The 25th Royal Welsh Winter Fair goes with a bang!
3 December 2014
Silver jubilee celebrations, award winning stock, extended opening hours, a record breaking crowd of over 33,000 and a Royal visit all contributed to the remarkable success of the 25th Royal Welsh Winter Fair.
First staged in 1990 and originally just a modest one-day event, the Royal Welsh Winter Fair is now widely referred to as the finest prime stock show in Europe and has become well established as one of the most popular attractions on the British agricultural show calendar.
Leading stockmen from all over the UK competed for the top accolades in the classes and competitions entering over 1,340 cattle, sheep, pigs and horses, 175 carcasses into the classes running across the two days.
Arguably, one of the most prestigious titles to be won at the annual event, the supreme cattle champion, was awarded to Sarkley Ilomena, a pedigree Limousin heifer weighing 622kg, bred and exhibited by E. H. Pennie & Son from Llandyssil, Montgomery. For the second year running, the decision was made by two judges, Mr D Plested, who judged the steers and Mr J Mulholland, the judge from the heifer classes. The beast was later sold for £5,100 to Mr Mulholland, the judge from Carlisle.
Along with the usual packed schedule of competitions, classes, exhibitions the two-day fair played host to many silver jubilee themed celebrations including a celebratory carol service on the Sunday night which was enjoyed by many and set the scene well for a truly festive couple if days. The hugely successful late night shopping evening saw thousands of visitors browsing and indulging in some Christmas shopping and enjoying the cheerful atmosphere until 7pm. There was then a spectacular firework display – the grand finale to an excellent first day.
On the Tuesday, the society was honoured to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to the showground for the fifth time, although this was the first time she had been to the prestigious Royal Welsh Winter Fair.
“It was a pleasure to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to the Winter Fair. The two and a half hours soon flew by as we took in the very best that this wonderful event has to offer.” said Mr Will Hanks, Winter Fair Honorary Director.
“The Princess Royal showed genuine interest in many of the exhibits and sections in the fair quizzing the producers and impressing us all with her in depth knowledge of the agricultural and rural industries”
“We very much hope she enjoyed her visit to the showground as much as we did.”
Once again, the ever popular food hall and farmers market allowed the very best of Welsh food producers to showcase their products and the crowds flocked to discover the culinary delights available, watch live cookery demonstrations and make the most of the tempting taster on offer.
The fair not only attracts farmers and stockmen, it has also become a favourite place for the discerning Christmas shopper. With over 400 tradestands to choose from the variety of gifts on offer was enough to keep everyone happy on Christmas day.
“The success of the 25th Royal Welsh Winter Fair has been unprecedented” said Aled Jones, Assistant Chief Executive. “It was the wish of a small group of forward thinking gentlemen, back in 1989 that has made the Winter Fair possible. Without their foresight, determination and hardwork we would not be where we are today; one of the greatest prime stock shows in Europe.”
“It is with much pride that the current Winter Fair Committee take on the challenge of continuing to stage and grown the event into the future.”
A summary of results:
Cattle Supreme Champion
Sarkley Ilomena, a pedigree Limousin heifer, bred and exhibited by E. H. Pennie & Son from Llandyssil, Montgomery. Sold for £5,100 to Mr J Mulholland from Carlisle
Baby Beef Supreme Champion
Sky Walker, a continental steer, bred and exhibited by Bowen & Bowen from Welshpool, Powys. Sold for £6,000 to R A Elias from Gwynedd.
Sheep Supreme Champion Pair
A pair of Beltex lambs, bred and exhibited by Mr M Owens from Llandysul, Ceredigion. Sold for £2,000 per head to Chas Webb & Sons from Northwich, Cheshire.
Pig Supreme Champion Single
Bred and exhibited by Mr H D & Mrs E M Roberts from Pwllheli, Gwynedd. Sold as one of the Supreme Champion Pairs.
Pig Supreme Champion Pair
Bred and exhibited by Mr H D & Mrs E M Roberts from Pwllheli, Gwynedd. Sold for £400 per head to T Hughes from Llanfairpwll
Carcass Supreme Champion Single
A Beltex x, bred and exhibited by Mr Robert Lewis from Rhayader, Powys. Sold for £1,000 to La Marina & El Puerto Restaurants, Cardiff.
Carcass Supreme Champion Pair
A pair of Beltex x Texel lambs, exhibited by B Blandford & Sons from Ledbury, Herefordshire. Sold for £310 each to La Marina & El Puerto Restaurants, Cardiff.
Horse Supreme Champion
Caereini Bang-a-Boomerang, a sportshorse bred and exhibited by Mr Huw D Gruffydd from Bala, Gwynedd.
A full list of results and winners will be available on the website shortly.