Preview: Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show 2013
It’s a show steeped in West Country history and Wednesday sees the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show open the gates with organisers hoping they won’t see the rain downpours the 2012 event endured.
There's no doubt that Show Secretary Sam Braddick is hoping for better weather for this year’s show after 2012 turned out to be probably the wettest year on record.
Sam says: “On Showday last year more than ¾ of an inch of rain fell in five hours and our car parks became quagmires.
“But despite that the great British spirit came up trumps, there were excellent animal entries, almost 500 trade stands and a good crowd made it a successful day.”
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“With this year’s bumper entries, including record sheep and pony entries, the NFU Roadshow with Johnny Ball and the new petting zoo, we are again looking forward to a great day - whatever the weather.”
What's on - A show for the whole family
As well as more than 500 craft and trade stands there are competitions for young and old, including traditional livestock classes for horses, cattle and sheep, the very popular Kennel Club dog show and classes for rabbits and poultry.
Horticultural and handicrafts includes a huge range of classes including vegetables and flowers, cookery, needlework, photography and a range of classes for the younger exhibitor. New this year are classes for honey and wax products.
Local artists fill a whole marquee with their work, many of which are offered for sale after judging.
Local food is an important ingredient, in the Food Hall there will be more than 40 stands with the freshest tastiest food. This will be supported by the Cookery Demonstration area where local master chefs will be using local produce to produce healthy meals. In addition there will be a Farmers Market marquee with more top quality food and drink.
In the main ring the crowds will be thrilled by the Bolddog Lings Freestyle motorcycle display team. There’s also scurry racing, heavy horses, gun dog display, birds of prey, team terrier racing, ferret racing, Jonathan Marshall Falconry, music from The Plonkers, Cookery Theatre and the NFU Roadshow with Johnny Ball.
At the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show, they have some of the country’s best livestock exhibitors who bring along top quality animals to compete in more than 280 classes.
Show organisers pride themselves in responding to requests for new breed classes, if a particular breed dominates a mixed section they will create new classes, providing there are sufficient entries to make both sections viable.
The Showground is bursting with the very best of local produce for you to taste, try and buy and at great prices.
Public catering units are sited throughout the Showground and there are two picnic areas where families can relax and watch the world go by.
Picnic Areas can be found near the Turnpike Countryside Ring and close to the Main Gate, just inside of the Motcombe Road entrance.
The Show Bar is located on the south side of the showground near the Entertainment marquee.
The Lunch Tent can be found in the centre of main ring - it is open to members and sponsors only. Day membership tickets are available from the catalogue sales points adjacent to the main ring.
There will be hundreds of dogs, poultry, rabbits, goats, alpacas, all trimmed shampooed and ready for judging.... not forgetting the more than 300 cattle, 400 sheep and 500 horses.
Blackmore Vale Magazine at the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show
North Dorset Women’s Refuge is the charity chosen by Blackmore Vale Magazine to be the recipient of funds raised from this year’s silent auction in our marquee at the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show.
North Dorset Women’s Refuge provides safe and secure accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence in refuges, which are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Refuge provides women with practical and emotional support. A key worker is assigned to each woman (or man) staying with them, to provide emotional and practical support during their stay.
During their stay at the refuge, women are taught about self worth, confidence, taking control, making choices, independence and provides them with tools to use when they move back into independent housing.
They also help children affected by domestic violence come to terms with their experiences.
But their support doesn't stop there. They can continue to provide support in the woman's new home if required.
If you're living in a violent or abusive relationship and you need to access advice, information, support or accommodation, ring the BCHA 24 hour helpline: North Dorset: 01747 858555 or you can ring the National Domestic Violence Helpline run by Women's Aid - 0808 2000 247.
Join the BVM team on their stand (M5) where you can:
Place your bid for one of the fantastic Lots on offer and support this very special cause
Meet the BVM team who will be celebrating the magazine’s 35th anniversary
Pick up your BVM goodie bag
Place your vote in the BVM photography competition
Be one of the first 1,000 visitors and receive a BVM car sticker with a chance to win a prize.