Starlight shines brightest at English Winter Fair
Somerset farmer Richard Wright won the English Winter Fair yesterday with his British Blue cross heifer Starlight in front of a huge crowd at the Stafford Showground.
The master thatcher from Somerton claimed the coveted supreme champion title ahead of reserve champion 7up, a Limousin cross heifer shown by H Hodgkinson & Sons from Buxton, Derbyshire.
August 2018-born Starlight was then bought for £5,500 in the end-of-show auction, capping off a fantastic two days of livestock judging which saw more than 360 cattle, sheep and pigs shown.
In the sheep ring it was first time lucky for Richard and Jamie Jerman who took home the pairs championship with a fine pair of pedigree Beltex lambs.
The brothers from Ludlow, Herefordshire, had never exhibited at the English Winter Fair before but came to the show after winning at Agri-Expo earlier in November.
Serial winners Robert Garth and Sarah Priestley from Bentham, Lancashire, won the single lamb title, also with a Beltex.
Yorkshire pig farmer Mark Horsley extended his English Winter Fair winning streak to eight years after claiming the singles and pairs title.
Entries of live pigs increased 20% on the 2018 event but no-one could dislodge the Skirpenbeck breeder who is proving to be an unstoppable force with his Pietrian crossbred stock.
Other highlights included the first ever presentation of the Royal Smithfield Club’s Duke of Norfolk competition at the English Winter Fair.
The competition sees breed societies bring together entries of three high-class cattle from across its members’ farms. It was the pedigree British Blues who took the spoils with Solway View Niko, Sunny Bank Oh My Gosh and Sunny Bank One In A Million in the winning trio.
Welsh farmers dominated the National Pedigree Calf Show taking the champion and reserve titles.
A new one-day format helped boost entries by more than 20% with more than 100 cattle from across the UK taking part. Limousin bull Pabo Oldspice was tapped out as the overall champion for P & L Hughes from Llanbab in Anglesey by judge Michael Read from Lincolnshire. Charolais heifer Teme Opaque took the reserve champion spot for SM Corbett & Daughters from Powys.
Richard Williams, chief executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, which organises the event, said: “We think the improvements made to the format of this year’s show have made a great event even better.
“The crowds were big on both days and we had 42 more livestock entries than in 2018 which shows that exhibitors really enjoy bringing their animals here to compete for the many titles on offer.”
A full list of the results can be found on the agricultural society’s website.