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The Royal County of Berkshire Show overcomes weather conditions to stage a successful show!

The Society is delighted with the success of this year’s show, especially considering the weather conditions two days before.

The thunderstorm on the Thursday before the show was certainly spectacular and although organisers reported that no flooding affected the showground, some visitors may have been put-off by reports of flooding in the area. This and a slightly overcast and drizzly start affected visitor numbers on the Saturday. This did not deter Show organisers who rose to the challenges faced and visitor numbers significantly increased on the Sunday as temperatures reached 21 degrees.

Daren Bowyer, Chief Executive Officer for the Newbury & District Agricultural Society commented “we were a little disappointed by the slow build-up of visitors on Saturday but there were plenty of people here by mid-afternoon all having a fantastic time. Sunday was a beautiful day and the crowds thronged in. It was a great Show. We are very lucky with the ground here and the network of internal roads that meant we were pretty much unaffected by Thursday night/Friday morning’s incredible downpours.”

Farmers from across the UK turned out in force to compete in the various classes with their livestock. The new cattle building proved favourable, with competitors very happy with the facilities and visitors enjoying a much better viewing platform.

Supreme Sheep Champion for Saturday was Mr R Vincent from Oxford Down, Witney and Sunday’s Champion was M R & D P Thomas and Bevan Messers from Hill Radnor, Presteine.

Overall Supreme Beef Champion went to W J & M Mash Ltd from Brockurst Heavenly, Chesham and Supreme Dairy Champion went to Mr Elmes from Swallowdale Baxter Blackrose 5, Swindon.

And finally Interbreed Pig Champion went to Mrs Sue Fildes from Kilcot Mermaid 7, Dartmouth.

The brand new Food & Farming Zone was buzzing with families and individuals enjoying the many hands-on activities and demonstrations on offer, such as apple pressing, beer sampling and wonderful displays illustrating what happens over the course of the arable farming year. Families also enjoyed a GPS tractor ride and operating a mini digger. The new Zone’s main aim was to demonstrate the importance of backing the British Farming industry, which is even more important after the recent decision to leave the EU. The University of reading certainly supported this with an exhibition based around the food chain, taking visitors on a journey from field to fork in a number of interactive displays.

Daren continues “The Food and Farming Zone was a new initiative to bring together many of our-farming-focussed attractions, such as the vintage farming equipment, the modern GPS tractor and the Harvest Centre with some of our agricultural exhibitors, like University of Reading and BCA. Joined by, among others, the Wildlife Trust with their Animal Olympics and with plenty of hands-on activities for children, the zone was a great success”

Headlining in the main arena this year were the White Helmets, who didn’t disappoint, with crowds to full capacity enjoying thrilling stunts and acrobatics as well as jumping through fire rings and their amazing display of motorcycle skills.

As ever, the food tent was fully booked with a selection of delectable treats, produce and beverages. Locals Cook & Butcher won all three competitions on offer in the tent over the weekend, and were very happy with how their first year at the show went, explaining that all their produce comes from local farms.

The craft tent was also fully booked, offering gifts that can’t be found on the high street. A rule to exhibit in the tent was that crafts must be hand-made and unique. This year, the show welcomed a young artist, Phoebe Hessian, who recently sold a signed drawing of Sir Ranulph Fiennes for over £1000! All the money Phoebe has raised went towards a trip to Uganda, where she helped to build facilities for a local school, as well as teaching art and English to the children.

The equine section also delivered some fantastic competition; from the first left of the 2017 British Showjumping International Stairway Class to the elegant side saddle quadrille and heavy horses.

The Heavy Horse classes saw Miss C Webb with Dothan Silver Coin from Winchester win a number of competitions, as well as local, Oakingham Stud from Newbury doing well in the showjumping. Tri and Star from Llanwrda and Smokey & The Bandit from Maidenhead were successful in the Scurry Driving, and once again, we saw locals Mr Clifford Percy from Newbury with his collection of Shetland Ponies win in a number of classes.

In the run up to the show, organisers saw a rise in social media engagement, with over 6.5k followers, reaching 214k people and over 55k post engagements. Twitter also saw a rise in followers and nearly 700 mentions over the show weekend, with our TV advert proving popular with followers.

“We’ve been delighted with the success of our plans to grow our social media presence and with the popularity of Pippin – our new Berkshire Pig Mascot. It was great to expand our work with BCA by having some of their Media students help out with PR and Communications over the Show weekend”

SAVE THE DATE!

The dates for 2017 Royal County of Berkshire Show will be Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September.

 

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