Agricultural Shows and Countryside Events

Ceredigion probably has more shows per head of population than any other area, each community coming together to celebrate, compete and have fun. Each show has its own character, and there are a wide range of classes from cookery, craft and flower arranging to carriage driving, sheep shearing, dog and stallion shows.

Barley Saturday

Barley Saturday is a colourful parade through the streets of Cardigan celebrating the tradition of the hiring fair. The focus is on the horses, including the best of Welsh Mountain ponies and cobs, especially the stallions, but the parade also has shire horses, tractors, vintage cars and other vehicles.  Judging of the horses takes place in the morning, followed by the parade around town in the afternoon.

Agricultural and village shows

Ceredigion is Welsh pony and cob country, with  every show  agricultural and country show with several classes for horses - from breeding mares and children's pony classes to to stallions and showjumping classes. Among the first events of the show season is the Lampeter Stallion Show, held in April, on the meadows of the Aeron valley at Llanllyr. The focus is youngstock and on the stallions.

Look out for native breeds of sheep and cattle too, such as our local Llanwenog sheep, and the distinctive Welsh Black cattle and Welsh pigs.

Aberystwyth and Ceredigion Show is the first major agricultural show of the season \It is one of the largest one-day shows in mid-Wales, attracting visitors nad competitors from all over Wales. With competitions for over 1700 entries, competition is of a high standard and is a national show for some breeds of sheep.  The show is held at Gelli Angharad Fields, on the A44 to the east of Aberystwyth. 

Lampeter Show is a large show with horses and other livestock including dairy cattle and goats. Vintage and carriage display. Rugby 7-a-side.

Established in 1873, the Tivyside Show has competition classes for cattle, horses, sheep and pigs as well as a horticultural section and a dog show. 

Cardigan Show is another major show with horses, livestock, poultry, sheepdog challenge, parades and entertainment.

There are also several local village shows where there are a range of competition classes, most held during August.

Capel Bangor Show  and Llanilar Show have horse and pony classes including shire horses, fancy dress and driving classes as well as livestock, a dog show, produce tent and a vintage display.

Talybont Show is usually held on the 4th Saturday in August. There are sheep, goats, poultry, cattle, horse and pony classes, and large craft and produce tent.  A popular sheep shearing competition is held on a nearby farm in the evening.

Tregaron Show, at the heart of horse and sheep country, has classes for both, and more. Llangeitho village show is held on the last Wednesday in August. the focus of the main ring is on horse and pony classes, but there's also a garden and produce tent where the competitions are hotly contested.

The last big show of the summer season is Llandysul Show, held on the first Saturday in September.

Vintage vehicles and Classic Cars

There is usually a display of vintage vehicles - engines, threshing machines, tractors and cars at each of the Ceredigion shows.   There are also popular vintage vehicle and classic car shows and clubs. 

The Aberystwyth Supercar Vintage Classic Motor Club, established in 2021 meets once a month, every third Sunday morning at the Park Lodge Hotel on the outskirts of  Aberystwyth.

Cardigan Classic Car Club organises monthly Club runs, usually on the last Sunday .and a classic car show in Cardigan in Julyl 

How long does it take to shear a sheep?

Each farm has a traditional day when the sheep are gathered and sheared. The tradition goes back to when farmers would share the work of gathering the sheep from the mountain pastures, and helping neighbours with the shearing in their turn. Today you can still see shepherds and their sheepdogs skilfully gathering the sheep on the hillsides, but the shearing takes less time, and is usually done by a number of skilled contractors travelling between farms.

Catch up with the shearers as they show off their skills – many will have spent the northern winter shearing sheep on farms in New Zealand – competing against each other and the clock!

See traditional hand shearing skills at  during the summer, or join the crowd at the shearing competitions held annually on farms near Lampeter , Pontrhydfendigaid and at Talybont Show. Take a stopwatch with you!

Sheepdog trials and dog shows

Shearing skills are only matched by sheepdog handling skills. Local sheepdog trials are held throughout Ceredigion, mostly during August.  The dogs are the stars, in partnership with their handlers, demonstrating their their agility, intelligence and accuracy.  

As local expert Lloyd Jones says: "Sheepdogs are referred to as the wisest dogs in the world. They remain unspoilt by the fame of their ability and that of their handler. It is this very attribute that gives trialling its charm."

The Welsh National Sheepdog Trials are regularly held in Ceredigion and there area local competitions, mainly during August.

As well as competitive classes for farm livestock and horses, most agricultural shows have classes for dogs - obedience and agility and even fancy dress for a bit of fun!


Go racing - go harness racing

Harness racing is popular in the United States, Canada, Australasia and  in Europe, mainly France, Scandinavia and Wales. Ceredigion has a long and established tradition and in spring and during the summer months, there are several harness racing meets, held on grass tracks. Horses race in two different 'gaits': a trotting horse moves its legs forward in diagonal pairs (right front and left hind together, then left front and right hind), and pacers move their legs laterally (right front and right hind together, then left front and left hind). Both styles can be seen in Ceredigion.  The 'driver' sits in a two wheeled 'sulky'  - a light carriage - behind the horse. 

Tregaron is at the heart of this exciting sport, with several breeders and trainers based in the area too. Tregaron hosts a three day Festival of Harness Racing - one of the biggest prize race meetings of its kind in the UK, and also has a spring meeting in May.   Another big meet takes place at Pentre farm Cellan in early September.  

Talgarreg, Synod Inn near New Quay and Talsarn in the Aeron valley are also venues for races organised by the Wales and Border Counties Racing Association.