Have a go at the thrilling countryside sports and pursuits and enjoy first-class entertainment, food and shopping at this year’s Autumn Show & Game Fair on 6 & 7 October 2018at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex.
The Autumn Show & Game Fair’s extensive programme features an action-packed line up of activities and performances filling the whole weekend with unique experiences for all ages to enjoy.
Said Michelle Nudds, Chair of the Autumn Show & Game Fair Committee, “This is one of the largest game shows in the southern counties, which not only celebrates the great British harvest, but is all about trying something new and opening up the world of traditional country life to everyone. You can try clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing, dog agility, falconry, terrier racing, gundog scurries, archery, axe throwing and bread making.
“These ‘have a go’ activities run all weekend together with country skills displays, workshops and activities including blacksmithing and traditional hedge laying. Children under the age of 16, who are accompanied by a paying adult, also have free entry to the Show offering real value for money.”
Crowds will be wowed as the world’s leading display falconer, Jonathan Marshall, returns to the main Ardingly Ring. His fairytale dancing Spanish and Lusitano horses make his live performances like no other. Get ready to witness falcons chasing a lure at over 100 mph as well as flying through the horse’s legs while he performs highly skilled dressage moves in time to beautiful music.
Other headline attractions include displays from Warrenby Gundogs where visitors can watch and learn about the different stages of gundog training from basic puppy obedience through to advanced work. Ridgeway Lurchers will be putting on an exciting programme that includes thrilling racing and demonstrations with expert commentary. Be amazed at the spectacular swoops of falcons, owls, eagles and buzzards from Huxley’s Birds of Prey with some lucky visitors being picked to help with the display. On Saturday the Kent & Surrey Bloodhounds will take over the Ardingly Ring followed by the Cavalcade of Hounds on Sunday where spectators will be invited to come and meet the friendly hounds and huntsmen resplendent in their full regalia.
Said Michelle, “We encourage people to bring their dogs to this Show as they can join in with so much of the fun, testing their skills at the Dog Agility course, terrier racing or at the popular gundog scurry, which is run by the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC). We are also really keen for people to come and meet the many rare breed gundogs that will be on display in the smaller countryside hound ring.”
As well as all shapes and sizes of dogs, giant colourful kites peppering the skies, spectacular birds of prey and scarecrow making with Young Farmers Clubs, children will be kept entertained all weekend with the Family Fairground and Animal Barn where you can get up close to Sussex cows, pigs, sheep and goats along with rabbits and poultry. Young family members can also enjoy taking part in the Pumpkin Trail – pick up an entry form at the Show entry gates and explore the different areas of the Autumn Show to find the answers for a chance to win a prize.
Food plays a central role to the Show with game cookery demonstrations run by BASC and bread making workshops run by the Traditional Bakery Show. Visit the Food Hall in the Queen’s Jubilee Building for every kind of tempting treat, including pies, chutneys, fresh meats, wines, liqueurs, cheeses and everything in between.
With multiple shopping opportunities across the Showground visitors can indulge in some unique retail therapy, from country clothing to jewellery. In addition feast on European and traditional British foods, speciality coffees and ales.
Entries for the ‘Harvest Moon’ themed flower arranging competition, with classes for beginners through to intermediate and advanced levels, close on Monday 24 September. From giant leeks to perfect onions, there will be spectacular displays from the National Vegetable Society and a wonderful display of pumpkins, which have been grown from seeds planted by children at the Spring Live! event earlier this year. Children will also have the opportunity to plant bulbs at the Autumn Show to bring back to enter into a competition at Spring Live! 2019.
Try your hand at fly fishing with friendly experts from Cinder Hill Fly Fishing Club. There will also be dozens of fascinating vintage agricultural machinery, cars and traction engines on display at the Show, all painstakingly restored from a bygone era of farming by members of the South Eastern Vintage Agricultural Club (SEVAC).
Hop on board the regular trailer rides to watch clay pigeon enthusiasts in action in the High Gun and Ladies High Gun competitions and the Team Shoot Challenge, organised by Dan Kerwood and his multiple gold medal winning daughter, Charlotte Kerwood of Northall Clay Pigeon Club. Complete beginners, including all members of the family, can also have a go with experts on hand to guide them safely, offering an ideal introduction to this popular sport.
The Society’s Student Assignment Competition is open to students on higher and further educations course at land-based colleges and is designed to encourage individual research to improve knowledge and develop study skills. Awards are given to the top three submissions in each category at a prize giving ceremony on Sunday 7 October.
Visitors to the Autumn Show & Game Fair can also find out more about becoming a member of the South of England Agricultural Society, which offers a host of benefits including free entry to the four major shows at the Showground.
Open 9am – 5pm daily. Admission: FREE entry for under 16s (when accompanied by a paying adult). FREE parking. Senior citizens and students £9. Adults £11. Save 10% when you book online at www.seas.org.uk; offer ends midnight 5 October.