Keeping cool and hydrated were the main challenges on the first two days of the Royal Welsh Show.
A heatwave and thousands of visitors welcomed the 2022 Royal Welsh Show back to the showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells on Monday.
After a three-year break, this year’s show is the first since 2019, and the atmosphere around the showground was buzzing with exhibitors, traders and visitors finally able to return to the pinnacle event of the agricultural calendar.
Addressing visitors at the opening ceremony, Mr Harry Fetherstonhaugh OBE said how proud he was to be Royal Welsh Agricultural Society president during Clwyd’s feature county year.
“It has truly been a joy and a privilege to have made so many new friends through my 45 years of stewarding at the Royal Welsh,” he said.
The show was officially opened by Emyr Jones and Rhys Williams, both of whom are part of a joint young entrants venture at Coed Coch, home of Mr Fetherstonhaugh.
“This wonderful show is close to my heart, and I never once imagined that I would be in this honoured position, so thank you very much to the Royal Welsh Show and in particular to Harry for the privilege of addressing you today at the beginning of what’s going to be a fabulous week,” said Rhys.
Emyr and Rhys first met Mr Fetherstonhaugh six years ago when they were given the opportunity to join him and establish a joint venture at the home farm on the Coed Coch estate.
Rhys spoke about how access to land is the biggest hurdle preventing the next generation of farmers from running their own farming businesses and how joint ventures such as the one at Coed Coch can be part of the solution.
Rhys has worked in agriculture throughout his life, starting in agricultural education before moving on to farm business consultancy work. He actively works on the family farm on the Llyn Peninsula as well as being involved in the joint venture in sustainable farming at Coed Coch.
The show kicked off with its impressive 12-hour programme of entertainment and displays in the main ring, including the spectacular musical drive performance from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, Paul Hannam with his thrilling Quad Bike Stunt Show, the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team, the Regimental Band of the Royal Welsh, Black Mountains Falconry, Tristar Carriage Driving and Meirion Owen and his sheepdogs.
The RWAS has launched a Rural Leadership Programme this year. Aimed at inspiring future leaders in agriculture, the programme is an opportunity to develop leadership skills at such an important time for the sector.
The programme involves an action-packed course of training, mentoring, support and guidance over three intensive residential sessions. Fourteen candidates were announced during Monday’s awards ceremony.
RWAS chief executive Steve Hughson said: “Despite the challenges of the weather, the first day of the Royal Welsh was a huge success, with thousands enjoying the wide range of livestock, displays and trade stands on site.
“We are excited that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal is visiting to see the very best that Wales has to offer. As the weather improves, we look forward to three more days and increasing attendance.”
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