A fantastic, fun-filled couple of days was enjoyed by thousands of visitors to the Royal Welsh Smallholding and Countryside Festival in Llanelwedd at the weekend.
The two-day event was a celebration of rural life, showcasing the diversity of the Welsh countryside, and proved to be a great day out for young families, smallholders and anyone with a love for the great outdoors.
With opportunities to benefit from a wide variety of information at the Smallholder’s Centre, smallholding farmers were able to learn about all sorts of interesting activities, including talks on getting started with their farming journey, beekeeping and goat milk demonstrations.
Farming Connect Horticulture took over the Members Centre for the Growers Market, giving growers the opportunity to showcase and sell their products.
The Smallholding and Countryside Festival is always filled with exciting entertainment and this year was no exception. From woodchopping and forestry competitions to the Medieval Re-enactment Camp, there was a wealth of different rural crafts on display.
The Country Life Area was bustling with have-a-go activities, such as the children’s cycling course, circus skills from Panic Family Circus, the Glamorgan Novelty Dog Show and the Premier Open Dog Show which saw hundreds of dogs competing to qualify for Crufts 2024.
Attracting competitors and smallholders from near and far, the livestock and equine competitions had an excellent line-up of animals in all sections. Even Radio Cymru star Ifan Jones Evans was on our sheep judging panel.
Several new equine classes were added, the main being the Rising Star qualifiers for the 2023 London International Horse Show. The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS) also launched brand new Home-Produced classes with the help of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society (WPCS).
Geraint James, honorary festival director, said: “We had a fantastic few days at the Smallholding and Countryside Festival and everyone was excited to be back in Llanelwedd to kick-start the show season.
“We were blessed with excellent weather throughout the weekend, which contributed to the positive, feel-good atmosphere around the showground.”
After last year’s success, the Wool Zone returned, showcasing the versatility and fabulous creations made from wool with various displays and trade stands. The wool handling and blade shearing competitions attracted many spectators.
The festival display ring was jam-packed with entertainment, as crowds gathered to watch the show jumping competitions, the Steve Colley Motorbike Stunt Show, the MAD Aerial Bikes, the Little Nippers Display and a spectacular Welsh Festival of Land Rovers vintage display
As well as the Food Hall, which hosted producers showcasing the very best produce from Wales, the popular Street Food Area was bustling throughout the weekend.
RWAS chief executive, Aled Rhys Jones said: “A huge number of people and families from across Wales and beyond came to enjoy the animals, the food and the entertainment. It was a cracking weekend, but now it’s time to look forward and the countdown begins…just nine weeks until The Royal Welsh Show!”
The top results for the weekend are listed below, a full list of competition results will be available on the website shortly: www.rwas.wales
The top results from the weekend:
Sheep: Supreme champion – North County Cheviot Sheep – Messrs Meakins and Sloyan, reserve supreme champion – Pure Continental Breed – Ben Baker. Group of three supreme champion – Southdown Sheep – Gruff and Lynda Richards, reserve supreme champion – Kerry Hill – Old School Kerry Hills. Best sheep breed trade stand, Rhian Rochford, Black Welsh Mountain Sheep.
Pigs: Supreme champion – Gloucester Old Spot - Sharon Barnfield and reserve supreme champion – Durock – A. J. Walton.
Angora goat: Supreme champion, T Rogers. Dairy goat, champion, Nick Parr. Pygmy goat champion, Tracy Carter. Pygmy goat pet champion, P. M. Keates. Boer goat champion, Jo Jennings.
Cattle: Supreme champion – Beef Shorthorn – Mary Cormack, reserve supreme champion – Longhorn - Bernard and Margaret Llewellyn. Best exhibitor cattle line,
Leslie Cook – Traditional Hereford.
Veteran Horse Society Area Qualifier 2023. In-hand championship, Holly Harford. Ridden championship, Wendy Harries. CHAPS Welsh Regional Show: In-hand Championship, Michelle Picford. Ridden championship, Sophia Chambers. Armature/ Home-produced ridden/in-hand supreme championship, Michelle Picford.
Ridden and Novice Section – Ponies championship, Emma Edwards with Stoak Teleri, reserve, Chloe Parker with Whalley Red Kite. Heavy horses/shires foreign, world and rare breeds championship, Siedi Shires with Milnerfield Jack, reserve, Alexandra Mason with Jacktons Fanta. Traditional Gypsy Cobs Championship: Quest for a Star (Traditional), champion, Allana Green. Championship – Go for Glory (Part Bred) champion, Allana Green. British Miniature Horse Society Championship,
Champion Joanna Davies with Ribbons Grafftit Smoking Legacy, reserve, Charlotte Leonard with Scotts Easter Boy. Welsh A,B,C,D and Welsh Part Breds: Section A Championship, champion, Peter Jones. Section B Championship, champion, Susan Harries. Section C Championship, champion, R. J Davies. Welsh Part Breds Championship, champion, Eirian Wyn Williams. Welsh Specials: Overall Welsh in-hand Championship, champion, Peter Jones. Shetlands Championship, champion, Anna Stevens with Toby of Catchpool, reserve, Dawn Hawker with Hawkerbays Empress. Working Hunters: Junior Championship, champion, Laura Rutter with Crossfoot Pippin, reserve, Hayley Smith with Apache Blue Eye. Senior Championship, champion, Grace Hampton with Rock Heart, reserve, Jessica Noonan with Fronarth Gustav. Irish Draughts In-hand Championship, champion, Allana Green with Greenview Sheer Imagination, reserve, Happy Hounds & horses with Nos Da Cariad. Ridden Championship, champion, Lynsday John with Ainninn Gealach, reserve, Ceri Simpson with Happenchance Grey Diamond. Mountain and Moorland Championship (excluding Welsh Breeds and Shetlands), champion, Lucinda Dargavel with Strathmore Majestic, reserve, Dafydd Thomas with Simones Firecracker. Open Intermediate Championship, champion, Megan Williams. Retrained Racehorse Championship, champion, Jayne Brace with Royal Craftsman, reserve, Alice Rees with Sawago. Arabs: Ridden Championship, champion and reserve, Lauren Cooper with BA Aniswa. In-hand championship, champion and reserve, Rhodri Jones with Eliana and Song of Nyla respectively. Side saddle Championship, champion, Charlotte Rees with Tooreeny Lad, reserve, Rachael Forkings with Otto Watto.
Donkey Breed Society: Donkey Championship, champion and reserve, Hazel James with Freystrop Lily May and Freystrop Crystablelle respectively. Best Local Donkey, champion, Sarah Hodges with Jack.
Equine Supreme Championship, champion, Robert Scrine with Cumano Cassini, reserve, Allana Green with Greenview Sheer Imagination
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