The Society Member’s Show

The Shire Horse Society Show Committee wish to take the opportunity to clarify one or two questions that have come to their attention recently concerning the Society Show. The 2014 National Shire Horse Society Show will return to a two day format on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd March, 2014. The emphasis of the Show remains to provide members with a spectacular display of our majestic breed at their finest and a fabulous day out for those non-members wishing to learn about the Shire horse. The event is being held at the Arena UK Showground, Allington near Grantham and is planned, once again, be the largest Shire horse show in the World. The Show will also celebrate the official opening of the newly extended indoor facilities at Arena UK. The previous venue was not financially feasible.

The gates will open at 8.00am on Saturday, judging of Senior Geldings will start at 8.30am and the show ends at 4.15pm on Sunday following a Grand Parade. Saturday and Sunday will be packed days of showing including in-hand, harness, ridden, turn outs and agricultural implement classes. The Grand Parade on Sunday will not require all Stallions from Saturday to take part. Only the Champion and Reserve of both the Senior and Junior classes will be asked to lead the Sunday parade.

The pure bred ridden classes will now take centre stage inside the main ring as part of our evening entertainment on Saturday. It was felt this provides a greater opportunity to incorporate the ridden exhibitors into the fabric of the National Show and prevent any upset by putting the classes outside, particularly if we have bad weather over the show weekend. New Ridden Class rules are being drafted and will be available in the Show Schedule. This Year the Society will not be hosting half bred classes.

Stables will be provided either by the Society or Arena UK. The Committee are trying their very best to organise indoor stabling for exhibitors. Stables will need to be paid for if required by Exhibitors. Preferential rates are being negotiated and early booking will be essential to guarantee a stable. The stables will be on hard standing and large enough to accommodate the Shire horse.

The Showground has more than adequate indoor preparation and collecting ring areas for turn out and harness classes. A large marquee will be provided as a first stage collecting ring and a further indoor ring will be used as a secondary collecting ring area. A dedicated VIP viewing area is also being set aside for International Visitors and will be hosted throughout the show. Ring Side dining will also be available for guests and sponsors.

The Society has been told construction work is being undertaken at the show venue throughout the winter period to provide additional indoor seating along both sides of the main indoor arena. This will give ample provision for members to watch the spectacle of the show from the comfort of their own seat.

Fullers Brewery has already agreed to sponsor the Main Ring and a comprehensive sponsorship package is available to anyone else wishing to contribute to the show. Tradestands will be accommodated under cover, outside trading space will also be available.

Discounted advance tickets for Saturday and Sunday are available to purchase on line at www.shirehorseshow.co.uk or via the Shire Horse Society facebook page. On the gate prices for non-members will be £10.00. For Society member’s entrance is free on production of a valid membership card.

The Show is being organised exclusively by the Show Committee of the Shire Horse Society, a registered charity, and helps raise much needed funds to support the threatened breed and secure its future, especially among the younger generation. It also raised awareness of the breed and aims to promote its future as a working and leisure horse.

Visitors to the Show, which will hopefully attract thousands of crowds from across the country, as well as overseas, will be able to see hundreds of Shire Horses expertly presented and dressed in their traditional glory. There is fun for all the family, including the Victorian funfair and a wide variety of trade stands.

John Peacock Chairman of the Show Committee, commented: ‘The National Show is a fantastic way to support the Shire horse, all in the comfort of an indoor arena. Whatever the weather you can enjoy the majestic and nostalgic sight of these wonderful animals looking their best.’

Sue Fox