- Sister and brother take Champion and Reserve titles
- Big wins for farmers from Scotland and England
- Entries and footfall up significantly on 2021
Visitors to the English Winter Fair witnessed a remarkable finale as a family from North Yorkshire took home both the championship and reserve titles.
Beth Wilkinson, from Leyburn, was awarded the Birmingham Post Trophy for the Supreme Champion animal with Maggie, a 20-month-old Limousin cross heifer.
Her brother, Luke, then saw his British Blue cross heifer, Prime Suspect, tapped out as the Reserve Champion by judges Tecwyn Jones and Phil Parrott.
Beth took home £1,000 from sponsor Carter Jonas, with the Luke winning a £500 prize from Agrii.
In winning, Maggie completed a rare double after claiming first place in the baby beef championship at 2021’s English Winter Fair.
Serial show winners Robert Garth and Sarah Priestley, from Lancashire, also had a double success, claiming the champion and reserve titles in the sheep ring with their Beltex animals.
There was a special moment for K Watret from Annan in Scotland who won the 2022 National Pedigree Calf Show with Solway View Ria, a November 2021 born British Blue.
The family took home the top prize of £1,000 from sponsor Tithebarn, while the Reserve Champion was Aberdeen Angus Morpheus Rosie from O Tunney in Cheshire, who won £500.
In the pig ring there was a debut success for Tom Dyas and Callum Smith from W Berry in Doncaster as they won the coveted best pen prize with a pair of Pietrains.
It was the first time they had shown live animals, having previously seen success in the carcass hall, but the first-timers beat tough competition from English Winter Fair veteran Mark Horsley from Yorkshire who was named Reserve Champion.
Entries were up across the whole show, but there was a staggering 30% increase in entries in the carcass hall.
Unique to the English Winter Fair, the chiller was packed with quality pig, lamb and cattle carcasses which gave judge Dave Morland – the head butcher at Tebay Services – a tough morning’s work.
Dave said: “It was hard to separate some of the entries as the standard was very high. As a butcher I’m always thinking about the end market for the product and that’s what farmers should be striving for so I was looking for carcasses which would produce cuts that appeal to the consumer.”
He gave the champion cattle carcass prize to TG and EM Hart from Monmouth, who presented a fantastic Hereford at a deadweight of 364kg classified as a R4H.
The winning lamb carcass – a 37.3kg Beltex – was from DS and LE Wadland from Northamptonshire, while the pork carcass was won by ROA Johnson and E Hewitt from Derbyshire with an 85kg Pietrain cross.
The Royal Smithfield Club continued its association with the English Winter Fair by running a competition to find the best saddle of lamb and rib of beef.
Perry’s of Eccleshall’s Limousin cross was selected in the beef class while a Beltex saddle by M and C Morris took first prize in the lamb category.
Meanwhile, in the ring, the Club’s Duke of Norfolk trophy was claimed by a trio of British Blues, with the Herefords in reserve.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, which organises the show, said: “This year’s event was a tremendous success, evidenced by the quality and increased number of entries across the board.
“We welcomed thousands of visitors across the weekend – even more than we saw in 2021 – and they experienced a diverse range of competitions, culminating in the crowning of the Supreme Champion.
“The fair remains a hugely popular event attracting exhibitors and visitors from across the UK.”
Continuing a long tradition of engaging the next generation at the fair, The Rare Breeds Survival Trust held the final of its Young Shepherd of the Year competition.
It was an all-Cumbria affair with 11-year-old Logan Tyson crowned the champion, with 13-year-old Zara Clough taking the reserve title.
The full results are published on the SBAS website.