It only seems five minutes since we were preparing for Thoresby, and here we are at the other end of the season! But what a show! Wiltshire Country Show at Bowood House was an absolutely brilliant end to the 2015 Country Show year!
Al the usual favourites were there. The scurry driving finals were on and they also beat the isuzu in the Machine Vs Beast again! Horseboarders reached some phenomenal speeds as they battled it out in their final heats of the year and the Horsemen of the Knight were as thrilling as ever with their stunt riding and jousting.
Around the first arena, huge craft marquees lead down to the chainsaw carving area, where people were already starting to think about Christmas presents. The blacksmiths and wheelwrights were also busy, and the glass-blowing demonstrations were packed out.
Down to the Countryside arena (almost as big as the Andy Singleton Arena this time) and there were falconry displays, Pakefield Ferrets demonstrating the excellent work he’ll be doing all winter, the wonderful shire horses taking us back a few years and the energetic Welsh Axemen. Again, loads of trade stands surrounding the arena and a lot of shopping going on (I finally found that poncho my son has been after… as well as a bungy lead to hold his amp in place and a bagof gluten free fudge… where else could you buy such diverse items within yards of each other?)
Through the other end of the Countryside arena, Wiltshire Police finally stopped Fiery Jack – for all of five minutes before they released him again! The Piazza was busy all day as people relaxed and ate beneath blue skies and sunshine. Mark Lloyd was only one of the excellent chefs demonstrating. Beside this was the shooting, with lessons and practise competing with the noise of the chainsaw carvers in the distance.
And beyond that was the World of Dogs area; new and enlarged for the Wiltshire Show and with some fantastic new attractions. As well as the usual displays of gun dog training by Paul Makepeace, Nat Cannon, and David Templar (who brought an incredibly cute litter of spaniel pups to demonstrate the early stages of training). Lurcher racing and showing had their finals, as did the terriers (results to follow),the Scurry Bandits joined forces with the Countryways Challenge and encouraged young handlers, many of whom were better than some of the adults, and the fun dog show was busy all afternoon. Canine Massage Guild were offering free muscle conformation checks, which were popular, and we had a variety of doggy trade stands.
We were delighted to welcome two new display teams: Shadowquest Working Dog Display team and Paws for Thought Dog Display Team (the latter made up mainly of rescue dogs). Both were exhiliarating to watch with a lot of fearless fire jumping and a brave little spaniel being lowered from an abseiling tower, tail wagging all the way down! Both displays were incredibly popular and we left feeling informed as well as entertained.
Also down alongside the dog area were the very convincing Kenneshaw Confederates; the ferret racing, rabbits, hamsters and the angling displays and competitions. Fiery Jack’s tent of games was busy – but his most popular activity all weekend was the traditional English game of conkers!
All in all it was a fabulous end to an amazing season of shows. Most of our regulars are home for winter now – ready for training up and preparing for next year.