Thousands to enjoy North Somerset Show on hottest May Day on record

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Crowds of thousands are expected to head to the Wraxall countryside for the annual North Somerset Show this Bank Holiday.

The show, now in its 159th year, is on May 7 with organisers saying this year's event is shaping up to be more spectacular than ever.

The show, at the North Somerset Agricultural Society showground, will feature everything to do with agriculture and the countryside including equestrian events, cattle classes, dog agility, tractor pulling and farm machinery.

There will also be plenty of food and drink as well as country crafts on offer in a series of marquees at the showground.

The one-day show has been a highlight of the countryside calendar in North Somerset since 1840 when a small group of farmers formed the North Somerset Agricultural Society, having previously got together for ploughing competitions.

The Dancing Sheep Show
The Dancing Sheep Show

Show secretary Tim Ledbury said: "At the heart of the show will be the livestock with cattle, pigs, sheep, llamas and alpacas coming from all over the country.

"The equestrian programme, includes showjumping, Royal International Horse Show qualifiers, heavy horses, hunters and cobs."

The show is expected to attract around 25,000 visitors.

Funds raised will once again be going towards educational projects that help children understand the countryside.

Hundreds of small businesses from the region will be represented and there will be numerous demonstrations of rural skills, including axe wielding and gundog handling and wood carving.

There will be a full programme of arena events throughout the day.

Visitors of the feathered kind will also be making a return to the show in 2018 following a break last year due to Avian Flu restrictions.

Several hundred birds that have been bathed and preened so that they are looking at their best will be on display at the show, which has 40 classes for birds and another nine categories for eggs.

Poultry and waterfowl show secretary Alicia Hill said: "The show is returning this year and all the signs are that it will be bigger and better than ever.

Statistically speaking agriculture was the second most dangerous industry during 2016/2017.
Statistically speaking agriculture was the second most dangerous industry during 2016/2017.

"Although restrictions on birds were lifted just before last year's show people were not ready to display their birds and we had to take a break.

"We have already heard from entrants from as far afield as Wales and Cornwall, who will be bringing their rare breeds. There should be some interesting birds for the public to see."

Equestrian competitors of all standards are also busy preparing for what is the first major event on grass in the 2018 season.

This year there are 60 classes covering everything from Senior Affiliated Showjumping to Side Saddle.

There are dedicated classes for Shetlands and Skewbalds, Mountain and Moorland breeds and the ever popular Heavy Horses.

There will also be a number of classes for hunters and cobs.

Commentator for the third year in a row is Terri Hill from Hill's Livery on the Bridgwater Road.

Terri said: "The show is something of a family affair for us as my father Roy is involved in the Vintage Tractor displays while my mum Mary and partner Drew help out with the hospitality for the equestrian owners, competitors and grooms.

"A lot of owners help us set up the jumps - so it's a big friendly family affair."

Terri has around 25 horses at the livery yard she has run near Bristol for the past 25 years.

Crowle Show
Horse jumping

And she said the show was always one of the first events in the equestrian calendar, especially on grass.

She said: "It's a great place to introduce a young horse to the big show atmosphere but there will also be a number of top local riders competing in Open Championship qualifiers.

"We are aiming to make the going as perfect as possible for veterans and newcomers alike."

Tickets for the show are £18 for adults and £8 for children aged six to 15. Children under five go free.

A family ticket is £45. Tickets can be purchased on the gate on the day. Gates open at 9am and close at 5pm.

The North Somerset Show
The North Somerset Show

Car parking at the show is free. Dogs are welcome to the show as long as they are kept on a fixed lead at all times.

For more details visit www.nsas.org.uk or phone 01934 837285 for the ticket sales or for general enquiries 08456342464.

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