Brave RWAS pair battle to complete a day of challenges to raise money for Radnor 2014 Feature County

13 May 2014

On Saturday 3 May the top two at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society rolled up their sleeves and got stuck-in to a gruelling day of tough activities as part of their Chief Exec’s Challenge.

Steve Hughson and Aled Jones had decided it was time to show the feature counties how appreciative they are of all their hard work fundraising for the society and were going to join in with their efforts. The pair threw down the gauntlet and asked the feature counties, (this year Radnor), to set them a challenge which they would battle to complete whilst being sponsored to help boost the county’s fundraising efforts each year.

Steve and Aled began their long day at 8am in Rhayader where they were met by a welcoming committee made up of Radnor Advisory Committee members, the RWAS president, the High Sheriff of Powys and the Mayor of Rhayader and many more.

To add to the pressure of the event, Steve and Aled were followed by a television crew filming for the popular S4C programme Ffermio (to be aired on Monday 12 May at 8.25pm) and the BBC’s Royal Welsh Show programme (to be aired during the Royal Welsh Show, 21-24 July).

Using bikes sponsored by Clive Powell Cylce Shop, the first challenge of the day was to cycle a circuit of the local Cwmythig Hill motocross circuit on a mountain bike. Despite broken gears and slipping chains, the fearless duo managed to negotiate the majority of the track, including the table-top ski jump and the ‘wall-of-death’ hair-pin turn designed to test even the most experienced trail bike riders.

Following the circuit on push-bikes, officials from the Area 5 Radnor Advisory Committee – Brian Rees, Paul Thomas, John Duggan and Gareth Price, took on their own personal challenge by completing the course on motor and quad bikes to add to the sponsorship funds.

Next up was the clay pigeon shooting test at Griffin Lloyd Shooting Ground, Llangunllo. Here they were both challenged to a match against the Radnor Advisory Committee Area 1 chair and secretary, Owen Lewis and Sion Deakins.

Then it was time to head back to Dolau to start the walking/running challenge. For this activity Steve and Aled were joined by a loyal band of supporters who accompanied them from Dolau to the highest point in Radnorshire over Radnor Forest and down to Water-Break-it’s-Neck waterfall in New Radnor.

Seven hours in, it was now time for the shearing challenge in Hundred House. With commentary from Tom Evans, they swapped their Radnor Feature County polo shirts for Welsh shearing vests and battled to compete against some of Wales’ top shearers, including Paul Davies, Mark Dyke and Ian Jones in front of a cheering crowd.

Back in the minibus, driven all day by Simon Price Cars, it was a short journey to the centre of Hundred House where two impressive looking horses and a dozen other horses and riders were waiting for their jockeys to begin the trek over Rogo to Llandrindod Wells. Even though neither Steve nor Aled are experienced horsemen, they both rose to the challenge and ably completed the two-hour ride.

Next came the golfing task at Llandrindod Wells Golf Course. After finishing a short course on the putting green they were taken to the 18th ‘death or glory’ hole where their golfing skills were tested to the full by being challenged to hit their balls as far as they could toward the green, down a steep hill and across a road.

Thinking that they were all done, the Radnor Advisory Committee then broke the news to the now tired twosome that there was in fact a final secret challenge – to take a two-man canoe around the picturesque Llandrindod Wells lake. It was fitting that the final activity required the assiduous pair to work as a team to complete the long and hard day of challenges.

Almost 12-hours after they began, a well deserved drink and barbeque awaited them both at Llandrindod Wells rugby club, where they celebrated their achievement of raising over £2,830 (and counting) for the Radnor Feature County funds, with advisory committee members, supporters, family and friends.

On completing the challenge, Steve Hughson said: “My objective of the Chief Exec’s Challenge was to show our support and appreciation for the excellent work done by our feature counties every year. Not only did we manage to raise over £2,650, but the 12-hour challenge brought together people from all over Radnorshire to each of the very different challenges.”

“Aled and I were very stiff on Sunday but we are already wondering what Gwent will challenge us with in 2015.” Added Steve.

A special mention must be made of the hard work done by those of the Radnor Advisory Committee who organised the day, the gracious hosts for all the challenges and the generosity of all the sponsors, including; Principality Building Society, JCP Solicitors, NFU Cymru, the ‘Merlin Sportive’ Cycle Ride ITV Cymru, Petersens PR, TLP Construction, NFU Mutual, Showtime Security, Rees Richards, Geerings Print, Brightwells, McCartneys, Caerfagu Products and Edward Perkins Chartered Surveyors.

Radnor are raising money to build an extension and improve the facilities at Neuadd Henllan, the stockman’s accommodation. Details of other Radnor 2014 fundraising events can be found by visiting www.rwas.co.uk

Don’t worry, it’s not too late to show your support and sponsor Steve and Aled, please text RWAS51 £3 to 70070 to donate £3 or visit www.justgiving.com/RWAS-CX-challenge