The sunshine came out, along with the crowds today (24 July) for the first day of the 2017 Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells.
The show was officially opened by Mr David Gravell (Gravell’s Kidwelly), a renowned and well respected Carmarthenshire businessman who has had a long association with the Royal Welsh Show, Mr Arwel Jones, a successful Carmarthenshire farmer, regular exhibitor of the show and current Chair of Wales YFC.
During his address, Mr David Gravell elaborated on his family’s business commitment to promoting the Welsh language and people by sponsoring and supporting communities, clubs and organisations such as the Royal Welsh Show. “Our investment in business and these events are great at creating an identity for Wales and this identity will allow Wales to be sold to the World.”
Following the opening ceremony saw the official opening of the brand new climbing poles by local and national rugby hero, Dan Lydiate. The new poles had been replaced just in-time for this year’s show to ensure that the competitors have the best possible conditions for an exciting four-days of competitions.
Elsewhere on the showground, there was the official opening of the first phase of the society’s Water Project, funded by the 2016 Meirionnydd Feature County. The first phase of the project includes the installation of a borehole, a 280m3 storage tank, state of the art pumping station and a fully automatic irrigation system for the main ring which is fully operational. Work on the next phase of the project will begin after the show and will concentrate on providing water for the washing out buildings and lorries and using grey water in all the toilets on site.
Work to complete groundworks, renovate and replace existing stables as part of the Royal Welsh Equine Project are well underway, the initial phase of this highly anticipated Equine Project, funded by the 2015 Gwent Feature County, was also officially opened today. With over 3,000 horses entered at the show, together with the strength of the horse sections at our Winter Fair and Spring Festival, the importance of horses is fully understood by the society and we are delighted that the current Feature County of Carmarthenshire are continuing to supporting this project.
Alongside the competitions and excitement of the opening day, this year runs a very serious business focused undercurrent to the show. In these changing times,
“Since the society’s formation in 1904, the agricultural industry has gone through significant change and faced a number of challenges. Despite these changing times, the industry has demonstrated its ability innovate, adapt and overcome, demonstrating its resilience.” says John Davies, Chair of the Board of Directors
“Facing the impending withdrawal from the European Union, this will accelerate the pace of change and demands upon the industry. The Roya Welsh Show illustrates the worth of the wider agricultural industry, celebrating and combining all elements of food and farming in one place.
“The show forms the perfect platform for organisations and stakeholders to come together. Today we have been honoured to be able to play a role in facilitating discussions which affect the future of Welsh agriculture and the rural economy between some very influential individuals and organisations.”