Royal Welsh Show preview: ‘Enviable’ winner of award for contribution to rural skills

THIS year’s £2,000 Dr Emrys Evans Award has been won by Jessica Prichard of Castellau Fach Farm, Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taff – the first woman to win the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s prestigious prize given annually to a person who has made an exceptional contribution to rural skills.

The theme chosen for this year’s award was equine management and Jessica was one of 10 competitors from across Wales, five of them women.

Commercial venture

Jessica, who runs a successful commercial venture from well-designed and managed facilities on the family farm, has succeeded in breaking and producing home-bred, as well as clients’ ponies and horses, to a particularly high standard for the show ring and performance field.

In their report the judges said as well as being a rider of advanced dressage standard, Jessica ‘has an enviable record’ of winning classes at the Horse of the Year Show on numerous occasions.

“She has also demonstrated her vision to breed animals capable of the highest level of competition while teaching others at the same time.”

The judges said they faced a challenging task in selecting the overall winner of the award and saw some outstanding horses and ponies in their home environments.

All the applicants demonstrated professionalism in their chosen field and demonstrated many diverse aspects of the equine industry, including stud management and in-hand showing and production for the ridden circuit, in addition to dressage and eventing.

Breeding programmes

“There were some interesting breeding programmes across the spectrum of the equine world and all contribute to the industry in their own right,” they added.

“The equine industry in Wales is in very safe hands.”

Jessica will receive the £2,000, together with a certificate and a piece of Welsh Royal Crystal at a presentation at the Royal Welsh.

n Dr Emrys Evans was chairman of the RWAS board of management. He died on the eve of the Royal Welsh centenary show in 2004 and the award, which is sponsored by HSBC Bank, was introduced in his memory in 2006.

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