OCTOBER 29, 2009: The popularity of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Winter Fair as a showcase for the country’s leading stockmen has been confirmed by a record entry of cattle for this year’s event at Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, on November 30 – December 1.

Cattle entries, at 351, are the highest since the Winter Fair was established 20 years ago. They have been boosted mainly by the increase in the numbers of cross-bred heifers – up from 66 to 101 – and cross-bred steers up by 21 to 102. The total entries in the cattle classes exceed last year’s by 41. The total entries for lambs (pairs) have reached 339 and entries in the lamb carcass competition, always a big attraction at the Fair, are 130 for singles and 42 for pairs. Pig entries this year total 57. Horses were introduced at the Winter Fair in 2001 when the foot and mouth outbreak led to a ban on cloven-hoofed animals. They were an instant success with visitors and this year entries have reached 730, the highest since 2004 and 71 more than in 2008. The ubiquitous Welsh Mountain Ponies lead the numbers with an entry of 192 followed by Welsh Cobs, currently the focus of widespread interest among breeders and buyers throughout the UK, will be represented by an entry of 147. Welsh Ponies (Cob Type) are up from 96 to 110.