The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has played a leading role in the development of agriculture and the rural economy in Wales for over a century, since its formation in 1904.

Today our work includes providing support for business, social welfare and education in rural communities, and the organisation and staging of our ever-popular society events; the Smallholding and Countryside Festival, the Royal Welsh Show  and the Winter Fair.

SMALLHOLDING AND COUNTRYSIDE FESTIVAL

Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, Powys. LD2 3SY

We look forward to seeing you at the next Smallholding & Countryside Festival on 18th & 19th  May 2024.

SHOWGROUND

The 150 acre Royal Welsh Showground is open all year round. We host an array of exciting events set against the spectacular views of the Welsh countryside.

The Showground boasts many different venues catering for a variety of occasions such as weddings, business meetings, conferences, concerts, exhibitions and much more.

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has played a leading role in the development of agriculture and the rural economy in Wales for over a century, since its formation in 1904.

Today our work includes providing support for business, social welfare and education in rural communities, and the organisation and staging of our ever-popular society events; the Smallholding and Countryside Festival, the Royal Welsh Show  and the Winter Fair.

Display Ring

Dangerous Steve

It’s non-stop, thrill-a-minute with Dangerous Steve’s full arena attraction. A fast moving and dynamic act with quad bike and trick motorbike riding, including the unique and daring motorised mono cycle with the amazing, one of a kind ‘roll over’. Steve is the only person in the world performing this feat on a genuine mono cycle!

The act is full of suspense as Steve performs blindfolded motorbike jumps, giant unicycle and chainsaw stunts, it’s a real crowd pleaser!

Steve is one of the most experienced outdoor attractions on the circuit and first started presenting his motorbike stunt show aged only six!

Paws for Thought Dog Display Team

Be amused by our dog races, fun agility, police style work, tricks and exceptional commentary, delivered in a relaxed and entertaining style. Be amazed by a Jack Russell ladder walking, plus our now famous original back-walking dogs! Be impressed by the short, snappy obedience routine, which shows what can be done with family pets, which are mostly rescue dogs, performed to accompanying music.

Excellent entertainment for all ages! Child and adult participation encouraged, with an opportunity to meet and greet the dogs and team.

The team have appeared at Crufts, Discover Dogs, The Pet Show, The Animal Road Show, London Pet Show, Paws in the Park and similar prestigious events, including numerous TV appearances such as Britain’s Got Talent, the Alan Titchmarsh show and CBBC’s Who Let the Dogs Out.

Away to Me

A puppet show walkabout with Rex the over-controlling bicycle sheep dog, who is attempting to round up and subdue the wayward Barbara and Bernard, two eight foot high Yarndale sheep who have minds of their own.

Get in touch with your inner wooliness as three characters run amok, intent on entertaining you with their mayhem and a little song and dance along the way!

The Away to Me puppet show will take place on Saturday 18th May only.

Meirion Owen & Sheepdogs

A farmer born and bred, Meirion has been around border collies all his life. He is the third generation of his family to be involved in the art of training, competing and demonstrating with his border collies all over the country.

Meirion appears regularly on TV and has been on three series of the very popular BBC programme ‘One Man and His Dog.’ He has been featured on many TV programmes including the BBC’s Countryfile, The One Show, SKY1 Pet Nation and recently, The Farmers Country Showdown and Songs of Praise.

Within his display Meirion will inform the process from having a pup to the skills and tips needed to train your sheepdog. The dogs used by Meirion are Border Collies by the names of Helen, Carlo, Sam, Jess & Megan and they will be guided around the sheep using a series of voice and whistle commands.

During the display Meirion will invite a member of the audience into the ring to have the opportunity of working one of his dogs around a small flock of sheep.

Meirion will be joining us on the Sunday only of the Festival.

Scurry Driving

The popular scurry driving competitions will be held once again at the Festival this year.

This is a fast adrenalin-fuelled race against the clock around a tight course of gates and turns. The ponies and carriages will compete in qualifiers on Saturday and the runner up and finals for show championship on Sunday.

A form of scurry driving began as far back as the 1950’s. It started in America with horses and four wheel wagons and using barrels to negotiate around at speed. It later came to England and a variety of turnouts were used but generally these were single ponies turnouts and the obstacles were red Watney’s beer barrels.

The sport then progressed to using pairs of ponies and red cones. Drivers in general trotted through the cones although some cantered. Originally vehicles had wooden wheels and solid tyres. Metal wheels came into use around 1990 and as drivers became braver, vehicles were adapted to the sport which then became faster, now competitors drive the course at speeds at which they can negotiate the course.

In 2001 scurry driving became recognised as a sport in its own right, The Scurry Driving Association was formed and governed its own activities.

