On day two of the Royal Welsh Show, Kate Humble meets exhibitors from the country, town and city. Cerys Matthews tries out the new 30-metre climbing poles.
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For the next four days, over 200,000 people and 8,000
animals of all shapes and sizes will come from the world over
to this beautiful corner of rural mid-Wales.
And they are coming for this.
This is the biggest and most prestigious
agricultural show in Europe.
Welcome to the Royal Welsh Show 2017.
It's day two and I predict that things could get a little bit
baa-rmy as the sheep take to the show ring.
We will also find out what it takes to make a prize pigeon
the best of the bantams
and a superhero element, to get a whole new aspect
on the show, Cerys Matthews.
The things I do, my goodness.
But I have come up here today and I have got
the best view in the whole of the Royal Welsh show.
And the Royal Welsh Show wouldn't be the same without the one
and only Gareth Wyn Jones.
Can you do me later?
I would love to.
I am going to meet up with old friends in the sheep sheds
and see what entertainments they have got in the main room.
You can keep up-to-date with all of the show's action or let
us know your own experiences via social media
using the hashtag...
SHE SPEAKS WELSH
This is the biggest agricultural show in Europe and competing
here is something everyone aspires to but if you think you have to be
a farmer with generations of experience to be allowed
to compete here, you would be wrong.
In fact, you don't even need to live in the country.
Wales' capital city is perhaps not a place you would expect to find
a Royal Welsh winner.
But there is a man who lives here whose dedication and passion
to the animals he keeps in his garden has given him
a reputation as a real high-flyer.
Look at this.
Yes, it is, really.
They are magnificent birds when you see them
up close, aren't they?
His name is Ronnie.
When did you start keeping pigeons?
I must have been 13, 12 or 13.
And what was it that inspired you?
There was nothing else to do.
Didn't have a computer or the telly or a phone.
As kids, we had to find something else to do.
Paul started out keeping racing pigeons and, later,
he switched to breeding pigeons to show.
How different is he from a racing pigeon?
He is a lot bigger and he's a lot prettier.
It is a beauty contest.
Do you feel, I don't know, somewhat of an outsider
going to very much an agricultural show, or are you welcomed
in along with everyone else?
You are just welcomed in.
You turn up and take a chance.
20 miles away, in a small town in the Valleys, live Brian Evans,
20 miles away, in a small town in the Valleys, lives Brian Evans,
who is also a Royal Welsh winner, with his pigs.
A friend of mine asked me to come and help him about 30 odd years ago.
I came up and I have been here ever since.
So you are now the Mountain Ash pig man.
If you would like to call me that, yes.
He breeds and raises Welsh pigs in a little piggery
on the edge of town.
What was it about them that hooked you?
I don't know,
I don't know, I just wanted to know more about them.
My friend told me they were good pigs and I said we will see how good
they are when we start showing them.
Even an arson attack didn't put a stop to their treasured hobby.
Burned this building down to the ground.
Yes, this one.
Luckily, the pigs were out at the top end.
Hopefully, you two beautiful girls, far too intent on eating
at the moment, will bring home the bacon.
We will find out how Paul and Brian get on a little bit later on.
But as well as giving people the opportunity to compete
against the world's best, the show has another important role.
To promote farming and animals and Caryl Hughes is one
of the Young Ambassadors of the show.
Looking very perky this morning.
Not bad for Tuesday morning!
So tell me about the Ambassador's role, what you do?
So there is a Young Ambassador's scheme that runs every year,
there are 12 of us this year.
Young people passionate about farming, all different
backgrounds and we all love the sheep industry and we go around
and discuss and learn from people in the industry.
You are an upland farmer.
That is a tough life and a lot of young people don't want to stay
in it because they just don't see a future in it.
At the moment, it is quite a scary moment, with Brexit,
up in the Valleys in Wales, it is very dependent on the single
upland Valleys in Wales, it is very dependent on the single
farm payments and things like that so it is not looking too bright
but obviously with every change, opportunity arises.
I am keen and passionate, I'm staying at home and farming
for the family and I'm certain there is a future in farming,
I wouldn't do it otherwise.
But it's going to be interesting, to say the least.
And do you think it is really important, shows like this,
that people not just from farming backgrounds but from all over
but from all over the country, come and talk to people
like you and see wonderful
animals like this?
