2013-07-26   facebook twitter rss

Foxhillfarm Gracie Completes Major ‘Triple Crown’ at Royal Welsh

The 2013 winning streak of Foxhillfarm Gracie, from Michael & Melanie Alford, Foxhill Farm, Blackborough, Cullompton, Devon, continued on the opening day of the Royal Welsh Show held at Builth Wells on Monday 22nd July, when this remarkable rising two-year-old heifer won the Limousin Overall Supreme Championship.

Played out in the natural amphitheatre of the Royal Welsh judging rings in front of a huge crowd basking in the glorious sunshine, the win for Foxhillfarm Gracie saw her complete an unprecedented triple crown of summer ‘major’ championships with wins already secured at both the Royal Highland and Great Yorkshire shows respectively. Throw in an Individual Interbreed title at the Great Yorkshire, numerous team interbreeds, wins at the Royal Bath & West and Royal Cornwall, and it all adds up to an incredible first year’s pedigree showing for the heifer and also the Alford Team of Michael, Melanie and daughter Charlotte. The man literally in the ‘hot’ seat for the day was judge Harry Emslie of the noted Emslies pedigree herd based at Kinknockie, Mintlaw, Peterhead. Before him was a show of over 100 head of Limousins in what was the largest entry of all the beef breeds at the show.

Foxhillfarm Gracie

Foxhillfarm Gracie

Late in the day, Foxhillfarm Gracie secured the Reserve Overall Supreme Interbreed title in front of Judge Mr Richard Hassell. This ribbon added to the Championship win in the Limousin ring where she had also secured the Overall Limousin Female Championship, and the Exhibitor-bred title. Then on the Tuesday morning, Foxhillfarm Gracie went on to win the Individual Junior Interbreed award from a fifteen-strong all-breeds entry of females born after 1st January 2011 under Judge Mr John Astley. Commenting on his winner, Mr Astley said he was looking for power and style throughout and Gracie was a perfect choice for him on the day. Further titles followed over the course of the four days with Reserve in the Fitzhugh Pairs (with Simbo Gili) and Champion Females of the Future (with Dinmore Hannah).

Foxhillfarm Gracie is of course by Wilodge Vantastic and is out of the 15,000gns foundation female, Bankdale Alice, who was purchased at the Bankdale Dispersal Sale at Carlisle in July 2011 whilst in calf with Gracie.

A feature of the Limousin judging day was again the prize-winning animals sired by the 42,000gns Wilodge Vantastic himself a previous winner of the Championship at the Royal Welsh Show. In all, Vantastic-sired animals won four individual classes, took the Junior Male and Junior Female honours, as well as the Reserve Male, Overall Supreme and Overall Reserve titles.

Another animal to play a major part in the day was the classy October 2009-born cow Dinmore Elegance from Paul Dawes, Kipperknowle Farm, Dinmore Manor, Hereford. Shown with her Ionesco-sired bull calf at foot, Dinmore Elegance is herself by Wilodge Vantastic and is out of the noted Carmorn Voney, a previous two-time Interbreed Champion at the Royal Ulster Show. In a judge-off, with much anticipation from the ringside crowd, an outstanding line-up of first prize females had seen Foxhillfarm Gracie pip Dinmore Elegance into the Reserve Female position. The same one-two carried through to the Overall Championship positions and reflected upon what had been a terrific show of Limousin females.

Mr Emslie said he was impressed by the overall standard of stock, with any of the class winners in the female section worthy of honours such was quality of animals forward. “Dinmore Elegance is a fantastic cow at such a young age, rearing a very good calf and great credit to the breeder but my Champion just had that extra little bit of sweetness and sparkle on the day,” he said.

There was also a Limousin first in the bull classes with Knock Black Glencoe from Esmor Evans, Monfa, Gwornaffield Road, Mold, Flintshire winning the Male Championship. This is the first time a black-coated Limousin bull had picked up one of the top awards at a summer ‘major’. His first show outing, this May 2011-born bull is by Greenhaugh Europa and is out of Knock Dolly. Bred by Aberdeenshire breeder Albert Howie, Knock Black Glencoe was purchased by Mr Evans for 18,000gns at Carlisle in February this year for his Esmors Herd of 30 breeding females. “This was one of the widest and best black bulls shown for number of years, had a very good carcase and great width over the top,” commented the judge.

Taking the Reserve Male Championship was Simbo Gili from Nigel Simms, Hulse Farm, Lach Dennis, Northwich, Cheshire. This was the first time the Simbo Team had been in action showing at the Royal Welsh since 1989 where they won the senior bull class with Oakley Asterix. The January 2011-born Simbo Gili is another by Wilodge Vantastic and is out of the Haltcliffe Flashman daughter Simbo Obel. He had previously stood Interbreed Champion at Nantwich Show in 2011 when just a calf, and was Male Champion and Reserve Overall Champion at this year’s Cheshire Show behind Dinmore Elegance. Alongside Foxhillfarm Gracie, Simbo Gili later stood Reserve in the Interbreed Fitzhugh Pairs.

