Terrier racing, clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing, falconry, blacksmithing, bread making, scarecrow making (they are only little ones – so not quite building), archery, gundog scurries and dog agility are all available for people to try out at this year’s Autumn Show & Game Fair taking place at the South of England Showground in Ardingly on 1 & 2 October.
The show attracted a record number of visitors of 18,400 last year and with even more fun activities packed in across the weekend for this year, organisers at the South of England Agricultural Society are ready to welcome all ages and introduce them to country pursuits at this celebration of countryside living. With so many ‘have a go’ activities running all weekend and free entrance to children under the age of 16, who are accompanied by an adult, it offers great value for money for a fantastic day out with family and friends.
Said Michelle Nudds, Chair of the Autumn Show & Game Fair Committee, “This show seems to grow in popularity every year offering seasonal food, family entertainment and a wide range of country pursuits which celebrates all the colours of the Autumn season.
“New to the show will be a blacksmithing display with a unique hands-on experience as well as traditional bread making and making a scarecrow with the Young Farmers Clubs. Flying high will be the giant kites from the Brighton Kite Flyers which will be a great backdrop to the breathtaking displays from Huxley’s Birds of Prey will take to the air.”
Put your skills to the test with a spot of fly casting with Cinder Hill Fly Fishing or have a go at the Northall clay pigeon shoot which will have a beginners stand as well as the opportunity to enter the exciting competitions throughout the weekend.
People are encouraged to bring their dogs on a lead to this show and enjoy many activities including: gundog training with Warrenby Gundogs; the Mid Downs Dog Agility course; terrier racing and the popular gundog scurry which is run by the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC).
First class main arena attractions on both days include: Jonathan Marshall’s remarkable falconry on horseback display and the popular Dog and Duck show; on Saturday visitors can watch the Kent & Surrey Bloodhounds take centre stage; and Sunday the hounds from Crawley & Horsham hunt will be on parade as well as competitors taking part in the popular Donkey Show.
Spectacular displays from the National Vegetable Society and a flower arranging competition will celebrate Autumn Glory. Visitors can also enjoy creative craft displays from the East & West Sussex Women’s Institute in the Norfolk Pavilion whilst enjoying breakfast or lunch in the café restaurant.
The winners of the Society’s Student Assignment Competition will receive their awards at a prize-giving ceremony on the Sunday of the show with special guests and VIPs marking this important part of the Society’s educational programme.
A great range of shopping, crafts and plenty of locally produced food and drink will be on offer as well as game cookery demonstrations run by the BASC. A traditional pumpkin trail offers a gentle journey around the showground to include pit stops at the traditional vintage funfair; Punch and Judy show; a vintage vehicle display from the South Eastern Vintage Agricultural Club; and the rabbits, poultry and farm animals display.
Visitors to the Autumn Show & Game Fair can also find out more about becoming a member of the South of England Agricultural Society offering a host of benefits including free entry to the four major shows at the Showground.