This is our chance to make sure everyone understands
and knows what we are doing.
Thank you very much, good luck with the rest of the show.
You will be very pleased to hear we are now going to head
to the sheep sheds with the lovely Gareth Wyn Jones.
They say there are three times as many sheep as people in Wales.
As a sheep farmer, I don't know how true that is,
but what I can tell you is there's more than 3,000 sheep
here at the Royal Welsh Show.
Their's a lot of rivalry in the show and Owain and Lowri,
There's a lot of rivalry in the show and Owain and Lowri,
you are here both showing sheep
you're a couple and competing
against each other.
If Lowri wins, will you still be talking?
It will be the other way round.
I am very competitive.
Lowri was out after the first judging round.
Where is the other half?
He has been put forward.
What you mean?
What do you mean?
He has made the cut.
He has beaten me.
Will he be in the doghouse tonight?
In the sheep ring, you would expect to see
a shepherd and I found one, right here.
How are things?
It is really nice to meet somebody young and keeping the same
breed of sheep as me.
I try my best.
This is what I have grown up with and have passion for them.
What you think of this lad?
What you think of this lamb?
Don't mind if I have a look?
I don't mind, I know what you keep.
The first thing for me is the mouth.
Good, square shoulders.
Nice colours, showing type colours.
Did well yesterday, I heard.
And third with the ewe.
Second with the ewe lamb.
The best I have had so far.
So how many shows in a season?
Between the winter and spring fair, 15 shows.
Every weekend in the summer.
That is a serious commitment.
It is my annual holiday and I am happy.
It is so important that these animals to feel at home,
so I have come to see my old friend Doris, who has been coming
to the show for years.
How do you make these animals feel happy?
How do you make these animals feel at home?
They are hill breeds, they used to feeding
on grass in the hills, we bring the hay and a supply
of water and make them as comfortable as possible
and it is important to look after the sheep when they are here.
So you bring your own water, even?
Yes, because that is what they are used to at home.
Because they can't have grass, we try to make everything
as it is at home for them.
I must say, the sheep are looking really well.
All the best in the show and I will see you very soon.
Thank you very much.
Many families have been coming to the Royal Welsh Show four years.
Many families have been coming to the Royal Welsh Show for years.
Kate has been up to Porthmadog to Peter family that use Blue Texels
Kate has been up to Porthmadog to meet a family that use Blue Texels
When it comes to the Royal Welsh Show, the Hughes family
from Porthmadog are big fans.
All the grandchildren and everything go.
It is the actual atmosphere of the place.
And while the family enjoy competing there,
it is the taking part that means most to them after a devastating
event that rocked their lives.
Our son Iwan had a very bad road traffic accident in 2002,
which left him unable to work on the farm for a number of months.
Determined to get Iwan well again,
Arfan and Sian took an unusual
approach to his rehab, buying in a new breed
of sheep, the Blue Texel.
Iwan had a lot of pleasure trimming him.
It progressed from the ram lamb, which, in 2004, went
to the Royal Welsh Show, it was the first Blue Texel
in the Royal Welsh,
prepared by Iwan and shown by Iwan and he won the male champion.
15 years after his accident, Iwan is now well known
for his success with the Blue Texels.
What makes a prizewinner?
To start off, it is good marking, the haltermark around the face.
And a nice fleece colour, not too dark, not too white.
After a quick back and sides, the ram is all
set to go to the show.
He just looks fantastic, Iwan, I can't believe that just that tiny
meticulous amount of trimming and, you know, he is suddenly
revealed, his beautiful shape, his confirmation,
it is extraordinary.
A good half an hour's work.
It was, bit more than that, actually.
It was 45 minutes, I was timing you.
Come on, then, let's have a look at you in all your finery.
He looks magnificent.
We'll let you know how Iwan gets on, but now let's go
to the irrepressible Cerys Matthews, who is really going up in the world.
I have come over to the forestry area and I'm going to catch up
with some pole climbing.
Three, two, one, go.
Right, there is no turning back, it is my turn now.
I can't believe it.
It's way harder than it looks.
Put it on your bucket list, things to do before you are 50, brilliant.
So, pole climbing, what got you into it?
I was invited to a day out here in 1998 and the bug
bit and that was that.
What got you going?
And I decided, seeing as I had lost my wife to cancer,
I collected for Marie Curie, every time I went up a pole.
