UNITED KINGDOM - The summer is a fantastic time to get out and about. It’s during the summer months most counties hold their annual agricultural show. Even with the unpredictable U.K. weather – come rain or shine these shows are a great day out and fun for all the family.
Most shows judge sheep, cattle, pigs and chickens. The livestock are housed on the show grounds during the event so visitors can get a close-up look at them. Cakes and other baked goods are judged and displayed. There is also everything for the horse enthusiast, from show jumping to heavy-horse turnouts. Stands sell everything the country-enthusiast could wish for.
Below is a list of some shows in England, most having all of the above and so much more. Here, we look at what the different shows have to offer in addition to the above.
1. Essex Young Farmers County Show. May 19, 2013. This event is run by a small group passionate about farming. Exhibits include trade stands, craft halls, game fair, forestry area, jeeps, quads and motorcycle display team, a horse and rider stunt company and a dog and duck show.
2. Hertfordshire County Show. May 25 to 26, 2013. This show offers a multitude of attractions including a wide variety of display teams.
3. Suffolk Show. May 29 to 30, 2013. This show, local to RAF Mildenhall, is held near Ipswich. During the two-day show, visitors can enjoy everything from show jumping, heavy-horse turnout, a motorcycle display team, coaching and parades of the hounds. In the smaller arenas, there are sheepdogs at work and a Shetland pony Grand National where small ponies ridden by children are raced over fences.
4. The Royal Three Counties Show. June 14 to 16, 2013. This is held at Malvern, Worcestershire, and is packed with family-friendly entertainment including an international Orchid show and discovery zone featuring hands-on activities and workshops area to keep children of all ages entertained, medieval village, Grand Livestock parade and an exhilarating jousting and Cossack show.
5. Derbyshire County Show. June 23, 2013. Vintage cars, dog shows, horticultural and floral art tent, bee section, hedge-laying and dry-stone walling. This show has a variety of horse events including Pony Club games competition, carriage driving and heavy-horse turnouts.
6. Royal Norfolk Show. June 26 to 27, 2013. This show is held near Norwich. During this show there is a Household Cavalry musical ride, RAF Falcons freefall parachute team displays, British Imperial Military band, scurry driving and hound displays.
7. The Cotswold Show. July 6 to 7, 2013. With sky diving, ancient and modern farm machinery, dressage display, polo in the park, sheepdog display and a falconry village, this show offers everything for the family.
8. Kent County Show. July 12 to 14, 2013. This show gives visitors a sense of what “The Garden of England” has to offer. Events include camel racing, Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar Kent Spitfire Display, donkey championships, Shire-breeding championships, cattle evening milking display and fleece judging.
9. The Glendale Show. Aug. 26, 2013. This show is a little further away, set in the picturesque Cheviot Hills of Northumberland. The show celebrates all aspects of rural and farming life. It shows off music, a fly-casting demonstration, chainsaw carving and a Punch and Judy show.
10. British National Ploughing Championships. Oct. 12 to 13, 2013. The calendar year is completed by this event. More than 200 of the best ploughmen in Britain compete in this event. Visitors will see vintage tractors, ploughs and equipment, steam ploughing engines as well as demonstrations from the latest tractors and farm machinery. Heavy-horses are also on display, working in the fields as they once did.
A fun day can be had by all. But remember, the livestock on display are someone’s livelihood, please respect this by not feeding or frightening them. The shows are a great day out and visitors can enjoy a real family friendly atmosphere, while seeing things that many people never have the chance to see and enjoy.
Editor’s note: the dates and exhibitions shown are for 2013. They vary slightly from year-to-year, so please check the web site for more information.