Devon County Show is fast approaching - back to full strength and with exciting attractions

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Devon County Show is next month - back to full strength and with exciting attractions

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Devon County Show is back in full force this year, with a full complement of attractions.

With some Covid restrictions still in place last year, there were some events that could not take place, but this year they’re back!

Returning in a blaze of glory are the thrilling shoeing competitions – a full-throttle performance of ripped muscles, grinding-iron and sparks flying coupled with extraordinary skill and speed.

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In fact, the Devon County Show will be heavy on horses this year, with Polly the Shire Horse and her foal Penny competing in various classes at Devon County Show on Friday, in the main arena. The pair will also be available throughout the day for photos and selfies in the heavy horse section.

Polly the Shire Horse and her foal Penny, with owner Kerry Roberts

Avon and Somerset Police Mounted Police will be performing on Thursday and Friday in the Phil Greed Arena, visitors will be invited to learn about the important work the police horses do and see some of the methods used in their training. The team will also demonstrate ‘Operation Close Pass' – a nationwide road safety initiative which aims to educate drivers and vulnerable road users on how to use the shared space of the roads safely.

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Visitors to Devon County Show 2022 will also be treated to a collection of stunning Purebred Spanish horses (PRE), crossed with the Portuguese Lusitano Horse, one of the oldest breeds in the world and considered by the Ancient Greeks and Romans to be the world’s best saddle horse.

The performance is designed to be a real feast for the senses on each day of the Show with the spectacle of these magnificent horses and their riders clad in traditional Iberian outfits parading the ring and demonstrating their extraordinary dressage skills.

Deborah Custance Baker bringing on her saplings for the woodland garden at Devon County Show 2022

The Floral Art was so sorely missed last year, but this year it is also back with a flourish. The time of year will enable competitors to run riot with colours, varieties, and artistic creations for entering categories which include ‘Psychedelic’ and ‘The Strange and The Beautiful’.

The Queen’s Green Canopy, a central theme for the Platinum Jubilee Year, is ready to take root in Crafts and Gardens. Although still in its seedling stages, the committee are planning to encourage visitors to get involved by showing them how easy it is to create a green haven in the form of a woodland garden.

They will be demonstrating the life cycle of a tree, from acorn to small shoot, sapling, and to a small tree. They will also be highlighting how trees provide critical habitats for woodland animals.

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The featured vintage tractor this year for this much-loved attraction is Ford and Fordson. The daily procession of tractors on the showground will include a Ford from the year of the Queen’s Coronation and one built in the Platinum Jubilee year.

Add to this a full complement of livestock competitions, live cookery demonstrations, a Food Walk, brimming with palate-tempting treats designed to make your mouth water and literally miles of crafts and shopping opportunities, and Devon County Show 2022 is very definitely the place to be this summer.

Scarecrows at Devon County Show

If you’re planning to bring your small humans with you on, not only is there lots for them to do across the show ground, but under 16s also go free on Saturday!

After an absence of two years due to the Pandemic, Farmwise is finally back at Devon County Show 2022! Bring your children along to immerse themselves in a wide range of sensory experiences to fuel their interest in farming and nature, including flowerpot making, seed planting, apple pressing, egg hatching, and flour grinding. They can also witness tree-felling by lumberjacks or try their hand at feeding calves.

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The next stop is the Woodland Garden in the Crafts and Gardens section. Taking inspiration from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Green Canopy initiative, children will be invited to celebrate the importance of trees with a walk through a woodland garden feature curated by Chief Steward, Deborah Custance Baker.

The garden will be planted with a variety of native trees including oak and beech and children will be offered the opportunity to learn how important a green canopy is to our ecosystem and spot the particular species of wildlife that thrive in woodland areas.

They’ll also be invited to learn how a tree grows as well as to guess the age of a tree from its rings (advance warning – there’ll be too many to count!!)

The food area has plenty to attract children with an array of mouth-watering ice creams, freshly baked churros and cinnamon-sprinkled donuts as well as a funfair with Helter Skelter ride, chair planes and dodgems.

Anyone for Churros?

Add to this the opportunity for children to get up close to literally thousands of animals including goats, sheep, alpacas, guinea pigs, cows and pigs and Devon County Show is guaranteed to be their best day out on the calendar this year.

A highlight for anyone involved in cattle is the South Devon’s National Show, which will take place at the Devon County this year.

South Devon cattle are an inherent feature of the South Devon landscape, and doubtless we’ve all seen their rich red colour adding contrast to Devon’s abundant and lush green pastures.

South Devons providing a rich contract to the Devon landscape

A native breed, originally founded 400 years ago in South Hams, the South Devon is now a national phenomenon with some 25,000 at the most recent count dotting the British countryside from the tip of Cornwall to the far north of Scotland in the Orkneys.

The South Devon Herd Book Society which represents the breed is however firmly rooted in Devon, at the home of the Devon County Show. And though the Society roams the country, holding their national shows at various agricultural events since they were first launched in 2010, it seems fitting that it will be returning, after a two-year absence, to its home county of Devon and the 2022 Devon County Show.

Caroline Poultney, Breed Society Secretary said: “We have now had to miss two national shows, 2019 because of lockdown and 2020 simply because it wasn’t viable to pull it together in time. We’re desperate to get back out there, as are the breeders, many of whom travel hundreds of miles to compete.

“We’ve had a fantastic reception thus far and hope that we will be back up to our normal levels of 100 entries when the show comes around.”

So what is it that really makes a South Devon special?

Bulls grow quickly and mature early, which means they can begin to be used as young as 15-18 months.
South Devons are wonderfully docile creatures and safe and easy to handle which makes them a great breed for showing.

They make superb quality meat which is marbled – a highly desirable trait for tenderness and taste. Not only are they kind by nature, South Devons have a kindly face too, with a broad pink nose and muzzle. The dams have a long life expectancy and make excellent, caring mothers, they have thick red curly coats and are extremely hardy.

The grand final of the South Devon National Show takes place on Thursday, 30 June.

The Devon County Show will take place 30 June, 1 July and 2 July 2022. 

To book your tickets in advance and save, visit Kids go free on Saturday.


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