And I collected ?42,800.
I finished collecting when I was 80 and finished pole
climbing properly last month.
Do you mind me asking how old you are now?
So you can still do pole climbing until you are 84,
do you recommend it?
If you are fit.
Why do you do it?
You told me earlier it's because you are a nutter.
Well, yes, we are nutters.
We will join Cerys again if we can get her to come back down to earth.
Now, over the last couple of days, we have seen how much effort goes
into getting animals looking their best in the show ring,
but the show is also the perfect excuse for some humans
to parade their finery.
Now, this wonderful collection of fashions belongs
to Margarette Hughes.
Margarette, come and join me here.
These are all your clothes.
They are, yes.
Tell me a little bit about these glorious outfits.
This is the history of my life in front of you.
This lovely outfit which I'm thinking is '60s.
I was pregnant expecting my second child.
This is 1970s?
Definitely, when the midi came back in, we had been up
here with the minis and we didn't know what to do with the 70s,
we had midis and maxis.
Now, the '80s.
And we are going to head over here to the '90s lady,
our star of the show, if I may say so.
And let's not forget our naughty noughties.
You look perfect for the show, is this a sort
of outfit you approve of?
If they made me a judge, yes.
I am basically looking a bit scruffy and have let the side down.
I have something to suit you.
It has been lovely to meet you and ladies, thank
you for bringing such glamour to the show.
Margarette's outfits span 50 years but, of course,
the show has been going for 98 and it seems that fashion has been
important right from the start.
Over the years, fashionable farmers have flocked
to the Royal Welsh Show.
In the early years, they were rather rather male dominated affairs
but by the '20s and '30s, the annual shows were seen
as a chance for young ladies of a certain class to show
off their latest fashions.
By the swinging '60s, the show would host fashion shows
run by various organisations such as the War Board.
Today, the show has certain fashion rules that apply to judges,
stewards, competitors and officials but as for the general public,
it is safe to say that absolutely anything goes.
Don't encourage him!
Still to come, Gareth does his bit to keep the crowd entertained
and Cerys is sharpening up her act.
Earlier we met Paul from Cardiff who breeds and shows prize-winning
pigeons and here he is.
I said prize-winning pigeons.
Oh my goodness, a red card.
Were you expecting him to win?
I have got 13 here.
How many red cards have you got?
Just one this year.
Are you feeling good?
Yes, that's the way it goes.
Congratulations, well done.
Very good red card winner.
We will catch up with you again soon.
Lovely to see you.
It's not just pigeons that are shown here.
It is geese, ducks, and this cockerel, and even eggs.
And one of the things I love about the show is it doesn't matter
if you live in the country or in a town, if you're
an octogenarian or a teenager, you can still compete and walk away
with one of the top prizes.
I'm on my way to meet some of the biggest
winners in recent years.
But these two are not your run-of-the-mill
Royal Welsh exhibitors.
For a start, they don't live on a farm or in the countryside
and haven't got years and years of experience.
In fact, neither are old even to vote.
Yet these brothers have already been ruffling feathers
in the poultry world.
What a fantastic collection.
It's like coming to an exotic bird aviary coming here.
But for teenage lads, it's quite an unusual thing, isn't it?
Did you originally think they were nice things to have around
and we will have some eggs?
Yes, a little hobby for us to do and we will have an egg run.
It wasn't long before the boys progressed from selling eggs
to producing prize-winning stock.
I think I have got in my hand quite the most beautiful
chicken I have ever seen.
This isn't one of your run-of-the-mill chickens, is it?
These are the silver seabrights.
I would just give them first prize if I was judging but presumably
it's harder than that?
What does the judge look for?
It looks like they have been designed by an Art deco artist.
Let's look at this handsome chap.
A nice grey beak.
To get them ready for the show, what do you have to do to them?
I give them a wash with shampoo.
There's a few other things in the water as well.
Is that your secret recipe?
That gives the final shine after drying.
When did you first go to the Royal Welsh Show?
Two years ago.
You really are a beginner.
And I'm now joined by the brothers in the poultry tent and you have
some quite exciting news.
Yes, I have won first with my cockerel.
And we have the best red breed.
We've had two firsts, two seconds and one third.
That is brilliant.
I hope your younger brother has not upstaged you.
He has this year, yes.
