THE KING OF THE RING
On the 23rd February 2016, three days from his 10th birthday Banwy T-Rex passed away peacefully at home in his straw bed. Our gentle giant has gone to that show ring in the sky.
We purchased T-Rex in the old Perth bull sales in November 2007 from a new breeder, bring his first bull to Perth. We had been looking for new bloodlines for a while and decided on the day we would split up and see what we came back with, both of us opened our catalogues after the judging on the same page, lot 626. He stood 2nd in his class that day to the senior champion. We remained tight lipped on our choice until the sale the next day but did consult with a few close friends. After a flurry of bidding we secured our new bull at £8,500 (€12,500). Our next job was to break the news to his breeders that he couldn’t come home for a few months due to Bluetongue restrictions. The Jones family took tremendous care of T-Rex over the next two months and on the 11th of January 2008 after a long overnight boat trip we arrived home. Tom Behan had the back of the trailer opened before we stopped anxious to see this famous bull, T-Rex gave a stretch looked around and walked in to the shed like he had lived here all of his life.
In the Jurassic times, the Tyrannasarus Rex was the largest land carnivore of all time. Many people would say that our T-Rex was the largest bull they had ever seen, standing at 1860kg in this show clothes. Hard to believe such a heavy bull could glide around the show ring so easily and boy did he love it! Garrett would often describe having to walk a sleepy chilled out T-Rex from our grooming area down to the show ring and the minute T-Rex would see the entrance he knew it was show time! Head up, ears pricked forward and rearing to go. The show stick wasn’t required, he knew what to do!
T-Rex had an extraordinary personality and craved attention always wanting to be part of the action. His favourite shed on the farm had a birdseye view of all of the goings on, even if he wasn’t supposed to be going in there he would make a beeline for it. He was a talented escape artist and could often be found going for a stroll up the back lane looking for a cow or two. He adored going to shows and having people come up to see him, especially children. Both of our boys were brought to meet T-Rex as babies and we would always go for a chat to him if we were out and about making sure to bring a brush with us to give him a scratch. He struck up a friendship with a young 11 year old Tara O’Brien in Balmoral Show in 2009 with the pair featured on the BBC news as she prepared him for his class. A sucker for the ladies as well he was rewarded after announcing his retirement in the parade of champions at the National Livestock Show in 2011 by Freda Kinnarney giving him a kiss to a roaring crowd and she will still refer to him as “How’s my friend”
As well as buying a fabulous bull we also made a fabulous friend. Since we collected T-Rex in Welshpool that cold January morning in 2008 Dafyyd Jones has become part of the family. He travelled to help us for Tullamore Show five times since his then as well as assisting us for our Reduction sale in 2009 and has travelled to the farm with friends on three other occasions. We would often say he could give the farm tour himself at this stage, as he would correct us on some of the pedigrees! Himself and Garrett have struck a wonderful “bromance” from socialising in Stirling to sharing caravans anywhere from the Royal Welsh to the Danish National Show. We know that Clonagh won’t be the same without our Welsh man but this Welsh man is always welcome in our home.
It cannot go unmentioned the impact that this bull made to our herd. Without sounding corny, he put our herd on the world map with visits from people all over the globe and the first the question always was, “Where’s T-Rex”. He transmitted his numerous qualities throughout the herd, from growth to milk, short gestation length, easy calving, ring presence and his docility and kindness present in all his progeny. On our last count his progeny have accumulated 25 National champions and countless reserves and show and sale champions. His own show record is still to be beaten after winning the National Livestock Show for a record three years in a row.
T-Rex may no longer be with us, but we believe his progeny with continue his winning ways for many years to come and until his show record is beaten he will remain on his throne as the true champion and king of the ring. His picture remains and will remain on top of our mantelpiece as a much loved member of the family, one in a million, never to be forgotten.