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Young Yorkshire pig breeder takes triple title

English Winter Fair success.

english winter fair best pig

Mr Horsley with his Best Pen of Pigs (with judge Richard Brown of Mid Fylde Piggeries, Lancashire, outside the pen) which later went on to sell for £144/head to John Penny & Sons of Leeds

Simply unstoppable’ is the only way to describe Yorkshire-based pig breeder and showman Mark Horsley’s success at last weekend’s English Winter Fair national livestock showcase, Stafford, where he took three top title in Live and Carcase Hall classes with Pietrain X pigs reared at his farm at Skirpenbeck near York.

Starting off the event Mr Horsley’s 82.3kg entry of a Pietrain-sired Landrace x Duroc gilt entry in the Pig Carcase classes attracted the attention of judge David Price who runs a thriving on-farm retail butchery at Stonedge, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire. “It has tremendous hams, a good thick loin and enough fat cover for the modern trade,” said Mr Prince of his choice of champion.

Add in the fact the meat has good colour and is nice and soft to the touch will help ensure this carcase will eat as good as it looks in my opinion.” So impressed was Mr Prince that he purchased the carcase paying £3.10/kg (£304.51 gross) for the exhibit.

With a need to ensure consistent quality in finished pigs being paramount for meat buyers Mr Horsley then saw another of his entries selected as Reserve Pig Carcase Champion – this time for a 71.5kg boar carcase with similar breeding. “There’s not a lot of waste on that carcase and it will give a good meat to bone yield,” reflected carcase judge Mr Prince.

In the live ring pig classes there was more success in store for the Yorkshireman who has a herd of 250 sows supplying quality meat supplier John Penny & Sons at Rawdon, near Leeds with prime pork throughout the year.

First came success in the Single Pig Class and then later in the Best Pen of Pigs with the exhibitor claiming Champion’s title in both competitions. “Absolutely delighted,” said Mr Horsley who travelled down to Stafford for the show with wife Laura and 19 month old son James.

But there was more to come to line Mr Horsley’s pocket for the 120 mile journey home. In the English Winter Fair’s auction of Prize-winners his Single Pig Champion weighing in at 94kg sold for £255 (£2.71/kg live weight) to D R Findley of Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

The Best Pen of Pigs later sold for £144/head (£1.57p/kg live weight) to John Penny & Sons.

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