The Hackney Horse & Pony Driving Display

The Hackney Horse Society was formed in 1883 by a group of individuals who were keen to promote the breeding of Hackneys.  The Hackney Horse & Pony are currently classified as “critical” on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s List.

The Hackney is a very versatile breed of horse and pony.  It is more well know for pulling wagons and carts but is getting recognised more in the fields of eventing, riding, scurrying and endurance.  Lots more to come from this amazing breed.

Come and watch the drivers demonstrate the amazing elegance of this wonderful breed. They love crowd participation so clap and cheer as much as you can when you see them in the ring!

Country Life Area

Will’s Petting Farm

Will’s Petting Farm will be bringing along a variety of small farm animals to the Smallholding and Countryside Festival, including ponies, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and alpacas.

Will opened his farm to the public to enable an experience for the whole family to enjoy, to promote positive well-being and life enrichment.

Come along to meet the friendly animals and have fun!

Woodville Medieval Re-enactment Group

The Woodville Medieval Re-enactment Group are a living history and battle re-enactment group covering the Wars of the Roses. Founded in Hampshire in the early 1990s the group now draws members from all over the UK.

Living history is a period display of daily life. The Woodville’s often portray life in a fifteenth century military camp. From the point the display opens to the point visitors leave, the camp remains authentic. This includes the clothing worn, food eaten, and the activities and crafts displayed.

Whether you are a history buff or not, you will learn lots and have fun when you visit The Woodville Medieval Re-enactment Group.

Panic Family Circus

Returning to the Festival with his team of versatile performers, Professor Elmo is committed to his people-friendly and child-centred style of new wave non-animal circus and clown theatre, steeped in the continuously evolving tradition of travelling circus.

With over 40 years experience Panic proudly presents the Panic Family Circus where kids (and adults) will be entertained for hours with the circus skill workshops, walkabout circus acts, and traditional puppet shows.

Emma’s Donkeys

Emma’s Donkeys Llanidloes are super excited to be attending the Smallholding and Countryside Festival!

Come and meet the donkeys, groom them, make a donkey craft and learn some fun facts. Suitable for all ages. Donkeys are therapeutic animals and help with mental well-being.

Guaranteed to put a big smile on everyone’s faces when being around them.

The Premier Open Dog Show (Crufts Qualifier)

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Ltd Canine Section are delighted to have been granted ‘Premier Open Show’ status for the thirteenth time. Come and see over 1,000 dogs hoping to qualify for Crufts!

The Premier Open Show is one of the big attractions for visitors to Festival when many prize winning dogs will go on to join over 20,000 other top dogs which will appear at the famous Crufts show in 2025.

There are more than 200 breeds in Britain and dogs of all shapes, sizes and colours will be appearing at the Festival.

Builth Bulls Biking Activities

Biking obstacle course and activities for kids hosted by Builth Bulls Cycling Club. Children can give cycling a go, no need to bring anything with you! Helmets and bikes provided and your children will be shown how its done.

Two sessions will be held each day of the event from 10.00am – 12.30pm and 2.00pm – 4.00pm.

Other Attractions

Live Music

Visitors can enjoy some of the local talent in our new Welsh street food area, Gwledd | Feast, during the two day event.

There will be an array of musical performers including Welsh folk music, acoustic and Ceilidh bands and singers and guitarists.

The Wool Zone

The Meirionnydd Shearing Centre will once again become the Wool Zone; an area to help promote the versatility and fabulous creations which can be made of out wool.

To include Woolhandling and Blade Shearing Competitions, demonstrations from the Gwent Guild of Spinners and Weavers, Meirionnydd Vintage Shearing Display and many wool related tradestands.

Gentle Giants Shire Horses

Come and meet Gentle Giants, Joe and Frankie, at this year’s Smallholding and Countryside Festival, located near to the Welsh Pony & Cob Society Pavilion.

Learn about the historic Shire Horse Breed and the work that they do today. Standing 18hh tall, both Joe and Frankie look forward to meeting all of the visitors and to receiving lots of attention and cwtches during the event!

Farming Connect Horticulture

Farming Connect Horticulture will be taking over the Members Centre for the Growers Market, where growers will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise and showcase and sell their products during the two-day event.

Farming Connect are looking for growers representing a cross section of the horticulture industry. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best of the Welsh Horticulture Industry.

Plus:

  • BASC Gun Dogs Demonstration (British Association for Shooting and Conservation)
  • British Army Health and Fitness
  • Forestry – Woodchopping Competitions
  • Country Sports and Activities
  • Pet Exhibition
  • Rope Making Display
  • Smallholding Talks and Workshops
  • Vintage Displays