18th September 2018
The biggest challenge of the visit by HRH The Princess Royal at the 40th anniversary NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale was keeping her on the move! She was clearly fascinated by the livestock and in the people whose lives centre on producing some of the UK’s finest breeding sheep,
HRH showed a keen knowledge and understanding of farming, sharing her views on the merits of robot milking as well as sheep production. And she was happy to interrupt her schedule and chat to producers such as Agnes Campbell, simply because she liked the look of her daughter, Lorna’s, Suffolks.
NSA Wales & Border Ram Sales Committee Chairman, Richard Gwilliam, was delighted with the visit. He complimented Executive Director Jane Smith on her hard work in making the day a success and said the Royal visit was a fitting tribute to the sale’s founders.
He added: “I’d not met the Princess Royal before. She is very easy and knowledgeable about agriculture and the wellbeing of the animals. She’s also got a great interest in what’s going on.
“I think she enjoyed the morning. She was very interested in everything, even though she had two more calls to make later in the day. She was in no hurry whatsoever and she was happy to talk to anyone and everyone.
“It’s a great honour that HRH The Princess Royal gave her time to come here and everyone was very pleased to see her. “
The first stop was at the Badger Face ring, where she presented the Championship cups to Aron Hemmings of Llandeilo and Gareth Jones from Carmarthen. NSA Wales & Border Ram Sales committee member, Lucy Levinge, and breed President, Kate Hovers, explained the difference between the Torddu with its black markings and the Torwen with its white markings.
North Country Cheviot breeders David Pittendreigh and Gwynne Davies, who went on to win the Welsh Championship Cup, discussed with her the breed so favoured by HRH The Queen Mother. The Princess Royal’s interest was clearly sparked as she lingered to watch the bidding.
Conversations continued around the ram sale, with veteran John Geldard and the committee’s youngest member, Tomos Evans. There was a meeting with buyer, Will Halford, and with two of the sale’s younger consignors, Ellie and Hannah Owens. And at the NSA stand, founder Ram Sale organiser Brynmor Morgan chatted about the earliest days, while Chief Executive Phil Stocker and other staff discussed current challenges.
The Princess presented retiring Suffolk breeder and NSA Wales & Border Committee member, John Sinnett, with an engraved crystal goblet. And she clearly delighted in presenting Executive Director, Jane Smith, with a framed print of her horse, Zeb, to mark her 25 years organising the sale.
Then, with gifts for her grandchildren – including, for the latest arrival, a knitted baby’s bobble hat presented by Olwen Kinsey Jones – and a cheery, relaxed smile, HRH The Princess Royal was off to her next engagement.