The clip-clop of hooves echoing through the streets will turn Cardigan back to a bygone age during the 57th annual Barley Saturday (Dydd Sadwrn Barlys) Stallion Show and Parade on April 28, which is expected to attract exhibitors and visitors from throughout Wales and further afield.

As the crème-de-la-crème of the Welsh stallion kingdom gears up for the event with girths ready to be tightened and brasses polished, organisers are putting the finishing touches to their preparations and hoping the weather is set fine.

It is the fourth time for the show to be held on the playing field at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi and this year’s president is Dai Jones Llanilar MBE, the celebrated presenter of S4C programme 'Cefn Gwlad'.

The 75-year-old, who farms at Llanilar in north Ceredigion where he keeps Welsh black cattle and sheep, is also an accomplished tenor and won the Blue Riband prize at the National Eisteddfod in 1970.

The hugely popular, affable Dai featured Barley Saturday on 'Cefn Gwlad' some years ago and when approached by show organisers to be president agreed despite rarely making public appearances.

“Dydd Sadwrn Barlys is a very special event and I could not possibly turn down the invitation. I am deeply honoured to have been asked to be president and hope everyone has an enjoyable day,” he said.

It is not possible to determine when the show originated but it was an established local public holiday by the first half of the 19th century.

Traditionally held on the Saturday following the last Friday in April the event celebrated the end of the spring sowing season with barley the last cereal to be down after wheat and oats.

In years gone by Barley Saturday had a double role as a half-yearly hiring fare of farm staff, and gave an opportunity for stallion owners to display their studs among the local horse owning community.

The show was disbanded at the start of the Second World War and after a group of local enthusiasts got together was resurrected in 1961, going from strength to strength as a well-established event in the Welsh agricultural calendar.

Judging at the school field starts at 10am with the parade through the streets at around 2pm and presentation of trophies by Dai Jones and others outside the Guildhall.

Last year the supreme show champion was a superbly turned out eight-year-old Section D Welsh Cobb Ionis Llion owned by Sarah Hughes of Pwll Cornel Uchaf, Penrhiwllan and shown by her son Daniel.

Organisers are hoping the popular Sarah, who was born and bred in Cardigan, decides to enter the stallion for defence of its title.

Winner of the heavy horse turnout was Barley Saturday and local events stalwart John Fletcher of Moylegrove who is to exhibit again.

Long-serving secretary Tudor Harries said: “We hope there will be an increase in local stallions this year in order to ensure the future of such a unique event.

“There were 72 horses at last year’s show and hopefully blessed with good weather that number can be overtaken.”

There was such a deluge of entries in the vintage section consisting of tractors, cars, other vehicles and machinery organisers are asking for pre-entries and these can be made by contacting vintage section secretary Gareth James (01239 613741).