There are more animals gathered together for close encounters with visitors than at almost any other event in the entire South East. This is the ideal opportunity for visitors to see and touch animals more usually seen on TV, in a book or through a car window. NEW THIS YEAR are Water Buffalo in the Livestock section. Around the showground meet up with Alpacas, Bats, Bearded Dragon, Bees, Cattle, Chinchillas, Cockroaches, Dogs, Donkeys, Falcons, Ferrets, Goats, Guinea Pigs, Hawks, Horses, Llamas, Meerkats, Mules, Owls, Pigs, Ponies, Poultry, Rabbits, Scorpions, Sheep, Snakes and Spiders. Please use the special handwash dispensers provided around the showground after touching any animal.
The Country Sports area in the South Eastern corner of the showground has a lake for fishing tutorials and demonstrations, a terrier racing course, an area for archery, sections for the Dog Show and the Gun Dog demonstrations, an area for the footpacks and fox hounds, specialist country sports shops and alongside is an area for blacksmith and ironwork demonstrations.
Visitors can bring their own dogs to take part in fun events at the Companion Dog Show, Terrier Show and Terrier Racing on Bank Holiday Monday and they can talk to experts, watch demonstrations and enjoy watching many special events and classes.Gun Dog demonstrations and competitions take place on both days.
Dogs are welcome on the showground but should be kept on a lead at all times and are not permitted in any of the livestock tents. Please do not leave dogs in the car. Open this page to find more details of events with dogs - and there are plenty of specialist shops for the dog owner around the showground.
The Equestrian Section is a core feature of the Show and is one of the biggest equestrian events in the South East. The seven competition rings around the showground allow for a wide variety of classes to be enjoyed during a visit. A number of the classes are Horse of the Year Show qualifiers with top names competing at the Show.
Every member of the family can see something new, try out something different around the vast 140 acre showground.
With today’s emphasis on locally-sourced produce, a visit to the Food Hall is a must. Come and sample some of the country’s best cheeses, wines, chutneys to name a few. Treat yourself to some freshly-cooked pies or fudge, try an unusual bread or delight in the simple pleasure of locally-grown strawberries and cream. There are plenty of ideas for presents too and many visitors start finding a few treats for their own Christmas feast. Quality British produce is at the heart of the Show. The wonderful Food Hall presents British and regionally-produced delicacies to eat at the Showground or take home.
A very special opportunity for the public is to see the care and attention taken by owners to prepare these majestic heavy and Shire horses for show time. At the south end of the showground in the purpose-built Heavy Horse village get face to face with these gentle giants and watch as the exhibitors prepare them for the show ring, with not a hair out of place.
The Shire Championship and Heavy Horse Parade takes place in the main ring on the Monday of the Show and is a chance to see these impressive animals all together – quite a sight.
The Western corner of the showground is where you will find the marvellous display of historic and classic cars together with vintage farm machinery - it is a chance to step back in time and have a really good close-up look at those machines of yesteryear. Talk to the proud owners and watch them care for their treasured machines.
Don’t miss the Horticultural Marquee, an oasis for the senses. In a calm corner of the Showground, come and see, and smell, some of the finest blooms and perfect giant vegetables in the region, including winning entries from national flower and vegetable societies. There are also displays and specialist help from leading regional nurseries. To encourage local children to get growing, Young Persons’ vegetable and flower classes have been introduced. They are free to enter and entry forms are available to download – click on Competing and then Horticulture.
At the heart of the Show has always been the livestock and this year you can see Alpacas, Cattle, Goats, Guinea Pigs, Llamas, Pigs, Poultry, Rabbits and Sheep in special marquees on the Southern side of the showground. The Show is very proud to be able to boast one of the largest displays of cattle in the country. As part of the Show’s education programme, free breed booklets have been produced for cattle, pigs and sheep.Remember to use the handwash dispensers around the showground if you come into contact with any animal.