Last call for Spring Festival livestock entries

25 March 2015

Champion Pig at the 2014 Spring Festival, FAIRYBANK MELODY 2, owned by Mrs Sharron Nicholas

Once again the Royal Welsh Spring Festival, being held on 16-17 May, is gearing up to be the number one event for smallholding, gardening and sustainable living and the deadline for livestock entries is looming…

Schedules for the festival with details of over 350 livestock classes have already been sent out to thousands of potential exhibitors and can also be found online and the entries are coming in thick and fast. The support for the festival from the farming and smallholding community has been excellent; with an ever increasing number of livestock entries, over 1,300 last year, the range of farm animals, many of which are traditional or rare breeds, on display over the weekend is exceptional.

This year a third sheep judging ring has been introduced to accommodate the increasing number of classes, including a stand alone Herdwick section. We have also introduced a new ‘Have a Go’ class in the sheep section where visitors on the day can come along, get some advice from an experienced stockman and take a turn at showing a sheep - you might even win a rosette.

Again, the festival will also hold a qualifying round for the Rare Breeds Survival Trust Young Shepherd of the Year contest.

There are also new classes in the pig section for Large Whites and pig interbreed classes. A new Boer goat section has been introduced bringing this new popular meat goat into the showing world. “We very much hope exhibitors of Boer goats who have attended new shows recently across the border will also support this first ever Welsh Boer goat show  at the wonderful showground in Llanelwedd in the heart of mid-Wales.” says Rob Grinnall, Chief Steward of the section and member of the British Boer Goat Society.

A display of Bagot goats on the Coleg Cambria stand now makes the festival one of the only places in the UK where you can see the whole goat family together.

We will be repeating the successful back-to-back dairy goat shows, which were introduced to the festival last year and have extended the classes to include a prize for the highest combined yield over the two days. Good entries are also expected for the ever popular and growing Pygmy goat section.

Keepers of traditional rare and native cattle breeds are also encouraged to take a look at the schedule where good prize money is up for grabs including £125 for the supreme champion and £100 for the reserve. We are also looking forward to receiving more entries from the cattle breed societies of rare and native breeds to exhibit with over £325 prize money given between the top three stands along with a Welsh Royal Crystal award for the winner. This competition is kindly sponsored by ForFarmers and gives the breeds exhibiting a chance to promote and educate visitors on the various rare and native breeds suitable for a smallholding.

“Preparations for this year’s Royal Welsh Spring Festival are in full swing and we are looking forward to hosting another successful event.” says Kay Spencer, Honorary Festival Director.

“New exhibitors are always welcome and with the mix of classes there is something for everyone to participate in and enjoy.”

Along with the many different competitions and livestock exhibitors, visitors will also be able benefit from a huge range of other attractions and an action-packed programme of events all weekend. There will be an open premier dog show, floral and horticultural displays, gardeners question time, vintage machinery displays, scurry driving, a dedicated Smallholder Centre, a Food and Drink Quarter, County Life area, Sustainable Living exhibition, show jumping and working hunter classes and much more.

The closing date for livestock entries is 3 April (10 April for dairy goats only). The closing date will be strictly adhered to. For copies of the schedule, entry forms, or tickets please visit www.rwas.co.uk or call Rhian Davies on 01982 554408.