Show-goers returned to the English Winter Fair at Bingley Hall at the Staffordshire County Showground in their droves this week, where Limousins and Beltex secured most of the top awards.

The two-day event which was cancelled last year due to Covid 19, attracted big crowds eager to view the usual top-class exhibition of livestock, butchery and food products in what is one of the most diverse events of its type.

A cracking line-up of cattle saw Glangwden Rita, a pedigree Limousin from Dai Thomas of Llanwnnen, Lampeter, tapped out supreme by judges Phil Sellers and Keith Harryman. The winner, a 19-month-old heifer bred by CL and FE Jerman was narrowly pipped by Smartie – a Limousin cross from the Edwards Brothers, Denbighshire – to the crown claiming the reserve honours

It was the culmination of two days of intense, quality judging in the main ring where, earlier in the day, B and L Wilkinson, Leyburn, North Yorkshire won the baby beef title with their Limousin cross heifer, Maggie.

The National Pedigree Calf show, was won by the Hereford heifer Sky High 1 Miss Allure from N Griffiths, with the Limousin bull, Foxhillfarm Sportman from Mike and Melanie Alford, scooping the blue and white sash.

There were several first-time winners at the show, including Raymond Johnson who won the pedigree British Blue title with Tip Top Rainbow, while also claiming victory in the pork carcase competition. Raymond and his wife Terrie run Manor Care Farm near Derby, where they have 25 suckler cows.

Nicola Beardsley and her 15-year-old son Harvey, from Brook Farm in Mugginton, Derbyshire, were also successful for their first venture, landing the award beef champion in the chiller with a Hereford carcase.

Read more: Winter Fairs return to the show circuit

And a trio of Beef Shorthorns from G Woollatt, B Birch and M Hendy and N Griffiths, won the coveted Smithfield Duke of Norfolk Trophy.

Richard Saunders, Secretary at the Royal Smithfield Club, said: “We’re showing the very best of British beef and lamb and we had entries from farmers, different producers and local butchers – a really nice mix of continental and native cattle and sheep.

In the live sheep classes, Miss RL Armstrong’s pair of Beltex took the supreme championship back to Hereford, while Robert and Andrew West from Collyweston in Northamptonshire won the reserve.

Miss RL Armstrong’s Beltex was supreme amongst the sheep

Miss RL Armstrong’s Beltex was supreme amongst the sheep

Father and son team, John and Oliver Lightfoot, from Hartpury in Gloucestershire won the pair and single titles in the live pigs section.

Oliver said: “I come to the Winter Fair because I know a lot of people here and have friends who compete. I like competition and I think I can produce something good so coming to the bigger, national shows gives me the chance to show what I can do against some really strong producers.”

Richard Williams, CEO of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, which organises the English Winter Fair, said: “We were so pleased to be able to put the Fair back on this year, and the footfall we received shows that visitors were keen to get back to the showground too.

“The quality of competition was first rate, and the society is very proud to be able to put on such a diverse range of competitions which attracts everyone from young handlers to experienced professionals.

“For more than 18 months the agricultural community has been limited in the number of social events and large competitions being held so it was great to have the Winter Fair back."