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Time to load up the livestock

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Rachael Garside Rachael Garside | 16:20 UK time, Thursday, 21 July 2011

It's the fourth and final day of the show so I'm running low on energy and my feet are aching, but as the show draws to a close, there's a chance to look back and think about this year's highlights.
When I headed back to the shearing centre yesterday afternoon, there was a real treat in store. I arrived just in time to watch the Test Match between Wales and New Zealand.

Those men in vests definitely know how to put on a show and even before the competition started, the Kiwi team came on stage to perform the Haka and Wales replied with a rousing rendition of our national anthem and there was hardly a dry eye in the house!  

Gareth Daniels was named this year's Champion Shearer of Wales - a 'lean mean shearing machine' as the commentators described him. He wins a return ticket to New Zealand and a chance to represent Wales in the world championships next year.    
Today, all eyes turned to the future, with the Young Handlers competition in the cattle ring and an impressive 58 entries. 

I met Ifan Phillips from Newcastle Emlyn who was competing in the Beef Young Handlers. His heifer looked great but proved a little temperamental on the day but on his way out of the showring, Ifan told me that it'd been an amazing experience. That's what this show is all about - young and old alike, working and playing hard all week.    
It wasn't all work for me either. This year, strictly in the name of duty - I sampled some of the show's nightlife at the National Sheep Association, where the workers were wearing t-shirts saying 'Star Baff' just to confuse the innocent! 

Also, there was a good atmosphere at the Welsh Pony and Cob Society building, packed to the rafters with revellers. I was also invited to a Toga Party and for a singalong in the cattle lines - too many events, too little time.
Another new competition to involve the younger generation was the Schools Garden Competition over in the Horticultural Tent where giant cabbages and enormous onions reign supreme. Again, an incredible 50 entries, but it was Y Bont Faen Primary in Cowbridge that impressed the judges most.    
It's not all about big bulls, bulky rams and mighty stallions at the show though - there's even a section to decide the best household pets.

This year a rabbit called Miley (named after Miley Cyrus) beat cats, guinea pigs and even a tortoise to become the champion pet. Her owner Megan, competing for the first time at the Royal Welsh was delighted with the red rosette. 
We're almost homeward bound and tonight's programme is almost finished. The trailers are coming back on site to load up the livestock, the trade stands are packing up and in the Food Hall there's a last chance to grab a few bargains as the exhibitors sell off their stock. 

I've also had the annual last minute dash to buy presents to take home for my boys as a few hints were dropped when I spoke to them last night...  
I've had a brilliant week at the show - caught up with lots of old friends and been a part of what has to be the best show in Wales!

It's time to go home now and catch up with what's been happening in the rest of the world (as I've been  in the Builth Wells bubble for too long) but I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

The online team have taken some stunning photos this year which you can see in our picture galleries including today's final showground parade, so take a look when you get time.


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