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Winter Fair crowns new Welsh Young Butcher for 2016
Published:  02 December, 2016

The Welsh Young Butcher has been unveiled at this year’s Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

Former performing arts student Sam Hughes, 22 [pictured] from Brian Crane Butchers in Maesycwmmer, Caerphilly, beat out competition from Joseph Gibbs, 21 from Martin Players in Cardiff and Dewi Davies, 19 from Bethesda Farm and Coffee Shop in Bethesda, Narberth.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking and my hands wouldn’t stop shaking for the first hour,” admitted Hughes, who is an apprentice with the Cambrian Training Company. “The second hour was much better and I couldn’t stop smiling when my name was announced as the winner of the Welsh Young Butcher competition.

“I was happily surprised to win and it’s a big confidence boost,” he added. “Even though I have only been a butcher for 18 months, this shows that I am good enough to win competitions and I now have a trophy to show customers. I dropped out of university in Cardiff to get a full-time job and I think I have done myself proud.”

Following on from his success in the morning competition, Hughes added to his trophy cabinet after finishing joint third in the Welsh Pork Butcher contest, which was open to butchers of all ages. The winner of the competition was Craig Holly of Neil Powell Butchers in Abergavenny. Kevin Aldred from Martin Players finished runner up, and Clive Swan from Swans Farm Shop in Mold finished joint third alongside Hughes.

“I just entered the competition for the experience to be honest, and I still don’t believe that I won,” said Holly. “I was pretty nervous and had to correct one or two mistakes, but I’m chuffed to have won. I’m definitely going to do a few more competitions because it was nice to see things that inspired me.”

The Welsh Young Butcher competition – open to butchers under the age of 25 – is organised by Cambrian Training Company who worked in collaboration with the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s meat production competitions chief steward, Keith Brown, to jointly run the Welsh Pork Butcher contest. Both competitions were sponsored by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).