calf and again to Powerhouse Elite.
The major 2015 Winter Primestock shows have been completely dominated by some high quality Limousin cattle, both pure and crossbred, with championship wins at the Welsh, English and Scottish Winter Fairs, as well as Smithfield and the Borderway Agri Expo.
The breed was at it again in Wales in securing champion and reserve in virtually every cattle section.
Taking the reserve supreme championship was the July 2014 born Limousin heifer, Here Comes Trouble, from the well-known Lincoln-based Phil and Sharon Sellers, Thorpe Tilney Farm, Lincoln.
Weighing in at 684kg, it sold for £4,000 in the auction ring. July 2014-born this pure-bred Limousin heifer, was bought at the Ruthin Show Potential sale in February from the breeder, DH Lloyd, Newtown.
Another with a show record behind it had previously been champion at Beef South West; Ashbourne; and a winner at the Nottinghamshire County and Countryside Live events respectively.
Lifting the supreme steer championship and also the exhibitor bred championship was Denis the Menace, a January 2015-born Limousin weighing 475kg from Darrell and Sarah Cheacker, Pilning, Bristol along with their daughters Laura and Julie.
This calf, who is sired by Netherhall Hector, a Mas Du Clo son, had previously been the baby beef champion at the 2015 Beef South West event. For the Cheacker family, who run 100 suckler cows and finish 250 head each year, the steer championship and exhibitor bred championship was their highest show award to date.
Taking the reserve championship in the steer section was the Limousin-sired Dynamo an October 2014 born 524kg beast from Annie Lewis, Brecon.
In the Baby Beef section, judged by Andrew Anderson, Smallburn Farms, Elgin it was another Limousin Championship double with the Overall Champion going to a home bred heifer named Jeanie from regular showman Jim Hollingsworth, Mold. This very smart March 2015 born calf is by Hafodlas Llion and is out of a Limousin cross cow bred by Paul Dawes, Dinmore. Weighing in at 350kgs, this calf had won the championship at Anglesey Winter Fair and had previously been Reserve Interbreed as a calf at foot at Denbigh and Flintshire.
Taking the baby beef steer championship was, John Owen, Llanerch-y-Medd, Anglesey, with the home-bred Mata. Weighing 299kgs this May 2015 born calf is by the noted Salomon.
Salomon breeding was also evident in the pedigree Limousin champion in the shape of the heifer Bailea Juniorchamp from IJ Phillips, Castellan, Pencon, Newcastle Emlyn.
Bred by Brian Jones, Sennybridge, Brecon, this February 2014 born calf is by the 32,000gns Millgate Fame and is out of the Salomon sired Bailea Emotion.
This capped a fine pedigree double for Mr Phillips who the previous week had won the overall pedigree championship with Bailea Juniorchamp at the English Winter Fair in Stafford.
Placing as first in the pedigree Limousin steer section and Overall Pedigree Limousin reserve was another from Phil and Sharon Sellers in the shape of Ballinloan Jackthelad.
This August 2014 steer, bred by Stuart Fotheringham, Ballinloan, Perth and Kinross, is by the noted Ampertaine Foreman and is out of Lumbylaw Oveture.