The Blindley Heath Heavy Horse And Country Show
This early May Bank Holiday weekend sees a new event for the family to get out and enjoy the countryside – the Blindley Heath Heavy Horse and Country Show at the East Bysshe Showground, RH7 6LF.
An amalgamation of two popular local shows, this massive event will feature the largest collection of heavy horses in Southern England, a Dog Show, Falconry displays, vintage tractors, historic vehicles including a horse-drawn fire engine, “Keep it Local” craft marquee, a Food Hall displaying regional foods and a traditional fairground. For the first time visitors can also meet Meerkats and other exotic animals close up, learn about them and be photographed with them. Other new attractions include daily main ring displays of sheepdogs from Freddie’s Farm rounding up a flock of ducks – and they don’t always behave as well as sheep; lots of Bank Holiday Family Fun. Learn about Coppicing with demonstrations of old country crafts. Walkabout entertainment including juggling, spinning plates and a Circus Workshop with Juggling Jim.
Sunday 30th April sees the magnificent working heavy horses demonstrating their skills. See the sheer muscle power of these gentle giants as they harrow the land, using traditional techniques. Their agility will also be put to the test in exciting timed trials where horses pulling harrows weave through hazards and obstacles to compete to be the fastest. The Ridden Heavy Horse classes take place on Sunday and the Miniature Horses make a welcome return.
Bank Holiday Monday 1st May is showing day where the horses get dressed up in their finery. The day includes In-hand and Driven Classes. The Mare and Foal Class is always popular with visitors, giving them the chance to see the progression from foals to fully grown horses. The Young Handlers Class gives handlers aged 12 – 18 the chance to show off their skills. The Trade and Agricultural Turnouts include Brewery Drays, Wagons and Tip Carts. All Class winners will then compete for the Supreme Champion of the Show.
The increasingly-popular Family Dog Show takes place on Monday afternoon, along with “have a go” Agility Classes, so bring your dog along to enjoy the fun. Monday also sees Agility demonstrations, a Working Terrier Show and Terrier Racing. www.sesha.org.uk has details of how to get involved.
Each day ends with a spectacular Grand Parade of Heavy and Shire Horses – a rare sight indeed to see so many all together in one ring and something which every member of the family will remember.
The Show’s organisers, The South Eastern Shire Horse Association, are pleased to announce that the Show will be a qualifying class for the Kilmannan Ridden Heavy Horse Championship. The highest placed pure bred Shire, Suffolk, Clydesdale and Percheron within the affiliated pure bred heavy horse ridden class will qualify for the ridden championship final at Equifest.
“Our newly-expanded Blindley Heath Heavy Horse and Country Show is going to offer all generations something a bit different for the Bank Holiday – a chance to see rural traditions, countryside activities and a wide variety of animals close-up” said Paul Bower, Chairman of SESHA. “Still central to the enlarged Show will be the ever-popular classes which show off the traditional skills and the magnificent grand parade where more Heavy Horses will be gathered together than in any other place in southern England.”
The 2017 Show will be held on Sunday 30th April and Bank Holiday Monday 1st May and the venue will remain at East Bysshe Showground on the A22 between Blindley Heath and Newchapel RH7 6LF.
The charity is keen to educate and interest the next generation about Shires and Heavy Horses and therefore is offering FREE entry to all children under 16. Gates open at 8.30am and there is plenty of free parking. Tickets are £10 for adults on the gate and reduced to £8 in advance, details at www.sesha.org.uk