THE Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has appointed its first female chair of council.

Nicola Davies, who had been vice chair, replaces David Lewis after he took the decision to retire after more than 40 years service to the society which organises the annual Royal Welsh Show at Llanelwedd, near Builth Wells.

Mrs Davies, from Cribyn in Ceredigion, has exhibited Welsh Cobs at the Royal Welsh Show for many years, and first joined the event's Ceredigion advisory committee in 1996.

With her enthusiasm for the industry, she has previously taken on a variety of roles, including chief announcer and commentator, as well as stewarding within the sponsorship and hospitality sections.

John T Davies, chair of board of directors, said: “Nicola Davies is a natural choice to become the chair of the council of the RWAS.

“She has grown up in the show rings of Wales and has given a lifetime of distinguished service and support to the RWAS, as a successful Welsh Cob exhibitor, steward, lady ambassador, senior commentator and vice chair of council.

"Nicola is a capable and commanding figure who without doubt be an excellent ambassador for the society.”

The task of seeking nominations for vice chair of council will now begin and a council meeting will take place towards the end of January.

This comes at a time of more change within the society as chief executive Steve Hughson has announced he will retire after the 2022 Royal Welsh Show.

This July's show will be its first summer show since 2019, with the pandemic having forced it to cancel the 2020 and 2021 editions. The two-day Winter Fair did go ahead in November.

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The four day summer show can attract crowds of up to 50,000 people every day.

After giving nearly 10 years of service to the society, former Dyfed-Powys Police detective Mr Hughson has given 10 months’ notice.

“The greatest investment a show society can make is to appoint an industrious and committed chief executive, that we did a decade ago,” said Mr Davies.

“At that time Steve indicated that he would dedicate 10 years of his life as leader of the society and he has done so with distinction.

“As Steve retires from office after the 2022 show, we will have an opportunity to reflect on a very successful tenure of growth and stability.

"Steve has most definitely put the society on sound footings at a time of unprecedented challenge. The society owes Steve a huge debt of gratitude, it’s been a pleasure to work alongside him.”

The society hopes to appoint a replacement for Mr Hughson before this summer’s Royal Welsh Show in order to have a hand over period in the lead up to events.

The role will be advertised in the coming weeks.

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