Our success was a tribute to our late granddad Richard.
INTERBREED success brought jubilation for one sheep exhibitor but mixed emotions for another in Llanwelwedd's sheep rings yesterday. After 31 years of trying, Llanrwst breeder Elfyn Owen finally got his hands on a Royal Welsh interbreed sash when winning the supreme lowland sheep championship with a Blue-Faced Leicester yearling ram.
Earlier, a homebred Pedigree Welsh shearling ewe had landed the reserve interbreed hill title for breeder Richard Lloyd, of Cildaugoed, Tremeirchion.
But he wasn't in the ring to savour the moment of victory, having dashed home to be at the bedside of his dying father.
Richard William Lloyd, 81, was one of the giants of Pedigree Welsh breeding, having claimed a unique double in the late 1980s by winning the supreme titles at both the Royal Welsh and the Royal Show in the same year.
A silhouette of the ram he showed that year, Cilgoed Dafydd, was later used in the breed society's logo.
With brother David Hugh Lloyd, he gifted the Lloyds family trophy to the Royal Welsh, awarded to interbreed sheep group winners. Earlier this week a large colour photograph of Richard Lloyd senior had been hung above the family's sheep pens, showing him with Dafydd the ram. Yesterday his granddaughter acknowledged the poignancy of their success.
Hannah said their interbreed reserve title was a tribute to one of the greats of the breed.
She said: "He would not have wanted us to stop, but to carry on with the showing.
"He didn't like any fuss and would have told us just to get on with it.
"He had been ill for some time but his death was very sudden. Dad had a telephone call on Tuesday and went straight home."
With Richard Lloyd junior back home, his children rallied round the continue their assault on silverware.
Earlier this year the Lloyds' shearling ewe had triumphed at the Royal Welsh Show, but yesterday she had to give way to a Hill Radnor ram in the hill interbreed.
Next in the ring with the lowland champions, with Elfyn Owen's yearling tup emerging victorious over the Ryeland leader.
Having begun keeping Blue-Face Leicester in 1978, he first began showing at Llanelwedd two years later. Until yesterday his best tally had been two breed titles.
The ram, bought last year in Carlisle from Northumberland breeder Frank Johnson, was making its first outing of the year.
"I paid pounds 400 for him, which may not sound much, but I saw something in him," said Elfed, of Ffridd Arw, Llanddoged.
"I would have been quite happy with a red card, never mind this."
In the Continentals, a Charollais ewe from Jennifer Curtis, Evesham, triumphed over Percy Tait's British Rouge ewe.
And in the final shake-up, the Hill Radnor ram, from Neil Radnor, of Bucknell, Shropshire, was tapped out at the Champion of Champions, with the Charollais in reserve.
One absentee from the final was the Wiltshire Horn leader, a two-year-old homebred ram from Will Edwards, Newbough.
One of five Wiltshire Horn rivals at Llanelwedd from Anglesey, Will this week got the better of Robert John, whose entry stood reserve.
Will is a third generation breeder who keeps just five ewes in his Glasgraig flock. His ram was withdrawn from the interbreed line-up as a precaution.
He said: "I don't drink, I don't go out - the sheep are my passion."
Lining up in the sheep group final today will be Suffolk breeder Dafyddd Pugh, from Penbryn Llwyn, Llanrhaeadr.
On only his second visit to the show he secured reserve male and female championships as well as the group title.
"I've exceeded my expectations," he said. "It's all very well competing on the North Wales circuit but this is a different kettle of fish. We celebrated back in the Ifor Williams hotel."
Supreme lowland champion was Elfed Owen's Blue-Face Leicester yearling ram Supreme Sheep Champion was a five-year-old Hill Radnor ram The Lloyd family, Hannah, Osian, Eleanor, Llion and Ynyir, with their dad's Pedigree Welsh shearing ewe