An equine expert who trained horses for Olympic stars and a rare breeds champion joined Europe’s biggest trailer maker to take centre stage in a top TV show.
Ifor Williams Trailers has a starring role in the latest series of S4C’s popular countryside and farming programme Ffermio.
Three of the award-winning company’s top-selling trailers will be up for grabs in a special Ffermio competition.
The programme is broadcast every Monday at 9.30pm on S4C, with English subtitles available.
Coleg Cambria’s Northop campus in Flintshire was the setting for filming of the prizes for the programme. The clip will be shown on the S4C programme and online service to promote the Ffermio contest.
And helping to show off the trailers to their best were department heads Karen Jones with horse Henry, and Wendy Gacem with rare Bagot goats Billy and Elliott.
Equine Centre manager Karen spent years training horses for eventing professionals, including the Irish team for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, plus others who competed at Badminton, Punchestown and Necarne Castle Horse Trials.
She will be shown in the film clip with college horse Henry, who was decked out in full travel kit including Ifor Williams Trailers travel boots.
Karen loaded the bay chestnut gelding into an Ifor Williams Trailers HB506 horse box worth more than £4,000, on offer as top prize for one lucky Ffermio viewer.
Henry, now 11, has been at the college for six years and is used by students to develop their riding skills, along with grooming, equine care and animal handling knowledge.
Karen, who also has her own working hunter Vinnie, said: “Thanks to the kind support of Ifor Williams Trailers, we are able to use the company’s trailers daily here at the college, so I know how brilliant they are. I find them very easy to use.”
Karen, 43, is also seen hitching her quad bike up to an Ifor Williams Trailer worth £950, which is up for grabs as third prize in the Ffermio contest.
Also appearing in the film clip, which will be seen by S4C viewers throughout the world, is the college’s small animal centre manager, Wendy Gacem.
The 45-year-old was filmed loading goats Billy and Elliott into a P8G livestock Ifor Williams Trailer. Worth around £2,000 and seen at markets and on farms across the UK, the trailer is Ffermio’s second prize, and is suitable for sheep and pigs to alpacas and llamas, as well as goats.
Wendy, who is treasurer of the national Bagot Goat Society, said: “They are a very rare breed, with around only 170 breeding females, which makes it an endangered species, and thought to be the oldest breed of goats in the UK.
“We have 15 Bagots here at the college and Billy and Elliott were part of our display at the Royal Welsh Show – they really loved the attention, because they are very laid back for goats.
“The breed dates back to the 1300s and, rather than milk or meat, their key attraction is that they love scrubland. They are perfect for conservation grazing and clearing land – we are in talks with national conservation charities to see how we can work with them.”
Andrew Reece-Jones, Design Engineering Manager at Ifor Williams Trailers, was delighted to be at the campus filming with Ffermio.
“We know from the rising number of entries each year that this is an extremely popular competition with Ffermio. The show is excellent – I think we are lucky here in Wales to have such a programme devoted to rural affairs, and I’m not surprised it’s gaining a large following over the border in England plus overseas.
“Our customers are very loyal and we think these prizes are a great way to give something back to those who live and work in the countryside.”
The college was also pleased to be involved in the filming, said Vivienne Martin, Coleg Cambria director of Curriculum Land Based and Independent Living Skills.
She added: “We have many years of close association with Ifor Williams Trailers, so I was delighted that we were asked to host this filming. I know from personal experience how useful the trailers are, and easy to operate, whether moving animals or equipment.
“The filming is also a chance to showcase what we can offer here at Northop for those with an interest in equestrianism, horticulture and small animals.”
Telesgop, the production company that makes the programme, is expecting entries from across the UK.
Ffermio producer Gwawr Lewis said: “We are extremely grateful to Ifor Williams Trailers for their support once again, and the grounds of the college have provided us with a perfect setting for the filming.
“We know that the viewers also appreciate the competition because we have thousands of entries and the numbers increase year on year.
“S4C programmes can be seen outside Wales on Sky and Freesat as well as over the internet after they’ve been broadcast, so we have people from all over the UK and even abroad competing.
“The popularity of the competition speaks volumes about the popularity of the trailers.”