AFTER a year of planning, the 2018 Royal Welsh Show draws to a close after a fantastic and jam-packed four-days of competitions.
Once again the show has seen crowds of happy show-goers converge in their thousands from across the globe at the showground in Llanelwedd to celebrate the very best of Welsh and British agriculture.
Stealing the show, the livestock certainly took centre stage for the full four-days. The competitions, as always saw a very high standard of entries across all sections and we are privileged to attract exhibitors from far and wide, all hoping to go home with a coveted Royal Welsh rosette. It is often said that the livestock exhibits at the Royal Welsh Show are a display of some of the finest animals in Europe and this year was no exception.
The front-runners in the cattle ring was the Lincoln Red heifer, Donington Jessie V12, exhibited by Edward Middleton of Spilsby, Lincolnshire, who took the Supreme Champion Beef title. Whilst Davlea Bradnick Alicia, an impressive Holstien exhibited by Bryn Davies of Ilminster, Somerset was named Supreme Champion Dairy Cow.
In the sheep ring the Sheep Champion of Champions title was awarded to Miss Anna Pennell of Darlington Durham, with a Clun Forest shearling ewe. The Pig Supreme Champion was won by a British Lop sow named Knighton Queen, owned by Julian Collings of Launceston, Cornwall.
Meanwhile, around the main ring, spectators were treated to an incredible four-days of horse classes, all culminating in the Thursday afternoon competition for the sought-after title of Royal Welsh Supreme Horse Champion, judged by Major General Matthew Sykes, Honorary Regimental Colonel The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. This year’s winner was working hunter pony, owned by Mr David Thomas from Swansea.
Key Livestock Results
Supreme Horse Champion
Judged by Major General Matthew Sykes
Penstrumbly Dur Latif, a working hunter pony owned by Mr David Thomas from Swansea.
Supreme Beef Champion
Judged by Mrs C Williams
Donington Jessie V12, a Lincoln Red heifer, exhibited by Edward Middleton of Spilsby, Lincolnshire
Natwest Team of Five – beef breeds
Judged by Mr R J Irvine
A team of British Limousin cattle owned by A W Jenkinson Farms, R & J Graham, Paul Dawes and Melanie Alford
Supreme Champion Dairy Cow
Judged by Mr Ashley Flemming
Davlea Bradnick Alicia, a Holstein cow, in milk, exhibited by Bryn Davies of Ilminster, Somerset
Marks & Spencer Team of Five
Judged by S W Oultram
A team of Holstein cattle owned by by D W & CE Jones Wiltor Holsteins, Mr Bryn Davies, Mr A H Wilson & Son, Andrew & Jane Whittaker and Mr Iwan Rhys Morgan.
Sheep Champion of Champions
Judged by Mr JH Williams
A Clun Forest shearling ewe, exhibited by Miss Anna Pennell of Darlington Durham
Pig Supreme Champion
Judged by Miss Ann Uglow
Knighton Queen, a British Lop sow, exhibited by Julian Collings of Launceston, Cornwall
Apart from the competitions, amazing shopping and the 12hrs of non-stop action and attractions each day, the show has a serious undercurrent. Whilst the vast majority of visitors are enjoying their day out in the sun, the Royal Welsh Show plays hosts to a large number of visiting dignitaries using the event as a platform to be seen and to do business.
Amongst those attending the show was the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Teresa May MP and First Minister, Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM. Enjoying a tour of the showground, the Prime Minister met the very best Welsh food producers in the food hall before making her way to see the sheep, cattle and the horses in the main ring. Later that morning Mrs May was joined by Rt Hon David Lidington CBE MP where they together attended a roundtable discussion with key agricultural business leaders and union members.
Other members of the cabinet to attend the event this week include Rh Hon Brandon Lewis MP, Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, and Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP. The Welsh Assembly also had a significant presence at the show with Lesley Griffiths AM, Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM, Alun Davies AM, Eluned Morgan AM, Hannah Blythyn AM, Huw Irranca-Davies AM and Kirsty Williams AM all attending during the week.
“The Royal Welsh Show is proven to be perfectly placed as the stage for these high profile decision makers to come together from across the nation.” says John Davies, Chair of the Board of Directors “We have delivered this week an international platform for Wales, especially agriculture, which has discussions which affect the future of Welsh agriculture and the rural economy between some very influential individuals and organisations.”
“The fact that the show is attracting not only hundreds of thousands of visitors, but also these high status VIPs on a regular basis, illustrates the importance of the event to the wider agricultural industry.”
“This time last year, we were reflecting on what was considered a block-buster show, however early indications suggest, that this year’s show has gone well beyond our expectations, even overtaking last those of last year.” added Mr Davies
With an increasing number of visitors coming from a non-agricultural background, the show plays a large part in engaging directly with the public and acting as a shop window for Welsh produce. This year we were also delighted to play host to a number of other celebrations, including RAF 100. The society has strong links and a long standing tradition of working closely with the military. The RAF chose the Royal Welsh Show to mark their centenary year with some spectacular displays in the main ring, expert parachute displays and flypasts from different aircrafts each day.
As thank you to the society for our support, Air Vice Marshal, Sue Gray presented Show Director, Harry Fetherstonhaugh and Chief Executive, Steve Hughson with a replica model of a Spitfire as a mark of thanks to the society and the farming community of Wales.
Also celebrating their 30th birthday, the Countryfile team joined us on Monday for a special question and answer session with presenters John Craven, Anita Rani, Sean Fletcher and executive producer, Bill Lyons sharing their highlights of the programme over the last 30 years.
“We are delighted to have had record numbers of public through the gates and thank everyone for their making this year’s show safe and successful.” says Steve Hughson, Chief Executive
“The support we get, year after year from our visitors, exhibitors, traders, sponsors and army of volunteers in humbling. The practicalities of holding one of the most prestigious agricultural shows in Europe, whilst challenging are also a privilege.
“I am proud that once again we have created a wonderful platform where politics, business and entertainment work hand in hand. And of course, a showcase for the very best livestock and produce that Wales has to offer.”
As we come to the end of the 2018 Royal Welsh Show, we look forward to building on our success and welcoming you back on 22 – 25 July in 2019 for our 100th show.