Bumper crop of livestock at this year’s South of England Show

PigsThe South of England Agricultural Society is celebrating another bumper crop of livestock entries for this year’s South of England Show with 763 entries received in total including a record number of 98 pigs.  Many modern, traditional and commercial breeds will take part as well as Berkshire, British Lop, Gos, Large Black and nearly 30 examples of Oxford Sandy & Black and Saddleback.

The South of England Show which takes place on Thursday 6th, Friday 7th and Saturday 8th June is the Society’s flagship event and the biggest show of its kind in the region.  Central to the three-day extravaganza is British rural life, farming and prize -winning British livestock that can be seen parading in the main arena every day.

Some of the country’s finest specimens of dairy & beef cattle, sheep, pigs and goats will be on display and competing for the coveted first prize in order to go on for the chance to be crowned champion of champions.  For the past 46 years the show has offered the farming community an opportunity to celebrate all that is great about the livestock and produce that is still being created in this country.

President of the South of England Agricultural Society, Penelope Keith CBE DL, will also be bringing her very own slice of the ‘Good Life’ to this year’s show by opening an exciting exhibition dedicated to the Society’s 2013 theme, ‘Poultry’.

The nation’s favourite feathered friends including chickens, ducks and geese will waddle into the spotlight for this year’s show and the Feather and Fur marquee will move to a more central position with the new ‘World of Poultry’ exhibition where several rare breeds will be on show for the first time including Sulmtalers, Thuringians and Appenzellers.

The main objective of the show is to promote the agriculture industry and to advance education, particularly in agriculture and allied industries, animal husbandry, horticulture and forestry.  World class show jumping and equestrian events also feature heavily throughout the three days.

The broad appeal of the show, however, hinges on a wide range of attractions outside the central agricultural and equestrian theme, including exciting displays such as daredevil stunts from Bolddog Lings Freestyle Motorcycle team, poultry herding in the main arena from Bob Hogg and his sheepdog and the Shetland Grand National which makes a popular return this year.

More than 1,000 volunteers play a vital role in helping to run the show, many of who return year on year just to assist with jobs over the three days and the number of trade stands has increased from 185 in 1967 when the first show took place to more than 500 this year.

Deborah Barber, Director of the South of England Agricultural Society said, “We are very excited about this year’s show where visitors will be able to experience the very best in British agriculture, equestrianism, horticulture, food and drink and country crafts.  As well as our ‘World of Poultry’ exhibition there will be all sorts of fun and educational activities featured across the showground highlighting this year’s theme of poultry.”

Children will be able to learn about where their food comes from in the NFU Meet the Farmer area. Cookery demonstrations and tastings will be available from local farmers and food producers as well as the opportunity to meet farm animals.

Demonstrations on woodland conservation by pupils from Bolnore Village Primary School, a Forest School, in the Round House in the Wildlife, Farming and Forestry area will be taking place as well as fly fishing and falcon flying.  On the ‘Village Green’ children will also be able to enjoy a circus workshop, skittle alley and Zumba dancing.

The show offers entertainment, music and shopping galore for all the family and for foodies there is one of the most impressive food halls in the South East as well as a marquee dedicated to regional producers.

Gates open at 9.00am and close at 6.30pm daily. There is FREE parking at the show and a regular bus shuttle service available from Haywards Heath train station to the showground.

For advance ticket discounts and full details visit www.southofenglandshow.org.uk or telephone 01444 892700.

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