Royal Welsh Show preview: Livestock entries reach record levels as breed classes swell
ANY fears the recession would lead to a drop in Royal Welsh livestock numbers have been swept aside by record entries for sheep and pigs and for several breeds in the horse section.
Totalling 7,583 overall, they are the highest since 2005 and are nearly 900 more than last year, when numbers were depleted by bluetongue restrictions.
Sheep entries are up by nearly 600 on last year to 2,948, representing 44 breeds.
British Texels top the list for individual breeds, up by 59 to 291, followed by Badgerfaced Welsh Mountains with 213 entries.
Several other breeds have also attracted substantially increased numbers, among them the Charollais, up by 43 to 198, the Bluefaced Leicester, up 41 to 107, and the Ryeland, up 52 to 117. Beltex entries have also increased by 40 to 114 and Black Welsh Mountains by 38 to 141.
Some 57 entries have been received for the lamb carcase competition.
Cattle entries have increased by 223 over last year to 942, with 192 more in the beef breeds, plus an additional 31 dairy animals.
In all, 18 beef breeds will be on parade, led by British Limousins with 159 lining up for judging, while Holsteins top the 153 entries for dairy breeds with 59, and 138 entries have been received for the commercial beef classes – 56 more than last year.
The record pig entry of 139 – 43 higher than in 2008 – is led by the Welsh breed with 50, followed by British Saddlebacks with 38.
Goats, another section badly hit by the bluetongue restrictions last year, are also back in larger numbers. They are up from 95 to 133.
Horses and ponies, especially the native Welsh breeds, are again certain to provide a spectacular display, with record
entries in the Welsh Ponies (Section B), Welsh Cobs (Section D), Welsh Part Bred and Ridden Mountain and Moorland classes.
A total of 3,421 entries have been received for the horse and pony classes, with Welsh Mountain Ponies (Section A) leading the way at 623 – up by 40 on 2008.
Welsh Cobs have reached a record 561 entries and Welsh Ponies (Section B) are up by 59 to a record 323.
Welsh Part Bred entries have climbed from 79 to a record-breaking 93 this year and Ridden Mountain and Moorland Pony entries are also a record 220.
Royal Welsh Show preview