Revellers were shocked and distressed to witness the sudden death of a popular local farmer at this year's Pembrokeshire Hunt Ball on Saturday.

Hayscastle farmer Peter Lewis Evans, aged 48, died suddenly during the ball at the county showground.

Mr Evans was the eldest son of Mansel and Jean Evans, formerly of Broadmoor Farm, Wolfscastle.

He and his wife Ros were third-generation farmers at Upper Hayscastle Farm. They would have been married 20 years this spring and have two daughters, Caryl, aged ten, and Mari, seven.

Family members described Mr Evans as a successful, efficient farmer, and a very popular Pembrokeshire man who was always in a good mood.

Mrs Evans said: "He was a devoted family man and father. He was popular and fun-loving, and enjoyed life to the full. He always had a smile on his face and was always willing to offer help to anyone who needed it."

Upper Hayscastle Farm was one of the first in Wales to be used in trials for growing willow trees, and the family also runs Hayscastle fishery.

The farming community has expressed shock and sadness at the news. Ken Evans, president of the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society, and a neighbour, said: "It's terrible news. Peter was a member of the executive committee of the county show, and it's a terrible blow to us all."

Police were called to the ball, which was held at the Parkhouse Building, at about 2.15am on Sunday.

Mr Evans was given immediate medical attention by a doctor who was a guest at the ball.

There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Evans' death, but the coroner has been informed.

Mr Evans had strong hunting connections and the local hunt regularly used his land.

Richard Wilson, treasurer of Pembrokeshire Hunt paid tribute to Mr Evans, and said he would be greatly missed by many people from all parts of the community.

He said: "It's a great loss. He was well-known in both the hunting and farming community, and was a great host to the hunt, who were always welcome on the land.

"He was a great personal friend, someone you could always talk to and rely on."

Mr Evans' funeral will be held on Saturday, January 20th at St Mary's Church, Hayscastle, at 11.30am. Family flowers only but donations in lieu for Cancer Research to T. C. Griffiths, Bryn Siriol, Wolfscastle, SA62 5LY.