What's On at The Show
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The Country Area is home to a wide variety of displays and working rural crafts over the weekend.
The Countryside Area plays host to a huge variety of displays and rural working crafts over the weekend of the Show, with a timetable packed full of thrilling performances!
NEW FOR 2018 – for the first time, we’re welcoming our furry friends to the Show, so bring along your dog and visit our new Dog Zone where there will be shows to get involved in, demonstrations and a wide variety of dog-related trade stands.
Have you ever wanted to watch the majestic flight of the Eagle up close?
Have you ever wondered what it is like to hold a Barn Owl or a Lanner Falcon?
Visit the Country Arena for an entertaining, educating and awe-inspiring display of magnificent birds, including the Eagle, Falcons, Hawks and Owls. Fronted by Ray Prior, one of the leading falconers in the country, he brings along a wealth of experience and knowledge and encourages maximum participation and interaction throughout the display.
Colin’s Dog Agility Display
Colin set up a Basic Dog Obedience and Agility Club to help people have a bit of fun with their beloved dogs. Following the success of this it developed into Colin’s Basic Dog Agility Display.
Over the Show weekend, you can witness some pretty impressive dog skills that include an obstacle course with a seesaw and weaving poles and the dogs competing against eachother for the prize of top dog!
Woodhaydown Gun Dogs
A popular performance to watch over the Show weekend, Woodhaydown Gun Dogs will be doing displays both in and out of the water. The display allows the audience to see what goes on behind the scenes in the training of a gun dog.
As well as this they have a stand where they have a range of items for sale and are open to questions and providing useful information.
The Dog & Duck Show
Stuart Barnes has travelled to over 100 countries working with wildlife, and his passion for the canine species has enabled him to gain an incredible understanding of everything about dogs.
In his Show, Stuart uses trained and untrained sheep dogs to herd ducks, amusing and educating the audience about common dog behaviour issues and how they can be resolved.
Millers Ark Farm
Head to the mini farm where you will be able to interact with a whole range of animals, such as goats to cuddle, piglets who like to have their tummies tickled, giant chickens, tiny bantams, a giant rabbit display, geese and ducks in their pond and even some ducklings to and chicks to snuggle up to. There are also mini donkeys that like to be groomed and you can also have a good at spinning wool while the sheep and lambs are beside you.
As well as all the amazing shows and activities going on in the Country Area, you will find a wide variety of trade stands offering unique, modern, traditional and handmade crafts and clothing.
Grand Parade of Hounds
Primarily shown in the Main Arena over the weekend, around 4 packs of hounds will parade the arena and then visitors will be able to get up close with the hounds! Back in the Countryside Ring, children are given the chance again to meet the very happy and excited hounds who just love a lick and a cuddle!
If you’re interested in what’s beneath the surface of the water, then pop along to our pond dipping area where you can explore the unseen world of amazing wildlife. So get dipping!
The Flower Tent has an array of vibrant colours and scents from various types of plants, flowers, fruit & vegetables.
This year, the Flower Tent has a new home on the Village Green, which will be brimming with family entertainment and have-a-go activities. The tent itself will have its own have-a-go workshops and a café to sit and soak up the atmosphere.
As well as several strong and impressive trade stands in the tent, we also play host to a number of classes that YOU can get involved in:
Grow Your Own
If you’re a keen fruit and vegetable grower at home, then why not proudly display your home-grown produce and enter it into this very popular class. If you’re not quite sure but keen to learn, then why not pop along to gain some tips and advice from the professionals!
This section features entries from children aged 3-11 years old and each year is themed. In 2017, there were two themes; Disney’s Finding Dory where children created an Ocean using an egg box, and painted monster pebbles inspired by Monsters Inc.
The Floral Art provides a spectacular interpretation of a different theme each year, 2017 saw a strong Disney theme. It is a great opportunity for you to view different styles of arrangements, from traditional to contemporary and is definitely an area for people of all ages who appreciate the beauty of flower arrangement.
In this section you’ll find beautiful displays of vegetables, fruit and flowers, grown on allotments or at home by local people within Berkshire and the surrounding counties.
Outside the Flower Tent there is an example of an allotment for you to come and get some inspiration, tips and advice from, in case you’re interested in creating your own allotment or garden.
NEW for 2018 are our domestic classes. So everything from cakes, condiments and scones, to pasties, sloe gin and liqueurs.
If you’re interested in entering any of the above classes, please register your interest.
FOOD & FARMING ZONE
Showcasing the very best of British food and farming, this section of the Show gives you the opportunity to try a variety of hands-on activities, watch demonstrations and learn about why supporting British farming is so important.
