Mak­ing a show of it

The Field - - Opening Shots -

I know shows need to make money and ap­peal to as wide a cross-sec­tion of the com­mu­nity as pos­si­ble, but they are turn­ing into glo­ri­fied car-boot sales with an ex­tor­tion­ate en­try fee.

Some of the larger shows no longer rep­re­sent what they were orig­i­nally set up for: a chance for pedi­gree breed­ers to show their stock; a place to meet with friends; and a day to re­lax from the repet­i­tive­ness of coun­try life. Nowa­days, shows are filled with stands hawk­ing stuff you don’t need. Which is why it was such a joy to spend the day at Bur­warton Show in Shrop­shire – a proper agri­cul­tural show.

The cat­tle and sheep were out­stand­ing; the horses were beau­ti­ful, with a large show­ing of heavy horses; there were stands trad­ing but sell­ing goods you want or need liv­ing out in the coun­try. The en­try was rea­son­able, the sun shone, the cider was cool­ing and we all had a won­der­ful time. I re­alise eco­nomic fac­tors af­fect how a show is run but the or­gan­is­ers of some of the big­ger shows should take note. The team at Bur­warton pull off an amaz­ing one-day show that is a joy to at­tend. James Edgar

Brom­yard, Here­ford­shire

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