Thursday, 17 May 2012

The County Show - "from cakes to combines, and everything else in between"

There is only one place to be on Monday June 4th
The County Show in Corbridge is the place to be for a fun packed, all action extravaganza of everything that is Northumberland and beyond.  I have agreed to be a Judge of the Light Horses at the Show and the Indoor Tradestands. This may be an error. Judges have to make decisions as to who wins and loses: this is a difficult task as it is subjective. Judges are never popular, but I am looking forward to the day. The organisers are doing an amazing job at getting everything ready and I am badgering Northern Rail to ensure that there will be a plethora of long and regular trains to get people from Newcastle to Corbridge and back.
The main arena is packed all day with heavy horses, the Blazing Saddles Equine Stunt Team and Jason Smyths Adrenaline Tour – stunts with quads and motorbikes, but the highlight for many is always the Grand Parade of winning livestock at 3.15, from which the Champion of Champions is awarded. In celebration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee there are fancy dress classes with the theme Rule Britannia at 12.30 in the Cumberland wrestling ring. Free to enter, just turn up in fancy dress and judged by Jaws from the James Bond movies, sounds like fun! Also to mark the Jubilee, Champion of Champions sponsors, JS Hubbuck, agricultural merchants of Hexham have offered a limited edition, Border Fine Art figure of the Queen on horseback Trooping the Colour, to be raffled in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance. The winning ticket will be drawn after the Grand Parade and the hope is to raise £10,000 for this vital service for rural communities.

My jobs are twofold:
There is a huge entry for the livestock sections but particularly in the light horses with loyal competitors keen to be part of the day that marks the end of an era. This year sees the last show at Tynedale Park after more than 60 years before the move to Bywell in 2013. As Light Horse Champion judge the unenviable task is to choose a Champion from ponies, coloured horses, side saddle, show ponies, moorland and mountain working horses and ponies, and all manner of hunters. The judging takes place at approx 4.30 in horse ring 2 and the Champion is awarded the prestigious AC Silver Loving Cup.

Beforehand, my other judging commitment is the massive ‘indoor tradestands’. The show has over 350 tradestands: - ‘from cakes to combines and everything in between’ is the boast from the show office.
‘Indoor’ covers the craft and the indoor shopping marquees, artists, soap makers, jewellers, home accessories; the list goes on – another unenviable task!

I will be at the show all day and urge you to come along. There is nothing like it, and there is something for everyone, and good money being rasied for great community local charities. If you see me, please say hello!