University of Reading
Come and explore the importance of soil, unearth the truth of this hidden treasure with the university’s detailed research, which will take you on a journey from tales of the past through to the future.
Get your hands dirty at this family friendly stand where you will learn about the small steps we can all take to protect our soils and the environment.
Newbury & District Beekeepers
Their stand is quite literally buzzing with information and an observation hive of live honey bees! Those interested in beekeeping can talk to their experienced members who will be more than happy to dish out helpful tips and advice.
The Produce Tent
The tent is dedicated to showing you the complete food chain, from raw material to the finished product through a number of demonstrations such as a baker using vegetables to make her cakes, which help make them sweet and moist, an apple man who produces the freshest apple juice and a lady pressing the yellow fields of spring into oil. You can also sample a well-known local ale so the tent has something to attract and interest everyone.
The results of our farm classes throughout the year are displayed for all to see with a list of trophies won. And stewards, farmers and trade stands are there to help and answer questions and give useful tips and advice.
The Cookery Theatre
The popular Cookery Theatre, hosted by Nicki Whiteman, has a timetable jam packed with some of the best local chefs Berkshire has to offer, showcasing locally sourced food, and will run from 10am on both days, with ‘have-a-go’ opportunities for any keen cooks out there!
The 2017 Show saw chef’s from The Newbury, The Merry Kitchen, The Bladebone, Donnington Valley Hotel and The Pheasant provide some delicious feasts to whet the appetite. And to finish off, The Spirit of Toad and Master Distiller advised on some of their specialist gins, whilst the Blackberry Cottage indulged the audience with some very unique cakes!
The Vintage Display
The Vintage Area returns bigger and better than ever, with more working machinery as it was back in the day, as well as a rack-saw display, a threshing machine, a selection of stationary engines, working tractors and static vintage tractors.
Members of the National Vintage Tractor & Engine Club will be available to speak to for information and answer any questions.
Great for all ages, it will enlighten the younger generation and take the older generation back to fond memories.
Berkshire Young Farmers
If you’re interested in learning new skills, making new friends and competing in a variety of competitions, then why not visit the Berkshire Young Farmers stand for more information as well as some have-a-go activities for all the family.
The club host a number of events throughout the year such as bowling, farm visits, quiz nights and interesting topical talks from an industry professional.
FOOD AND CRAFTS
Located at its NEW home, down Avenue F for 2018, you will find over 70 stands offering everything from cheese, chutneys, oils & vinegars, bread, pastries, seafood and a wide selection of meat, to strawberries and cream, fudge, cakes and ice cream. And many more delicious treats in between!
All our exhibitors are ready to entice you with their free samples, which are too irresistible to turn down. They are on hand to offer advice and ideas on how to incorporate their products into your everyday lives, and some amazing offers too!
Over the weekend, a team of skilled judges visit each stand and the following prizes are awarded:
- -Best Exhibitor
- -Best Local Exhibitor
- -Most Attractive Exhibitor
If you’re interested in exhibiting, visit our Trade stands page for more details.
The Craft Marquee has always been full to the brim with unique and beautiful items handmade by the owner; from artwork, ceramics, pottery and sculpture, to jewellery, woodwork, clothing, leather goods and furniture. There are also a number of individual categories such as decorated eggs, fabric dolls, soaps, rocking horses, grandfather clocks and even didgeridoos!
NEW FOR 2018 - the Craft Courtyard is a brand new addition to the craft tent, featuring amazing sculptures, furniture and many more larger, outdoor crafts for the home and garden.
Each year we have a panel of expert judges who take a look at all the lovely offerings and decide who the winners of the following classes are:
- -Best Exhibitor
- -Best First Time Exhibitor
- -Best Display
- -Best Product
- -Best ‘Pocket Money’ product
If you’re interested in exhibiting, visit our Trade stands page for more details.
The equine section promises to be a horse lover’s paradise with a weekend jam packed of competitions for both professional and amateur riders.
You will find everything from the formula 1 of equine, the Scurry Driving Championships, to the qualifying of the Olympia Horse Show 2018. The elegant side-saddle quadrille, heavy horse turnouts and showing classes (both ridden and in hand) will also be a star attraction.
Then there’s the excitement of the Scurry Driving Championships, the timeless elegance of carriage driving and the awesome sight of the powerful heavy horses entering the arena pulling highly-painted trade vehicles, reminding us how deliveries used to be made.
The first leg of the 2018 British Showjumping International Stairway competition tops the showjumping bill, offering an opportunity to see existing British team members and new talent competing for prize money.
There are several different classes taking place over the weekend, so pop down to Ring 5 where you can watch all the In Hand classes, obstacle driving, harness and turnout classes.
As well as all this, catch the Private Driving 2018 Osbourne Refrigeration Qualifiers on the Sunday.
