Supreme Cattle Champion
Quality is the hallmark in challenging times, according to Cumbria butcher, Jimmy Mulholland. And as Supreme Cattle Champion judge at last year’s Royal Welsh Winter Fair, he backed his own judgement when he bought Sarkley Ilomena, a pedigree 622kg Limousin heifer, for £5,100.
Jimmy was delighted to take the Supreme Cattle Champion carcass back to his shop, Mulholland Butchers, in Cumbria, as a festive treat for his loyal customers. The pedigree Limousin heifer, bred and exhibited by E H Pennie & Son from Llandyssil, Montgomery had delighted him from the start and he says that as soon as it walked in the ring, you could see that it was ‘one on its own on the day’.
He says: “It was a lot of money, but I had the honour of buying it. You don’t get asked to judge at these shows very often and it was a case of buying my champion and she was an outstanding heifer.
“Business wise it shows our customers that we buy quality and we do it at other places I judge as well. It just shows that you’re buying the best for your customers. It epitomises our business ethos.
“At Christmas time these shows come along and we try and buy the best at the local shows as well. We sell to restaurants and to the public. They all value it, but we find that the customers buying over the counter are prepared to buy quality for quality’s sake and are willing to pay for it.
“It all helps the atmosphere in the build up to Christmas. The customers like to hear about the Champions and the shows and that you’ve bought the best for them.
“I’ve worked in the shop for 35 years, along with my five staff. It’s been going for 50 years, started by my grandmother and my father. We concentrate on quality and that’s how we survive, I think, in changing times.
“You buy quality and your customers appreciate it.”
And his verdict on the Royal Welsh Winter Fair? Quite simply: “It’s fantastic and one of the best shows in the UK, in terms of the quality of stock, the passion of the Welsh farmer and as a great flagship for UK farming.”