The show season is in full swing, with scores to choose from each month. Two big shows coming up in June are the Royal Bath & West Show from June 1-4 and the Royal Cornwall Show from June 9-11.
Agriculture is at the heart of the Bath & West Show, at the Bath & West showground, with more than 4,500 livestock, sheep shearing, machinery from the past 100 years and the very latest farming technology.
Main ring events range from top class showjumping and a grand parade of prize-winning animals. There is also a Living Countryside arena showcasing the Great British Countryside.
A display of girl power is set for the main ring at this year’s Royal Cornwall Show, as the first female winner of One Man & His Dog will be there.
In the male dominated world of sheep dog handling, Katy Cropper is quite unique. In fact, when it comes to sheep dog trials, she’s one of Britain’s most successful competitors.
Katy was the first woman to win the BBC’s iconic sheep dog trial show and will be heading to the Wadebridge showground to showcase her self-taught talents along with her hard working Collies.
A show spokesman said: “We’ve been busily planning another show crammed full of things to see and do. There’s so much to do and something for all ages to enjoy. We are looking forward to another three days of farming, food and fun.”
Don’t forget that Country Smallholding will be running Speakers’ Corner at the Spring Festival at Builth Wells from May 21-22. There will be fascinating presentations by some of our expert writers. Tim Tyne will talking about his new book, Viable Self-Sufficiency, while Sally Morgan will be talking about her new book, Growing on One Acre or Less. Others speakers will include Liz Shankland, Jules Moore, Charlotte Popescu, Adam Willcox and Andy Richards and leading organic gardener Charles Dowding. We will also have a stand at the show.
The Spring Festival,
Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells. May 21-22
The two-day festival has a strong focus on the smallholder. With its action-packed programme of entertainment and educational activities, free workshops, displays and main ring performances it offers the perfect family day out. With more than 1,300 livestock, poultry and horses, hundreds of trade stands, the only premier open dog show to be held in Wales, children’s activities, a food and drink quarter, vintage machinery, auction, country leisure and much more, the event has something for everyone. Country Smallholding will be running a Speakers’ Corner at this year’s show. Children aged 16 and under will have free entry. Adult e-tickets can be purchased in advance at the discounted rate of £13 each – a saving of £2 per ticket!
The Smallholders & Country Show,
Ardingly, Sussex. July 2-3
This event, at the South of England Showground, is a fun family show for everyone with the accent firmly on ‘the good life’. There will be a great line up of features and attractions again with the usual poultry and livestock, including the Rare Breeds Survival Trust with rare Whitefaced Woodland sheep, and the Small Farm Training Group with their pigs, sheep and cattle. They will also be giving talks on various aspects of keeping livestock and running a smallholding. There will be more than 150 traders selling products from poultry housing to plants, fencing to clothing, and everything you need for your garden or smallholding. There will also be many rural crafts including blacksmithing, chair making, stick making, trug making etc.
The Ayr County Show
The Racecourse, Ayr. May 14
This is another great day out for the family. Hundreds of animals of a wide variety of breeds will be judged throughout the morning and the Grand Parade of Livestock is a sight to behold.
Young Farmers have organised a tug o’war, there will be a marquee full of great gifts and bespoke items, a popular poultry marquee, owl magic, Daffy Dill entertainment, a heavy horse stud cart, trade stands, Ayrshire Vintage Tractor & Machinery Club, chainsaw carving displays, pipers and events for the kids – and lots more. Regardless of the weather, there’s plenty to see and do!
Keighley & District Agricultural Show
King George V Playing Fields, Keighley. Sept 3
There are almost 100 classes for poultry, bantams, waterfowl and eggs, and more than 100 classes in the horticulture section at this busy show in West Yorkshire. New exhibitors are welcomed from smallholdings and allotments. There are cattle, sheep, pygmy goats, handicraft and produce and equestrian events, as well as trade stands, crafts and local foods and children’s entertainments. Exciting special attractions include the Dangerous Steve stunt show, a sheep show, the City of Bradford Pipe Band, and the return of the ever popular terrier racing, vintage tractors, ferret racing, heavy horses and much more.
