Pedigree Breeder of the Year
Christopher Impey owns Fairoaks Pedigree Pigs in Tonyrefail, Mid Glamorgan, where he keeps a small herd of pedigree Berkshire pigs. He usually keeps around six sows and four boars.
On winning the award, Christopher said: “I am delighted to win this award – it’s a fantastic achievement. I’ve been keeping pigs for nearly 30 years and to come to an awards ceremony, amongst industry peers, is brilliant.”
All his litters are pure bred and birth notified and, depending on bloodlines, the average litter is between eight and 10. With two farrowing intervals per year, Christopher registers two or three per litter and around 15-20 pedigree pigs per year. He exports pedigree pigs all across the world, including Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Italy and Sweden, and has sent pigs to Mexico, Japan, the US and even Barbados.
Christopher said: “The pigs I keep are very low in numbers and it’s really important that we maintain the integrity of the breed and preserve the breed, going forward, for future generations.”
“I have experience and I know and understand my bloodlines. I am vigilant and I cull hard. I breed my own replacements usually but when I need fresh blood, I will go to a source I know and can rate to ensure I get what I want. I am a respected breeder and have consistently won prizes in the showring with my pigs.
“I am well respected, and my name is synonymous with the Berkshire breed.”
Christopher is a breed rep for the Berkshire breed for the BPA and sit on the BPA’s show and conservation committees. He chairs the BPA conservation committee and is vice chairman of the Berkshire Pig Breeders Club.
A prison officer by day, he used to manage a commercial herd of 120 sows alongside a 20-sow pedigree herd for the Prison Service.
“I keep my pigs as my hobby now but nevertheless this doesn’t diminish the importance of what I am doing,” he said. “I have bred boars for the AI centre in Northern Ireland. I advocate breeding true to type and keeping a traditional type of pig to preserve and promote the breed.”
The herd won the Berkshire Champion of Champions competition at last year’s Newbury Show.
Christopher added: “This award will give me credibility as a breeder and publicity for the breed – the Berkshire is a much sought-after breed.”
What the Judges said:
“Christopher is a long established breeder with wide experience of breeding”