All the way from Yorkshire was regular Royal Welsh exhibitor John Weatherill, Millington Grange Estate with a team from his Millington herd based at The Grange, Millington, York. Their journey found reward when the February 2012-born Millington Hawk won the Junior Male Limousin Championship on the Monday followed by the Junior Interbreed Bull Championship on the final day. Again by Wilodge Vantastic, Millington Hawk, who has a Beef Value of LM+43, is out of the Ronick Matador-sired Brockhurst Option.

Taking the Junior Male Reserve Championship was Mynach Harlequin shown by Daf & Jane Griffiths, Cilgryman Fawr, Cwmfelin Mynach, Hen Dy Gwyn, Carmarthenshire. January 2012-born, this young bull is by Greenwell Dreamboy and is out of the Sable-sired Mynach Burgundy. The Griffiths also won the LVB Thomas Award for the best exhibitor-bred female owned by a breeder residing in Wales with the January 2011-born Mynach Gwi. Mynach Gwi is again by the 27,000gns Greenwell Dreamboy and out of Mynach Gwi. At the Brecon Stars of the Future Show in 2012, Gwi had stood Champion.

Dinmore breeding, and a high quality Dinmore Team, featured strongly in the day and gained top reward with numerous first prizes as well as the Overall Supreme Reserve. The February 2012-born Dinmore Hannah from Paul Dawes took the Junior Female Championship award and subsequently teamed up with Foxhillfarm Gracie to be crowned Interbreed Females of the Future. February 2012-born she is by Wilodge Vantastic and is out of the Broadmeadows Cannon-sired Wilodge Priceless. Taking the Junior Female Reserve was Dinmore Hottie from Richard Bartle & Mary Cormack, Upper Dinmore Cottages, Upper Dinmore, Hereford. This June 2012 heifer is by the French AI sire Objat and is out of the Wilodge Vantastic-sired Dinmore Caprice.

On the Tuesday morning, the March 2012-born Killerton Hillbilly from Patrick Greed, Columbjohn Farm Ltd, Columbjohn Farm, Rewe, Exeter, Devon won the all-breeds Elite Junior Bull title under New Zealand judge Mr Murray Cowan, Fairly, South Island. Previously shown only locally, Hillbilly is entirely homebred being by the sire Killerton Eagle, a Grahams Unbeatable son, and out of the dam Killerton Cecille who goes back to a Rivermead female. With a Beef Value of LM+37, he was described by the judge as “very mobile and a very good mover.”

In the commercial cattle section judged on the Tuesday by Robin Roberts, Fodol Farm, Llanedwen, Anglesey, Trevor Lyon, Thurlby, Bourne, Lincs won the Overall Championship with his homebred Limousin-sired heifer, Temptation. January 2012-born, this multi title-winning 588kg kg female had previously won at the Great Yorkshire, as well as Beef Expo, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Royal Norfolk Shows respectively. She is by the French sire Rossignol and is out of a Cloughhead Titanic-sired Limousin-cross dam bred by Messrs Scott, Thirlwall Castle.

Michael & Melanie Alford took the Reserve with the Limousin purebred steer Harlem Shake, sired by Cawfields Dazzler and out of Arkle Diana. This January 2012-born steer was bred by OJ Kendall, Reeth, N Yorks and was purchased at the Leyburn Potential Sale for £1,400. Harlem Shake had previously stood Steer Champion at Beef Expo, the Great Yorkshire and Royal Highland as well as being Overall Champion at the Royal Cornwall Show.

The reserve heifer honours went to G & E Jones with Eye Catcher, a homebred Limousin-cross weighing 516kg by Fieldson Alfy. This one has previously been first at the English Winter Fair and Royal Welsh Winter Fair and was champion commercial at Caernafan Show. Reserve steer tickets went the way of Glyn Howatson with Rum n Black, a 504kg Limousin-sired steer by Haltcliffe Dynamo.

Baby Beef Champion was TC Edwards & Sons’ 420kg Limousin-cross heifer Miss Top bred by Messrs Bowen & Bowen. The Reserve award went to JM & SM Rowlands with another Limousin-sired heifer, the 398kg Big Top, again bred by Bowen & Bowen. In the baby steer class, the winner was Jim Rowlands again, this time with Flashman, a 338kg Limousin, again bred by the Bowen & Bowen partnership, while second place in the only class of steer calves was Tickety Boo from Messrs Pritchard, weighing in at 339kg.

Then on the Wednesday, Simbo Gili and Foxhillfarm Gracie teamed up to take the Reserve award in the Fitzhugh Beef Pairs under Judge Mr Stuart Fotheringham, Ballinloan, Dunkeld, Perth.

Finally on the Thursday morning, the same judge presided over the Junior Bull Interbreed Championship where Millington Hawk took the Supreme Championship when described by Mr Fotheringham as “a superb young bull, very stylish and with great potential.” Following on from this was the Interbreed Females of the Future competition under Judge John Astley in which Foxhillfarm Gracie and Dinmore Hannah represented the Limousin breed to secure another title and round off a very successful four days.


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