Royal Welsh Winter Fair attracts thousands to sunny Llanelwedd

29 November 2016

Thousands of visitors joined the sunshine and came out in force to enjoy a chilly, but unforgettable Royal Welsh Winter Fair held at the showground in Llanelwedd over the past two days.

The frosty mornings followed by beautiful, cold and bright winter days added to the seasonal good cheer that flowed through the crowds as they enjoyed what has become over the past 27 years, one of the finest fatstock shows in Europe.

As always, livestock played centre stage again at this year’s hugely successful Winter Fair with strong entries in all sections from across the UK. With the opportunity to get a share of the £25,000+ total prize money on offer and a coveted Royal Welsh Winter Fair prize title, the standard of all the exhibits was once gain exceptionally high. The event continues to go from strength to strength and evidence of this year’s growth was the increased number of cattle and pigs, a larger carcass hall to accommodate more competitions and record lamb carcass entries and larger equine marquee.

One of the most prestigious titles to be won at the event each year, the supreme cattle champion, was awarded to Tip Top, a Limousin x Charolais X steer weighing 640kg, exhibited by Mr Blair M Duffton and Miss Rebecca Stuart of Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

Tip Top was bred by Colin Phillips from Hereford and sold to the current owners by McCartneys in their show potential sale in Brecon last year. On returning to Wales to, Tip Top was considered to be the finest exhibit by judges Mr Bryn Lloyd, who also judges the steer classes, and Mr Pearse McNamee the heifer judge.

The beast was later sold by McCartneys, the official auctioneers for the seventh consecutive year, for £4,000 to B & T Kitson Ltd from Hutton, North Yorkshire.

2016 RWAS Lady Ambassador, Catrin Jones and President, Richard Jones present a bottle of champagne to both the buyer, Antony Kitson and Sean Kennedy and Stewart Bett who were showing the 2016 Winter Fair Supreme Cattle Champion, Tip Top, on behalf of the exhibitor, Mr Blair M Duffton and Miss Rebecca Stuart.

Along with the usual packed schedule of competitions, classes and exhibitions the lights, trees, carols and other Christmas celebrations ensured that the two-day fair started the festive season perfectly. The late night shopping evening again saw thousands of visitors browsing and indulging in some Christmas shopping and enjoying the cheerful atmosphere and spectacular firework display. All traders reported an excellent level of sales. Some did such a brisk trade they reported selling out of some products in record time. Patchwork Foods from Ruthin had a stand in the popular Winter Fair food hall and tweeted on Monday lunchtime;

‘Winter Fair NEWS FLASH! Sold out of all Festive Duck in 3 hours! God bless the patrons of the @royalwelshshow #Outstanding’

“They always say that time flies when you’re having fun and the last two days have gone by in a flash. As ever, the huge amount of work and commitment from the society and hundreds of dedicated volunteers and stewards has come to fruition and resulted in another fantastic Winter Fair. It makes me extremely proud to see the very best of British livestock, thousands of happy visitors and hundreds of contented traders all together here at the showground during the last couple of days.” says Winter Fair Honorary Director, Will Hanks

The accomplishment of such a great event is entirely down to a huge team effort, and as Alun Evans said in his address at the official opening ceremony, ‘We dedicate this 27th Royal Welsh Winter Fair to Emyr Lewis, our Winter Fair chairman, who sadly passed away just a few short weeks ago”.

David Lewis, Chair of Council went on to say “As a founder member of the original Winter Fair Committee, Emyr has been instrumental in the running of the Winter Fair since its inception some 27 years ago. In his role of Winter Fair Chairman, for the past ten years, Emyr made an immense contribution towards the outstanding success of this event.

“We will miss his endearing smile and mischievous humour. His passing is a huge loss to the society and our thoughts are with his wife, Angharad and family at this sad time.”

A summary of results:

Cattle Supreme Champion
Tip Top, a Limousin x Charolais X, Mr Blair M Duffton and Miss Rebecca Stuart of Huntly, Aberdeenshire. Sold for £4,000 to B & T Kitson Ltd from Hutton, North Yorkshire.

Baby Beef Supreme Champion
Brutus Cheeky Girl, a Limousin x Limousin X, bred and exhibited by D S and D A Brute from Brecon, Powys. Sold for £4000.

Sheep Supreme Champion
A pair of Dutch Texel, bred and exhibited by Mr Robin Slade of Almeley, Hereford. Sold for £600 pph.

Pig Supreme Champion Single
A Welsh pig, bred and exhibited by D B M and R C M Davies from Lampeter, Ceredigion. Sold for £220

Pig Supreme Champion Pair
A pair Welsh pigs, bred and exhibited by Mr H D & Mrs E M Roberts from Pwllheli, Gwynedd. Sold for £400 pph.

Carcass Supreme Champion Single
A Beltex, exhibited by Mr Dafydd Lewis of Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire. Sold for £580.

Carcass Supreme Champion Pair
A pair of Beltex, bred and exhibited by b Blandford and Sons from Ledbury, Herefordshire.

A full list of results and winners will be available on the website shortly.