Right royal day out for Eden farming family …
THE Westmorland county show provided a right royal day out for an Eden Valley farming family who won with a king and met a prince at Thursday’s event.
The Bellas family, of Croft Ends Farm, Appleby, won the championship sash in the beef Shorthorn cattle section with a splendid home-bred bull called Croftends King, which was shown in the ring by 17-year-old Josh Bellas.
Josh said the 16-month-old bull was sired by another home-bred animal, Croftends Gypsy King, and had taken native breed championships earlier in the year at the Dufton, Dalston and Wolsingham shows.
The young bull is due to be sold at Stirling in February.
The family also took the Beef Shorthorn reserve breed championship with an in calf heifer called Croftends Jido, and won the mare with foal class in the Clydesdale horse section.
To round things off, they received a visit in the cattle tent from Prince Charles, who spent a good part of the day looking around the show and talking to farmers.
Jonathan Bellas, Josh’s dad, said: “The Prince talked for 15-20 minutes with five members of the Bellas family — Andrew, his son Jonathan, Jonathan’s wife Sarah and their children Josh and Emma.
Jonathan said they discussed the family’s Beef Shorthorn cattle, which are all home-bred, the Prince’s own Beef Shorthorns, which are kept at Dumfries House, near Ayr, and the general progress of the breed, which is growing in popularity. They also talked about the family’s class-winning Clydesdale mare Carlogie Hayley and her filly foal Croftends Poppy, with the Prince saying it was a pity he did not have time to see them.
Jonathan added: “It was just a general good chat, and I’ve never met a fella with such a firm handshake — you wouldn’t think it to look at him.”