Side Saddle Area 10 Display Team
Over the Show weekend, spectators can experience the elegance of yesteryear as the Side Saddle Association Display Team takes to the ring in their colourful period costumes or traditional dark hued habits competing in many disciplines such as dressage, showjumping, showing and alongside astride riders.
The team features riders from Hampshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire, many of whom compete regularly in top-class national and international events.
Whilst visiting the Country Area, you can’t help but hear that ‘chink chink’ sound coming from the Farriery area. The Farriery section attracts working farriers from all over the World.
During the Show, skilled judges will be quietly walking around trying to determine the outcome of the ‘Best Shod Horse’ by closely examining the horseshoes safely attached to the horses.
Showing is a popular equestrian discipline and we offer a variety of classes to accommodate all types and ages of horses and ponies. From in-hand, mountain & moorland, ridden show ponies to riding horses, show and working hunters and many more.
The Coaching section offers a stunning display of team work and amazing synchronisation, playing host to the largest coaching marathon in the Country, with many of the coaches coming from far and wide to be able to participate and many of them have already competed at other county shows and private events throughout Europe.
Head down to the main arena on Saturday to watch the Coaching Marathon Final Judging and Horn Blowing Competition. We also have the Ladies competition, which you can catch on Sunday in the main arena along with the coaching parade.
From a whole host of cattle breeds to the quirky Kune Kune pigs and all the amazing chickens, goats and llamas in between, you’re sure to find something you'll love in our Livestock section at the Show.
Cattle of all shapes and sizes, colours and breeds descend on the Newbury Showground, coming from all across the UK and will be judged by top class judges in the cattle rings.
You will be able to view these beautiful beasts, ranging from the large Charolais to the small Dexter. Speak to the breeders and find out more about them and even get up close to them in our purpose-built cattle building in the afternoon.
Judging takes place from 9am both days, right through to midday and the magnificent Grand Parade of Livestock takes place in the Main Arena late afternoon. A spectacular display not to be missed!
Head down to the Pig section to see a huge variety of different pig breeds, including the local dark coloured Berkshire Pig, the Spotty Oxford & Sandy Black and the orange coloured Tamworth. The smallest (and cutest) domesticated pigs in the World, the Kune Kune, also make an appearance.
The sheep rings will provide a full timetable of top quality breeds aiming to become Supreme Champion.
The Rare Breed Survival Trust will return this year to host the Young Shepherds Grand Final on the Sunday. The competition runs throughout the year with various qualifying rounds at shows across the UK. It is an amazing opportunity to encourage a whole generation to show their animals!
The Sheep Show
This highly entertaining and extremely informative Show captures the hearts of over 2.5 million people when the team travel around the UK to over 100 events.
The team, from New Zealand, educate and entertain the crowds with their fantastic sheep, such as ‘Nobby’ the Norfolk Horn who takes centre stage, while others are introduced to their podiums. You get to learn about each breed’s attributes and how wool from the sheep’s back becomes a jumper to wear. The shearing demonstration is well commentated and has the audience captivated.
The highlight of the show is the The sheep show Hustle, when the sheep will dance!!
Llamas are becoming more and more popular in the British countryside, so come and get up close and personal and even decide on the prettiest female and most handsome male!
The Llamas also have a bit of fun with an egg & spoon race and get to stretch their legs with a brisk jog around an obstacle course.
The extremely popular Dairy Goats will be on show throughout both Show days. Various breeds will be judged in the ring, all aiming for the Championship title.
Head over to the Poultry tent where you find a wide range of poultry; from bantams to ducks, geese to turkeys and of course chickens. A great collection of poultry that come in a stunning array of colours, shapes and sizes.
Head to the information table in the tent to learn more about poultry and any questions you have.
As well as this, you can also get your children involved with the option of entering four child classes varying in age from 4-16yrs. Children also have the chance to decorate the eggs!
Hot Air Balloons
Look out for the mass ascent of hot air balloons before the close of Show on both days.
Make sure you look out for the mass ascent of hot air balloons taking to the skies above the main arena before the close of Show both days. It's the best way to end show day!
Shop until you drop with over 500 stands to browse over the weekend.
The showground will be packed full of quality goods that you won't find on the high street! With over 500 stands to visit selling craft items through to country clothing and accessories, there is sure to be something for everybody. A full tradestand list can be found in the Show Guide which can be purchased on the day when you arrive at the Show or you can order online in advance to make a saving.
The Sports Zone
Get active and 'have a go' in the Sports Zone
Come and have a go at your favourite sport, or why not try a new one? There is plenty to choose from in our new Sports Zone this year and you never know - you might bump into one of our local sporting heroes!