The ever-popular Burwarton Show – one of the top celebrations of rural life in the region – returns for its 2023 instalment on Thursday 3 August. And a bumper event is certainly in prospect.
The one-day show returned with a bang last year after a break because of the Covid pandemic.
“The weather was perfect and the crowds flocked through the gates. We can never guarantee the weather, but we always strive to offer new attractions, and 2023 is no exception,” says Show Chairman Alan Watkins.
“We are expecting even more livestock entries this year, as the farmers emerge from the lull of the pandemic and seek out the halters and grooming gear. Together with the familiar and the new, we are looking forward to another fabulous show day.”
Competition is sure to be keen with classes for heavy horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, carriage driving, dressage and show jumping, plus the ever-popular mounted fancy dress contest.
Burwarton is honoured to host the Highland Cattle Society National Show. For the visitor, this will mean even more of those photogenic long-haired cattle – and there will even be Highland calves. There will be a wide range of cattle breeds, plus hundreds of sheep and pigs. The sheep shearing competition will have you captivated from 10am.
The horses have two prestigious qualifying events. The winners of the Small Riding Horse and Large Riding Horse classes will be direct qualifiers to the BSHA (British Show Horse Association) Championships at the London International Horse Show in December. The winners of the BSPS (British Show Pony Society) Junior Performance Pony and Performance Pony classes will qualify for the BSPS Performance Ponies Championships.
Any agricultural show is keen to showcase all aspects of the countryside, agriculture, the environment, animal husbandry and local produce – and Burwarton has all these covered. The Conservation area will demonstrate fly casting, scything, a vintage forge, wood turning, whittling and bee keeping as well as offering the chance to pet alpacas, donkeys, rabbits, and get up close to Aldabra Giant Tortoises.
Knowles Vintage Dairy has a comprehensive collection of dairy equipment from milking the cow to bottling the milk. The display of vintage tractors and stationary engines will evoke a rural nostalgia for many.
The Food Hall and the introduction of Wot’s Cooking demonstrations last year were a delicious success and this year promises to be even better. Millie Preece, the Food Hall Steward, has worked hard to bring together a wide range of local food and drink producers, together with amazing chefs. The exhibitors and demonstration timetable will be published on the show facebook page. Visitors can also admire entries in the Handicraft and Horticulture marquee where there will be a fine array of cakes, preserves, needlework, flower arrangements and vegetables. Why not enter yourself? The schedule can be found on the website.
In the main ring, the headline entertainment will be provided by the popular Atkinson Action Horses and Twistmount Gundogs. The ring will also showcase perfectly turned-out horses, heavy horses, affiliated show jumping, carriage driving and the Mounted Fancy Dress parade. The first horse classes start at 8am. The horse field also has a full day of competitions in the six showing arenas.
Around the showground, the trade stands, shopping arcade and craft marquee will offer everything from a shiny new tractor or car, tools and garden equipment to clothing and shoes, crafts and art, jewellery and leather goods.
There will be a wide range of food outlets, with everything from burgers to noodles, fresh fruit to cake, milk shakes to beer and cider, and don’t forget ice cream! There are baby changing facilities and high standard trailer unit loos. Disabled visitors are catered for with forward parking and mobility scooters for hire (Event Mobility: 01386 725391).
The Panic Circus team – a modern non-animal social circus providing hands-on family fun activities – will entertain in the children’s play area. The Village Green programme runs throughout the day with Magic Russ, Punch and Judy, the Church Stretton Accordion Band, singer Helen Pearson and Raise the Dust Appalachian Clog dancers. There will be fun activities around the showground for children to enjoy.
Alan adds, “The regular visitor will be aware that the showground is a haven of ‘no mobile signal’. Ordinarily, this tech-free day would be relished. However, it is frustrating for buying and selling. We have been improving this situation every year but the volume of people – a good thing! – floods the airwaves every time. Once again, the service will be boosted so that more card payments can be made, but it might be worth bringing cash, just in case!”
Tickets and memberships are available online. Visit www.burwartonshow.co.uk for more information. Parking is free at the showground, which is at Cleobury North on the B4363 between Bridgnorth and Ludlow.
To pre-book your tickets for the show go to www.burwartonshow.co.uk
Adults £20 (£22 on the day)Juniors (12-16) £11 (£12 on the day) Children11 and under FREE