THIS year’s Winter Fair attracted more than 20,000 people despite the early winter snow which hit Radnorshire just days before.

11,774 people braved the wintry conditions at Llanelwedd showground on Monday and 9,381 on Tuesday, with temperatures at -12 degrees celsius at 9am on Monday morning, November 29.

The unusually low temperatures did nothing to deter the crowds nor the entrants, with cattle entries having again reached the 300 mark.

80 crossbred steers and 79 crossbred heifers came forward for judging, while baby ‘show’ steers were up to 51, compared with 37 last year, proving that the animals were just as hardy as their owners.

In the sheep classes, the numbers of lambs (pairs) climbed to a six-year high at 357, with pig numbers slightly up on 2009 with 58 entries.

Horses and ponies have proved to be a big attraction since being introduced at the Winter Fair in 2001, and this year’s numbers reached 653.

The enduring popularity of Welsh Cobs, always a favourite at the summer Royal Welsh Show, is reflected in the record number of entries (163). However the Welsh Mountain Pony entries led the way with 175.

The sheer volume of entries for the produce and handicraft show has stunned organisers, with numbers soaring to 1,058 - almost twice the number seen in 2009.

“The response has been incredible, although the extra 450 entries have presented us with a few additional problems accommodating them all and sorting out the programmes,” said assistant honorary director of the Fair, Kay Spencer.