MORE: www.keighleyshow.co.uk email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 01535 930459
The Scottish Smallholder and Grower Festival
Lanark Agricultural Centre. Sept 26
2016 will celebrate the fifth annual event of this major show north of the border. The festival brings together a livestock competition including the RBST Scottish National Championships, food and craft competitions, seminars, a full trade show and a range of demonstrations and breed societies to inform, educate and inspire. More than 1,200 exhibitors, visitors, competitors and traders blend together to make the festival a unique event that enjoys strong loyalty amongst people who recognize the fantastic atmosphere and come back year after year. Rosemary Champion, from the event, said: “We believe that 2015 was our best show to date. The show has now become established in the rural calendar for anyone with an interest in smaller scale farming, rural lifestyles and country crafts. 2016 promises to be bigger and even better!”
The Rutland County Show
Rutland Showground. June 5
This traditional country show features cattle, sheep, goats and equestrian classes. This year The Leicester County Poultry Show will participating for the first time on the new showground. There’s so much to enjoy with fabulous main ring attractions throughout the day and exhibitions and demonstrations of all things rural. Sample delicious local food and drink in The Larder and watch local chefs in action cooking up some amazing recipes in The Pavilion. Browse more than 100 trade and craft stalls, watch the farriers in action or enjoy the vintage vehicle displays. It’s a great family day out.
Sherborne Castle Country Fair & Rare Breeds Show
Sherborne Castle. May 30
The Sherborne Castle Country Fair is held annually in the magnificent grounds of Sherborne Castle in Dorset. It is one of the most popular events in the area presenting a rich programme of events, country activities, stands and entertainment including one of the best Rare Breed Shows in the country. For one day in early summer each year, one of the country’s finest settings is transformed into a fun-filled day out for all ages – including spectacular lakeside dragon boat racing, circus, gundog retriever trials in the deer park, dog shows, scurries and main ring events.
Rare & Traditional Breeds Show
Weald & Downland Open Air Museum. July 17
The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum’s Rare & Traditional Breeds Show will be held on the Museum’s beautiful downland site in Singleton, near Chichester, Sussex, on Sunday July 17. This annual celebration of the diversity of rare and traditional breeds of farm livestock has become one of the South East’s most popular agricultural shows. Smallholders play a vital role in nurturing rare and traditional breeds of livestock and several hundred cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and poultry will take part in the show. Classes are held for cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. Most importantly, the next generation of exhibitors and stockmen are actively encouraged to participate in the showing and compete for prizes.
The Royal Norfolk Show, Norfolk Showground. June 29-30
The Royal Norfolk Show, the largest annual event in Norfolk, and the largest two-day agricultural show in the country, has a reputation for being a fantastic occasion full of entertainment for all the family. A true celebration of the county’s agricultural industries, there are livestock and equine competitions and displays on both days, more than 3,000 animals and hundreds of attractions.
There are numerous classes from the largest of cattle breeds to the rarest of pigs, with a class to suit livestock enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes. The show has 21 cattle sections, covering beef and dairy, plus RBST, and commercial beef. Highlights include the Colman’s Mustard Interbreed, Cattle Young Handlers and Calf Classes.
With 17 sheep breed sections, Wool on the Hoof and Young Handlers, including a qualifier for RBST Young Shepherd of the Year, the sheep rings are equally active. Butchers lambs classes are becoming increasingly popular with commercial breeders. The pig ring plays host to 12 pig breed sections plus commercial pigs. Exhibitors can also qualify in a BPA Pig of the Year heat.
Dairy goat exhibitors can enter the back to back show and milking competition with nine breed categories for female goats, goatlings and kid classes. The small livestock area offers classes and championships for rabbit, cavy and poultry enthusiasts.
MORE: For more information on livestock entries, prize schedules and entry forms, please contact Juliette Tompkins, Livestock Co-ordinator. E: Juliette.email@example.com T: 01603 731965 W: www.royalnorfolkshow.rnaa.org.uk
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