A whole-istic day out

Loving animals, the countryside, shopping, exploring new things – makes just some of the reasons why I love County Shows!  Having just been to the Devon County Show and had a thoroughly good day out, it occurred to me that there is really something for most people to enjoy.

From cattle, goats, sheep to rabbits, pigeons, dogs and horses – plus lots more animals, there are dozens of showing and displays to suit both the competitor and person who just loves watching animals, and also wants to find out more.  Many breed and enthusiast societies have stands to help provide opportunities for anyone who wants to get more involved in supporting or keeping different animals.

There are also of course, the vintage tractors, and steam engines for anyone who loves vehicles from a bygone era.  Not forgetting the bees, sheep shearing, blacksmith, cheese competitions, local BBC radio with live music,….and yes, there’s still lots more besides!

Children can also enjoy the fairground section and just be able to see a huge variety of animals in one place.  This could be considered to be a priceless family day out.  There are also competitions for young handlers – children showing sheep, horses and other animals…One thing that impressed me and the stewards/judges was how well-turned out were both the animals and the children – who’ve put many hours into grooming their charges for the showring, and really took the whole experience seriously – surely some valuable lifeskills being learnt?!

At county shows, there are usually a large range of trade stands – from farmers wanting to buy tractors and other farm machinery, to the urban gardener who wants to buy a lawnmower. Plus lots of different clothes and food – for people and animals, at all budgets.  You can buy everything from locally produced food to hot tubs and many other things in-between!

There’s lots of opportunities to explore new things – whether it’s the chance to find a course or career opportunities at one of the many educational establishments/businesses who have stands, to seeing different crafts, rural life skills or even ways to help the home be more energy efficient!

I can’t pick one thing that I enjoy the most – watching the showjumping is of course great, as it’s a sport I love, but being able to do something different, see so many animals and “shows within a show”, plus just enjoying the fresh air – and plenty of walking (around 10 miles according to my pedometer!), is a wonderful experience!

All-in-all, a visit to a county show could be said – (I think anyway) – to be a “wholistic” experience!

All of these shows need our support to help them to ensure they can continue to run each year – and can also continue to offer such diversity.  So whether you go to county shows regularly or have never been, I hope that you can take the opportunity to attend at least one this year!

Until next time regards, Suzanne

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