by Baron Halpenny, LincsMag Editor.
Date: 23 June 2012
It really was a Show of two halves this year as the first day that was sunny and warm was replaced the following day with one that was dull and wet. But whatever the day was or whatever the weather threw at the show with its stormy showers, it did not stop the visitors coming or dampen their spirits.
Throughout the two-day event organisers tried to ensure that there was plenty for everyone to see, do, take part in and eat!
Agriculture was still at the heart of the Lincolnshire Show with livestock and equine competitions, machinery displays and the opportunity not only to find out where your food comes from but best of all having the chance to taste some!
There were cooking demonstrations, vintage vehicle displays, floral decoration and flower shows, the Scruffts dog competition, main ring entertainment from the Knights of the Damned, craft tents and demonstrations.
A new initiative for this year’s Show was the Trading in New Markets marquee. Designed to celebrate the successes of those Lincolnshire companies already trading nationally and internationally, its aim is to encourage other Lincolnshire businesses to open up new export markets and take their products to a wider audience.
Amongst those visiting was a group of 30 Australian farmers on a UK fact-finding mission. Their group leader, former State Wool Manager Frank Jones, said: “The Lincolnshire show was a real highlight of our trip, with a huge crowd and brilliant sunshine.”
This year’s Sports Zone had top billing in the run up to the 2012 London Games, encouraging visitors to try their hand at a huge range of Olympic and Paralympic sports.
Lincolnshire County Cricket returned to the Lincolnshire Show this year and had the most famous celebrity of this years show not only grace their unique area of the showground but also give a master class to some of the county’s young cricketers.
For the past few years, Lincolnshire County Cricket have worked alongside the Cricket Factory to create a special cricket zone where young people can practice their bowling, fielding and batting skills, but this year none other than Alec Stewart paid them a visit and with his winning personality proved to be an instant crowd-pleaser.
Stewart visited the Show as part of his role as sports ambassador for Clydesdale Bank, one of the main sponsors of the Lincolnshire Show, and during his visit he gave a master class to some of the county’s young cricketers.
All in all more than a thousand young people took part in the Schools Challenge, demonstrating their understanding of food, farming and agriculture. Winners were Wragby Primary School, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar in Alford, and St Lawrence School in Horncastle.
In the equine rings, a busy programme saw top level competition with enthusiasts travelling from as far as Taunton in Somerset and St. Albans in Hertfordshire to enter the wide variety of pony and horse classes.
Both days gave Chief Equine Steward Peter Crafts a busy schedule. He said: “I am extremely pleased and all the classes had a fantastic turnout, to a very high standard.”
Philip Hilton, horse ring controller commented on the highlights saying: “Last year’s Horse of the Year Show winner Danielle Heath has had a fantastic show, winning both Champion Hack and The Hunter challenge class, and a particular highlight for me was Marie Girdham winning the ex Racehorse challenge. She is a local girl who took time off from nursing at Lincoln County Hospital to compete at the Show. She won her class and qualified for The Royal Windsor Show.”
In the livestock lines, John Davies, the judge for the Texel sheep, was very impressed with the standard of sheep at the Show, saying: “All the sheep showed excellent attributes.” Judges were also impressed in the cattle section.
The Bull class on Thursday had one of the largest number of entries and judge of the Limousin group Mr Tippetts said: “The class this year was really good, the best I have seen for a long time.”
The show is brought to a close with the RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums and the closing ceremony.
This year’s Lincolnshire Show, the county’s big day out, has estimated that visitor figures are at almost 60,000, which is a great result considering the changing weather conditions.
Technology helped to play it’s part with visitors attending by way of a lively social media feed boosting interest ... the Show recording a mammoth 4 million Twitter hits.
Organisers also reported trade stand bookings up 5% on 2011, as well as an increased number of livestock and equine competition entries, with many entrants travelling from across the UK to take part.
For Jayne Southall, the Showground Director, it was her first year leading the team. She said: “We’ve had a fantastic Show and it’s been wonderful to see everything come together. The biggest highlight for me was seeing the smiles on the faces of everyone visiting.”
She added: “We had a big boost to visitor numbers with the wonderful sunshine on day one, and although numbers were down on Thursday, the showers seemed to do little to dampen enthusiasm and we had a steady flow of visitors arriving throughout the morning.”
To see more pictures from the Lincolnshire Show 2012, visit the Album on our Facebook page HERE!