Yorkshire winners at English Winter Fair

It proved a prize-winning appearance for members of Yorkshire's agricultural community at an event billed as the UK's premier winter stock and meat trade show.

Mark Horsley with son James and their winning Pietrain.  Picture: Tim Scrivener.
Mark Horsley with son James and their winning Pietrain. Picture: Tim Scrivener.

There were eye-catching title wins in sheep and pig sections for farmers from the county at Staffordshire County Showground’s English Winter Fair last weekend, while a young contingent from Yorkshire also claimed a prize.

Competition was fierce at the event which attracted about 600 livestock entries from all over the country.

Craven sheep breeder Robert Garth was a measure for anyone in the sheep lines. Mr Garth, who has 100 breeding ewes across 16 acres at Peaks View, Bentham, North Yorkshire, took home the champion single and champion pair titles with his Beltex lambs.

Mr Garth arrived at the show fresh from winning a reserve championship at Harrogate’s Countryside Live event last month.

Over in the pig pens, Mark Horsley of Vicarage Field Farm, Skirpenbeck near York won the champion singles with a Pietrain out of a Landrace-X-Duroc sow.

The winter fair is one of the only events in the country to have a dedicated carcass hall, and it was a 78kg Pietrain carcass shown by Mr Horsley – who sells 100 bacon pigs through York auction centre every week – who was awarded the prestigious champion title by the judges.

The winning carcass was auctioned off by Bagshaws and sold for £2.80 per kg to Mansfield butcher R C Bowring.

The county’s young farmers also put on a show with Yorkshire Young Farmers Club, represented by Thomas Barley and Eleanor Hobson, winning the Intermediate Team competition for their stock and carcass judging.

Richard Williams, chief executive of organisers Birmingham and Staffordshire Agricultural Society, said: “It’s been another brilliant year with high-quality livestock entries.

“The social element of the fair is always a big draw for the agricultural community and once again we had strong visitor numbers.”