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Mighty Mouse ends f reign supreme at the farming family's quest to e Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

Byline: Andrew Forgrave newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

ADREAM came true for two generations of a Breconshire farming family when their Limousin-sired heifer lifted the supreme beef trophy at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair at Llanelwedd.

The sash went to March 2016-born Mouse from Phil Price, who runs a 60-cow suckler herd on a Powys County Council smallholding at Glasbury-on-Wye.

Reserve overall was a choice between two from Somerset thatcher Richard Wright, with his heifer Ice Babe getting the nod over his champion steer Wee Jimmy.

Flying the flag for the host country was the ever-reliable Tecwyn Jones, Llanrwst, who took the Baby Beef championship.

For Phil Price and partner Julie Rogers, the result was the culmination of almost three decades of showing in Builth Wells. Poignantly, his father Bernard, who farms in Hay-on-Wye, was suffering from flu and was not at the showground to savour the family's win.

"I can't believe it, to be honest," said Phil. "We've only ever twice missed the Welsh Winter Fair and have come close before, winning reserve supreme with the champion steer. Now we've finally done it."

Phil raised his arm in salute as the beef ring crowd cheered the verdict for Mouse, named after youngest daughter Maisie.

Out of a Ruthin Show Potentials Limousin X heifer, she is by Limousin stock bull Bringewood Glen, bought in Brecon.

As she had been bred by Bernard, Mouse lost out on the Exhibitor-bred title, which passed instead to Richard Wright's 18-month-old Ice Babe, reserve heifer overall.

She was AI bred from Limousin bull Bailea Spunky owned by Brecon's Brian Jones, who also bred the dam, a British Blue X Limousin.

Richard, whose family have thatched Somerset's roofs since 1781, runs a "hobby" 10-cow herd at Bowers Hill. He had high hopes for his Welsh-bred bullock Wee Jimmy, a 16-month-old British Blue X Limousin, who duly secured the leading steer sash before losing out to Ice Babe in the supreme.

The 628kg champion later fetched PS5,100 when bought by North Yorkshire butcher Anthony Kitson. The reserve was knocked down for PS3,900 to Websters of Rhyl.

Tecwyn Jones, of Ty Newydd, Nebo, watched the showdown from ringside, having already secured the Baby Beef title with a homebred heifer. Already a baby beef winner at Agri Expo, Carlisle, Little Mix had also triumphed at Anglesey Show in August. By Limousin sire Powerhouse Elite - who has previously sired three Welsh Winter Fair supreme champions - she was out of Limousin heifer Black Beauty, Tecwyn's own Royal Welsh winner from 2011.

Reserve Baby Beef heifer was Twinkle Toes, an April 2017-born Limousin-sired entry bred and shown by Owen Wyn Williams, Llanfwrog, Holyhead.

Winning the pedigree Welsh Black title was a steer shown by Emyr Owen from Owen Brothers, Bronferiaeth, Glan Conwy. The 24-month-old steer, bred by MP & M Williams, was later selected for the Butcher's Choice championships, eventually won by Hubbabuba, a 13-month-old Limousin x heifer from Deniol Hughes, of Plas Newydd, Llanbabo.

Hubbabuba, YFC champion at Anglesey Winter Fair, also won a red ticket as the best beast bought at auction for under PS1,400.

Taking the supreme lamb title was Hywel Williams from Carmarthenshire, who added yet more gloss to his growing reputation. Hywel's champions were a brace of April-born Dutch Texel lambs that had also won the supreme sash at Anglesey Winter Fair a fortnight earlier.

Victory capped a fantastic fatstock season for the Llanddeusant producer, who headed Countryside Live in Harrogate and won reserve supreme at the English Winter Fair, Stafford.

Black Welsh Mountain exhibitors Brian and Anest Roberts shook their heads in disbelief as their lambs were tapped out as reserve supreme champions. Brian, from Llais Afon, Llangwm, has enjoyed an illustrious showing career but for Anest, 17, it was her first stab at Winter Fair glory and she must now be wondering if fatstock sashes can be all that difficult to win.

Watching on at Llanelwedd were the lambs' breeders Ieuan and Evelyn Lloyd, of T'yn Twll, Llanrwst, who sold the pair at Welshpool in September. Both had dashed down to the showground when it became clear the lambs were on a winning run.

"I'm so pleased for Brian and Anest, they have turned the lambs out so well," said Ieuan.

Earlier the Blacks had topped the Welsh and Hill breed sections before reminding the Continentals and Crossbreds that they remain a force to be reckoned with.

In the pig ring, Llanon breeders Andrew and Carwen Davies rekindled old glories by winning the supreme pairs title.

In 2010 they completed a winter fair double, topped both the pairs and the singles, but the intervening years have been relatively fallow.

Andrew, a farm worker who runs a four-sow herd of Large White pigs at Trialmawr, headed a pair of pedigree Welsh entries from Huw and Ela Roberts, Pwllheli.

"Our pair weighed exactly the same at 81.5kg and I don't think any other exhibitor here can claim the same," said Andrew.

Winning his first ever Winter Fair title, in the singles, was a four-monthold Pietrain cutter, weighing 79.5kgm, from Myrddin James, Dolaeron, Llangeitho, Ceredigion.

Standing supreme in the equine marquee was Sport Horse champion Tigbourne, a bay yearling shown by Tony Warham for Daphne Thorneycroft and Harriet Walsh, Dorset. Reserve overall was the Section B leader Afan Ragdoll, a cream foal bred and shown by Dennis Price of Argoed, Llanafan Fawr, Builth Wells.

CAPTION(S):

Supreme Interbreed Cattle Champion - ho- homebred Limousin Mouse at the RWS Winter Fair, with Phil Price from Pryce and Rogers, Lower Sgynlas Farm, Glasbury-on-Wy Robert Parry-Jones

Supreme Interbreed Sheep Champions, with Hywel and Carwen Williams

The Supreme Champion Single Pig, with Myrddin James

The Reserve Interbreed Sheep Champions, with Brian and Anest Roberts

Tigbourne, the Supreme Horse Champion of show with Tony Warham
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 5, 2017
Words:964
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