again – a week when the whole of Wales pretends it gives a shit about farming.
The country’s agricultural community jump in their tractors
and drive at 15mph in the direction of Llanelwedd – definitely NOT Builth Wells
– for a real four-day busman’s holiday.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the yearly showpiece before, it’s basically an opportunity for farmers to spend time away from the trials and tribulations of their own dull farm and pay £20 a day to immerse themselves in similar agricultural activities and displays.
Trailers carrying more than 7,000 livestock are shipped into the Mid Wales show site so exhibitors can compete to see whose cow would make the most beef burgers, the horse that would fetch the most at the glue factory, whose sheep has the woolliest wool and which chicken’s eggs are the most egg-shaped.
Essentially, it’s a primitive form of petrolhead boy racers gathering in a car park to compare motors, but instead of looking at each other’s exhausts, they’re admiring the rear ends of cows and sheep -“Whoa! Check out that Badger Face Welsh Mountain ewe!”
What’s better is that some lucky farmers are even honoured with awards and grants by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society in recognition of the boring monotonous hobby they fulfil every day at home.An event heavily governed by the weather, the Royal Welsh Show attracted more than 230,000 visitors last year and thousands of wealthy agricultural enthusiasts, with grants and subsidies burning holes in their tweed pockets, are expected to descend on Llanelwedd again this year.
Many of those will head to the grandstand to watch events at the main show ring, which has seen £200,000 of improvements since last year.
Attractions sure to thrill the main ring crowd this year include horse trainer
Jean Francois Pignon and his troupe of six horses, the Bolddog Lings Freestyle
Motorcycle Display Team and Meirion Owen’s sheepdog and duck demonstration.
For the younger generation who perhaps aren’t as captivated by a field full of livestock as their elders, there are the delights of the Young People’s Village. Thousands of amorous underage drinkers – mainly from North Wales – leave school and rush down to the Powys showground to the Young People’s Village in an attempt to broaden a limited gene pool. Meanwhile, some shit Radio 1 DJ plays the warm up music before drink-fuelled young farmers provide the real entertainment for the evening by knocking seven bales of shit out of one another.
To ensure we don’t stand a chance of avoiding news about the ‘highlight of the farming calendar’, the Welsh media get their very own press building to keep the whole of Wales abreast of goings on at the show.
Reporters and cameramen flock to the Llanelwedd site for a jolly – knowing that the only story ever broadcast or published from the show’s opening day is actually just about the weather and how many people turned up (Seriously, it will be).
So bring your flat cap, walking crook and t-shirt sun tan down to Llanelwedd (basically Builth Wells, Powys) for four days of farming festivities.
The 107th Royal Welsh Show gets underway on Monday, July 18 and runs until Thursday, July 21.