I’m so happy – my first Interbreed Championship in 17 years

What a fantastic weekend! At the Royal Berkshire County Show my sow, Kilcot Mermaid, has just won everything she was entered for!
It started with the Berkshire Breed Championship under judge Julian Newth.
Then on the Sunday, under judge Julian Collings from Cornwall, she won the Berkshire Champion of Champions’ competition, the annual championship for Berkshire Breed Champions from all over GB this year.
This was followed by the Veteran Pig Championship’ (she’s six-years-old and on her tenth pregnancy) and then the Inter-breed Championship – supreme pig, or best-in-show.
I was so happy but in a state of surprised disbelief – this is my very first Inter-breed championship in 17 years of showing pigs.
The privilege for winning so much meant a mandatory trip in the display trailer to the main ring for the grand parade. I wasn’t too keen initially, as it meant an hour’s delay to leaving the show, which in turn meant arriving home after dark.
But the sow had to be allowed to take part. She was great – we let her off the trailer to walk around in front of the members’ enclosure whilst waiting our turn to be presented to the important sponsors and committee members.
She stood proud and weighed it all up before strolling over to the rails and letting the people scratch her back and admire her. She had broken up some massive apples on the trailer and I had kept some chunks handy in my pocket to feed to her when the photographer was ready.
‘Perfect’ he said! She certainly poses and is a joy to photograph.
She was a little difficult to reload onto the display trailer, but the huge cheer from the crowd when she finally stepped on board was very memorable!
The sow had been beaten at Mid Devon Show by my September gilt. Judge Rob Swanton from Wiltshire, in his last show as a pig judge, commented that the sow was the better pig by far, just not yet in prime condition.
I agreed – she farrows circa May 6 and October 6 every year to be in prime condition for the Royal Berkshire Show – this is the one that matters to Berkshire pig breeders.

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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.