I had three firsts, four seconds and a third.
And now let's go and catch up with Cerys,
who is at the sharp end of things.
I'm in the forestry area in the wood chopping to meet the most
You are wearing a Welsh shirt.
Your accent is not telling me you are Welsh.
No, I'm from Queensland in Australia.
What brings you here?
I met some of the Welsh boys in the Sydney Show and they invited
me to come over here.
How did you get into it?
My father was a word chopper.
My brother and myself, that's how we got into it.
You're not the average axe chopper here, so how does that affect
things having one arm?
I've been competitive since I was ten years old.
I lost my arm when I was eight years old so I can't compare
what it is to use two arms.
You didn't lose your arm chopping?
No, it was a hay bailer.
We have a cattle property.
To people watching at home, would you recommend it
as a sport to take up?
Absolutely, it keeps you fit and the people you meet
and the camaraderie, you've got friends for life.
It's certainly the most exciting corner of the show.
It feels a bit like a rodeo.
But for wood, obviously.
Extraordinarily fit people with these super-sharp tools
going gung ho in competition.
It's incredible to witness.
Yesterday we met former journalist turned pig farmer Liz Shankland
who was getting her Tamworths ready for today's competition.
I've got a pair of lucky knickers.
I do know that.
Who knew when you come to show you have to water pigs?
I've come up to catch up with Liz because I want to know how
lucky were her knickers?
I made a dreadful mistake and I forgot my lucky knickers.
It was too far to go back.
We started too early.
I just had to wear the ones I have got on and I got second,
so I think it proves the power of the lucky knickers.
You will never forget them every again.
Next year, maybe try commando.
I have got my standards, no, right!
Your pigs are making a break for the border.
I had better go after them.
Get them under control.
The Royal Welsh Show is an annual holiday for many of the farmers
here and Gareth Wyn Jones has chosen is as his holiday destination
for the last 25 years.
He is here with his family enjoying some of the entertainment.
What a privilege it is to have a grandstand
view of the main ring.
They come from everywhere.
Even from the skies.
I thought I could shift on a quad!
But I am about to experience exactly how fast these guys can move.
At the end of his act, Kangaroo Kid attempted to jump a truck,
and this is what happened.
After the fall, he was treated quickly at the scene and taken
to hospital by air ambulance.
I'm glad to say Kangaroo Kid is back at the showground.
So am I!
I was a bit rushed and I missed my gear and I thought I'm
still going fast enough, but obviously I could have hit
the ramp and missed it by a mile.
You have got to get close and it's got to be an entertainment show.
I thought, I'm still OK, I will make it.
When it hit the back of the truck and off-loaded me,
I went like Superman.
And you bounced.
Like all good kangaroos.
When are you back on the bike?
Hopefully a few wheelies in tonight's performance.
Don't ask me to come along!
All the best.
Love you all.
It's almost the end of the show but we've had a great day,
haven't we, everyone?
Gareth, you nearly killed the entertainment,
but Kangaroo Kid bounced back.
He bounced back.
Cerys, all hail to you.
I totally recommend it.
You meet the farmers, the producers and the caretakers
of this gorgeous wonderful land of ours.
You will be back next year?
I think we should all come back.
Is that an invitation?
It's a promise, we would love to have you back.
Tomorrow is a big day.
Yes, it is Welsh cob day, my favourite day.
Don't even think about missing it but before we talk about tomorrow,
we need to go back to today and to our winners.
Many, many congratulations to them.
Now, I, for one, am already looking forward to tomorrow,
but before I bid you good night I would like you to meet
comedian Omar Handley.
You are on a special mission for us.
What are you going to be up to?
I will discover the secret nightlife of the Royal Welsh Show and even
try to get into the young farmers.
If you get in, you will never get out alive, that's for sure.
Join us tomorrow for the Royal Welsh Show.
We will see you then.
Detective Griffin. Are you good, you all right?
Pleased to be back.
The Royal Welsh Show is for everyone as Kate Humble finds out on day two. She meets exhibitors from the country, town and city. Cerys Matthews scales new heights as she meets up with the forestry team. Never afraid to get stuck in, she tries out the new 30-metre climbing poles. Gareth Wyn Jones meets his fellow sheep farmers and takes a tour of the poultry tent. Plus more of Kate's special reports from animal lovers around Wales.