Mid Wales

Cardigan's Barley Saturday parade future in doubt

Image copyright Julie John
Image caption The Cardigan-based event has been held on the last Saturday in April since 1871

The future of an annual stallion show and parade attended by hundreds of people that stretches back to the 19th Century has been thrown into doubt.

Organisers of Cardigan's Barley Saturday have been told by the owners of the showground they use that the land will no longer be available for the event.

So the show's organising committee has made an appeal to other local landowners for a new site.

This year's event was held on 26 April.

The show, which dates back to 1871, is held on the last Saturday in April every year and marks the end of the spring sowing season.

Barley Saturday show secretary Tudor Harries said the committee were given the news in a letter from the owner of the show site at Penrallt-ddu, based near the town's primary school.

Stallions at stud

He added: "We have been told that field will not be available again which means the future of the show is now in doubt.

"Our problem is that we have to have a field near the town centre or at the very least on the outskirts of Cardigan to enable the parade from the showground to the centre of Cardigan to take place.

Image copyright JULIE JOHN
Image caption Barley Saturday was resurrected in 1961 after being disbanded during World War Two

"It is this parade that makes Barley Saturday unique but if we will have to use a field that isn't central I cannot see the authorities closing roads for more than two hours for the parade of horses."

Cardigan county councillor, Catrin Miles, said the decision to withdraw Penralltt-ddu from use after 30 years was a "shot across the bows" as the event attracts hundreds of people into Cardigan.

It was initially held at Pensarnau Pool in the 1870s with horses being paraded around it.

Traditionally, it had a two-fold role as a half-yearly hire fair of farm staff and as an opportunity for the owners of the stallions at stud to display the animals.

When the pool was filled in 1877 the show was moved to nearby streets until it was disbanded during World War Two.

Barley Saturday was resurrected in 1961 with the annual supreme champion leading other horses to be presented with their awards at the town's Guildhall.

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