Countess Sophie pets a pink sheep at Agrifest South West

Today, The Countess of Wessex was in attendance at Agrifest South West, which was held in Westpoint, Exeter. This is the 8th Agrifest show, which is supported by the Devon County Agricultural Association (DCAA), of which Sophie is president. The event showcases the South West’s high quality beef products and sheep farming, and is organised by the National Beef Association.

Sophie is currently president of the DCAA, an organisation which has carried out its role in supporting the development of agriculture and the rural economy in Devon since 1872. The Countess, who is interested in promoting British agriculture, was chosen to be the association’s president during 2017, and so her role will soon come to an end.

Vicky Smith, Secretary of Agrifest South West, said of the royal visitor:

“I look forward to demonstrating the work of beef and sheep producers in the South West to The Countess of Wessex and for HRH to have the opportunity to see the role of The National Beef Association first hand.”

Agrifest’s chairman, Robert Venner, also commented that ‘recognition of the show by a member of the royal family highlights how the show is rising in eminence.’

During today’s visit, the Countess was shown a sheep which had been dyed pink in order to be auctioned off and raise money for Cancer Research. Sophie, hands-on as ever, stopped to stroke the sheep, before watching the charity auction. The pink sheep raised £3,500 for Cancer Research.

This year’s festival activities include charity auctions, the pedigree calf show and the prime lamb classes.

The Countess of Wessex also spoke to Philip Henshaw, who was Chief Steward at the show’s beef ribs and saddle competition, as they examined some of this year’s entries.

During the two-hour visit, The Queen’s daughter-in-law spoke to Mark Thomas, who explained elements of farm safety to the Countess. Sophie was also presented with a posy by some local children.

The Royal ended her day with lunch at Darts Farm, an award-winning farm shop near Topham. Today also marked the 14th birthday of Sophie’s daughter, Lady Louise.

On Monday night, The Countess of Wessex hosted a reception for her patronage, Mencap, at Buckingham Palace. The organisation works with people with learning disabilities, their families and carers.

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