County Show entries on the up

ENTRIES for the Newark & Nottinghamshire County Show (14th and 15th May) are up in nearly all categories. A slow start had organisers thinking the economic crisis was taking effect but a mountain of entries received just before the closing date has led to numbers continuing the recent year-on-year rise across livestock and other categories.

A fun-packed show is promised for all visitors with an emphasis on all-round family entertainment. From a full programme of Main Arena displays and show jumping to the Youth Zone and Children’s Fun Fair, the Newark & Nottinghamshire County Show is the epitome of a truly traditional agricultural show combined with modern attractions.

New to the show this year will be two incredible motorcycle exhibitions of balance and dare-devil riding with the Xtreme Trials Display Team and Messhams Wall of Death. Speed and daring of a different kind will be to the fore with the return of the Mounted Games Association with ponies and riders showing an exceptional turn of foot and mutual trust.

Also new in 2011 is the Farriers’ Competition. It takes four years and two months for an apprentice to become a fully-fledged farrier and at Newark visitors can see both levels showing off their skills. Judge will be twice world champion farrier Steven Beane AWCF.

Food lovers will delight in the Cookery Demonstration Area with celebrity chef Richard Fox hot foot from his ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign. Richard’s inimitable style of cooking will be interspersed on the Sunday with demonstrations by Julia Blant, formerly of Ladies in Pigs. Julia, who received a Long Service Award at the 2010 show, will be sharing her favourite pork-based recipes with visitors.

The Food Hall is another place to visit for mouth-watering morsels while agricultural artefacts of yesteryear can be found in the Farming Heritage Area. Over in the Countryside Area visitors can enjoy watching falcons, sheep shearing, working ferrets, gundogs, poultry, wildfowl and a fishing demonstration.

Dogs can have a field day at Newark too with ‘Have-A-Go’ dog agility, an RSPCA Dog Show, Cyril the Squirrel Terrier Racing and the K9 Freestyle Dancing Dogs display. Unlike many big shows, dogs on leads are welcome at Newark and the RSPCA provides a dog crèche for when their owners wish to visit the few areas where canines are not allowed.

Livestock are the mainstay of any agricultural show and there will be plenty to see among the cattle, dairy, pigs and sheep exhibits. Over in the horse rings there will be ponies of all shapes and sizes, from dainty lead-rein ponies to working hunters – many of them vying for coveted qualifying tickets to championship shows.

The gentle giants of the equine world, heavy horses, will be evidence too, both in the show rings and in the Working Horse Area where visitors can try their hand at driving a working horse in a straight line – not as easy as it looks!

To ensure a great family day out at value-for-money prices, children under the age of 17 are admitted FREE (with an adult), there is FREE parking and FREE grandstand seating. Tickets booked in advance will save £3 on the normal adult entrance admission of £14.50 while Senior Concession tickets save £2 on the gate price of £11.50. Advance tickets may be purchased up to 1pm on Wednesday 11th May.

Membership of the Newark & Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society provides a number of benefits including free entry to the County Show, the Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show, Driffield Show, discounted rates on admission to other selected events held at the showground and access to the Members’ Marquee located next to the Main Arena.

For more information call 01636 705796 or visit the website: www.newarkshowground.com.