THE opening day of the 100th Royal Welsh Show welcomed huge crowds yesterday and a host of special guests to the showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells.

Addressing the visitors, the 2019 President, Seimon Thomas, said: “As a county our membership is small, but as a unit we are great. It is the feature county format which galvanises communities, promotes agriculture at its finest and supports the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society”

“It is with great pride that we stand here today as three generations of the same Dryscolgoch family, all of whom have exhibited at this wonderful show, and this morning we have three generations of the Mansel Davies family, Scott, Stephen and Kaye, to open the show.”

Three generations of the Mansel Davies family, Scott, Stephen and Kaye. Photo Credit: Ruth Rees Photography

“The Royal Welsh Show is the pinnacle agricultural event in the UK. Over the years it has evolved to the overwhelming success story we see before our very eyes today, the 100th show, a success story that has spanned generations of country folk, farmers and leading citizens of our nation.” said Scott, Stephen and Kaye in their speech.

“The featured county arrangement since 1963 has allowed this great institution to flourish year on year by investing in new and better facilities, none of this could be achieved without the fantastic efforts made by the host counties with this year being no exception.

“Long may the feature county tradition continue to enable the Royal Welsh Show and the society to act as the link between town and country, urban and rural and food and consumer.”

Photo credit: Phil Blagg

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were present at the show following the opening ceremony. During their visit, Their Royal Highnesses opened a new equine arena, unveiled a full sized sculpture of a Section D Welsh Cob Stallion and officially opened a new garden on the showground, created specifically to commemorate the 50th anniversary of HRH’s investiture as The Prince of Wales. There was also an opportunity for them both to meet with exhibitors, stewards, traders and showgoers and even present a number of prizes in the judging rings.

The royal couple were also joined by other royal visitors to the show, King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu and Queen Pumi, head of the Zulu nation. Visiting Wales on the 140th anniversary of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879, where members of the now Royal Welsh Regiment fought at Rorke’s Drift, King Goodwill aim’s to strengthen the now burgeoning relationship between Wales and the Zulu’s of Kwazulu-Natal.

Along with meeting influential farming leaders and other members of the agricultural industry, King Goodwill intends to take back to his nation many examples of good practice to further improve their farming skills. Sharing good practice goes back to the reason agricultural societies were originally set up.

Accompanied by a group of members of the Zulu Regiment performing a traditional Impi warrior dance, King Goodwill and Queen Pumi met The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall whilst at the Royal Welsh Show, before embarking on their own busy itinerary.

Back at the top of the showground, the 2018 President, Mr Tom Tudor, officially opened the society’s new Member’s Bar, Maes M, which was built with the support of the Montgomeryshire Feature County. This modern building will deliver new facilities, better audio and visual entertainment opportunities and more space outside for our young members to enjoy, whilst also benefiting from a safer environment. It will also produce a new facility on the site for use throughout the year.

2018 President, Tom Tudor and wife Ann, open the new young member’s facility, Maes M, with Montgomeryshire Advisory Group Chair Anwell Orrells and Secretary, Jan Phillips Photo credit: Royal Welsh Agricultural Society

“We couldn’t have wished for a better first day of our 100th Royal Welsh Show” says Chief Executive, Steve Hughson. “It’s been a very busy, but amazing day; a mega Monday! The showground looks incredible… crammed full of visitors enjoying the very best of Welsh agriculture. We are looking forward to three more fantastic action packed days.”

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