12:07pm Tuesday 9th April 2013
Nearly 1300 classes and special awards are listed in the livestock schedule for this year’s Royal Welsh show in July including over 300 for cattle, 435 for sheep, 80 for pigs and 58 for goats. Classes and special awards for horses and ponies total 374. The schedule has gone out to 5000 potential exhibitors at the four-day event.
Fifteen pedigree and five dairy breeds are scheduled for the show at Llanelwedd, plus classes for commercial beef animals, and 43 breeds of sheep, the largest display of its kind at any agricultural show in the world, will line up for judging.
A dairy breed scheduled to make its first appearance at this year’s Royal Welsh Show is the Brown Swiss. Bred in the Alpine regions of Europe, where its origins can be traced back to the Iron Age making it one of the oldest breeds in the world, Brown Swiss owe their characteristics of hardiness, durability and general good health, to generations of living during the summer at altitudes of up to 8000 feet above sea level.
In the 1800s Brown Swiss were taken to America by the early pilgrims where they were established purely as a dairy breed. Subsequently, they spread to many countries and are now said to represent one of the largest cattle populations in the world. They have been in the UK for some 40 years and a breed society was established here in 1973.
Six classes and five special awards have been scheduled for the breed at the show including one for the best Brown Swiss exhibit bred in Wales.
Several prizes of £500 with reserve awards of £250 are being offered for the championship winners in the cattle section and a number of prizes worth £200 will be awarded to the champions in the sheep section with a top award of £300 for the winner of the Champion of Champions.
Welsh ponies and cobs are a favourite attraction at the Royal Welsh Show and their spectacular performances in the main ring are popular with visitors from around the world. A variety of other breeds will be exhibited from the small Shetland ponies to the high and mighty Shires.
The top prize for horses will be the £750 Dillwyn Thomas Perpetual Trophy which will go to the winner of the supreme championship.
A new Royal Welsh Driving Championship is scheduled in the horse section for the best driven exhibit in the show and for which the champions of the Private Driving, Light Trade Turnout, Welsh Driving and Hackney and Part Bred Hackney Driving can compete for the prize of £250 and the RWAS Award.
The schedule lists 80 classes and specials for pigs including 13 for Tamworth pigs which have their own classification this year. Tamworths, remarkable for their golden-red colour, were developed as a breed in Staffordshire and are highly regarded as producers of lean bacon carcasses.
There are 58 classes and awards for goats including dairy breeds and Angoras, and an Angora fleece competition.
Among the other events scheduled are those for Young Handlers in the horse, cattle, sheep and pig sections, and there are also competitions for shepherds and beef and dairy stockmen.
The schedule and entry forms are also available online (rwas.co.uk) and the closing date for entries is May 1.
The Royal Welsh Show takes place at Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, from July 22 – 25.
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