Royal Welsh Spring Festival draws the crowds

24 May 2016

Thousands embrace the typical Welsh spring weather and enjoy another fun-filled Royal Welsh Spring Festival in Llanelwedd.

A celebration of smallholding and rural life, the Spring Festival is fast becoming one of the most popular events in the spring show season.

With 2016 being Visit Wales’ Year of Adventure, the Spring Festival rose to the challenge and filled the event with fun, educational have-a-go activities that kept happy visitors entertained throughout the two days. You could have had a go at mountain biking, handling an exotic animal, learning a circus trick, taking part in stock judging, pulling in a tug-of-war team against a shire horse, stepping inside a bee experience tent, building a den, milking a cow or just enjoyed all the hands-on activities during the festival.

With an emphasis on smallholding, the Spring Festival offered knowledge thirsty festival goers the opportunity to benefit from the many free workshops, talks, question and answer sessions, demonstrations and displays taking place all weekend. Whether you wanted to know more about beekeeping, blade shearing, treating and vaccinating pigs, keeping chickens, viable self-sufficiency, and much more… there was something of interest to everyone.

As always, the attractions proved extremely popular with visitors flocking to see the displays in the festival main ring. The majestic Pembrokeshire Falconry, the graceful Gentle Giants and the skilful BASC Gun Dog demonstration team, not forgetting the speedy Scurry Driving races which kept the heart of the festival filled with excitement.

With record entry numbers of livestock, the number of rare and native breeds on display at the festival was at an all-time high. Together with the breed displays and the introduction of new classes, visitors were able to see a wide range of animals, including Alpacas, poultry, rabbits, a huge number of sheep breeds, including the increasingly popular Alpine Valais Blacknose sheep, donkeys, miniature and veteran horses.

Kay Spencer, Spring Festival Director, was delighted with how the event went. “We are thrilled with how much everyone enjoyed the first Royal Welsh event of 2016. Despite a rainy start, the visitors came out in force and embraced the ethos of the event… a celebration of smallholding and rural life.

“The introduction of free entry for children and the huge number of free educational and fun have-a-go activities throughout the festival just goes to prove our commitment to ensuring the Spring Festival remains a family focused event with a wonderful friendly atmosphere.

“We are really pleased with how popular the food and drink quarter and in particular with the new Drinks Hall Wales and live music was with our visitors. The area was busy throughout the weekend with the artisan Welsh producers reporting a brisk trade from happy customers.”

The Spring Festival is the perfect way to kick-start the show season for the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, with the next major event being the up-coming Royal Welsh Show just eight weeks away, held at the showground in Llanelwedd on 18 - 21 July.

The top results for the weekend are listed below, a full list of competition results will be available on the website shortly:

The top results from the weekend:

Champion: Earle Family, Carmarthen    
Reserve: Mr Llyr James, Tregaron

Sheep - Group of Three   
Champion: Mr Llyr James, Tregaron    
Reserve: Watkins And Harding, Carno

Champion: Mr Stephen Lockett (Large White), Northwich  
Reserve: Mr Brian Merry (Any Other Traditional), Northwich

Angora Goat
Champion: T Rogers, Rhayader    
Reserve: D & V Lockton, Clynderwen

Dairy Goat Day 1
Champion: Chris Nye, Cambridgeshire    
Reserve: Mrs & Miss T & M Ogborne, Britstol

Dairy Goat Day 2
Champion: Chris Nye, Cambridgeshire    
Reserve: Mrs & Miss T & M Ogborne, Bristol

Pygmy Goat
Champion: Jill Osborne and John Douglas, Newport    
Reserve: Ms Tracey Cater, Studley

Boer Goat
Champion: Miss Cathy Whale, Pontefract    
Reserve: Mr & Mrs R Grinnall, Kidderminster

Angora Fleece
Champion: T Rogers, Rhayader    
Reserve: T Rogers, Rhayader

Champion: Mrs Jill Williams (Beef Shorthorn), Abergavenny    
Reserve: Mrs Sally Lloyd (Welsh Black), Leominster

Best Sheep Breed Tradestand Award    
Champion: Hebridean Sheep Society    
Reserve: Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep Society

Best Cattle Breed Society    
Champion: Highland Cattle of Wales    
Reserve: Powys Hereford Breeders Club

Supreme In-Hand
Champion: Mrs Marie A Isaac, Ammanford    
Reserve: Mrs Claire Edwards, Boncath

Supreme Ridden
Champion: Ms Alys Matravers, Wincanton    
Reserve: Sophia Chambers, Builth Wells

Working Hunter
Champion: Mrs Rosemarie Sargeant, Pentraeth    
Reserve: Mrs Allison Webb, Ruthin

Donkey Breed Society Championship    
Champion: Not awarded    
Reserve: Mr & Mrs David Morris, Nantgaredig

British Miniature Horse Society
Champion: Mrs Melanie Lewis, Brecon    
Reserve: Mrs Melanie Lewis, Brecon

Veteran Horse Society Showing Series: In-Hand
Champion: Miss Sian Tucker, Fairwater    
Reserve: Mr Sam Beach, Pontyclun

Veteran Horse Society Showing Series: Ridden
Champion: Ms Anika Wilding, Bucknell    
Reserve: Mr Sam Beach, Pontyclun

Gardening Hall - Competitive Tradestands - Best in Show & Large Gold Medal Diploma    
Champion: Ty Cwm Nursery    
Reserve: Observatory Bonsai Nursery

Gardening Hall - Competitive Gardens - Large Gold Medal Diploma    
Neath Port Talbot Group    

Scurry Driving
Champion: Paul Isaac, Neath with Fast and Furious
Reserve: Derek Archer, Somerset with Bonnie and Clyde

Premier Open Dog Show    

Poultry Club of Wales Show    
Champion: A & F James, Monouthshire – Trio Modern Game
Reserve: Jackson & Lutey, Cornwall – Muscovy Drake