Counting down to The Heathfield Agricultural Show – a brilliant day out
One of the area’s biggest and most well-attended events is just around the corner and it is set to be better than ever.
The Heathfield Agricultural Show, which takes place on Saturday 25th May, is a fantastic day out whether you are aged seven or 70 – there is something for everyone. Tickets are available on line here or from local outlets such as Wanted on Voyage in the High Street.
New this year is the Shetland Pony Grand National. You can watch the champion jockeys of tomorrow compete to win the thrilling Shetland Pony Grand National. Riders must be aged nine to 14 years old, under 5’ 1” tall and able to walk, trot, canter and jump confidently without a leader. Over the course of the year a series of qualifying races take place at various locations to produce the top 10 who will go through to the main event at the London International Horse Show at Olympia. The organisation raises money for charity. It’s fast, furious and fun!
Around 18,000 people attended the show last year which not only offers a unique experience to visitors but also raises money for a host of local good causes. BBC Sussex will be at the show this year broadcasting live during the day. Other local organisations at the show include the Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance, Sussex Young Farmers and Plumpton College.
There is a real emphasis on local – local food, local crafts and local businesses new and old from the High Weald area. Over 200 trade stands, some local and some well-known brands, sell everything from jam to hot tubs and shoes to sheds. Companies like estate agents Samuel and Son and Kennedy Chimney Sweeps are well represented. There are also agricultural dealerships, machinery, services and specialists, food, crafts, bespoke goods, clothing and gifts, equine and livestock products.
The show is divided into different zones:
Country Ways: The artisan area of the Heathfield Show with demonstrations of traditional crafts, birds of prey and ‘enter on the day’ terrier racing.
Education: Hands on experiences for all. Young Farmers and Plumpton College also have areas in this marquee
Farmers Market: Local producers sell and showcase their local produce all made within a 20 mile radius of the Heathfield Show
Flower Show: Flower arranging competition
Micro Brewery: Organised by 360* brewery but show casing beers from all over the region.
New Enterprise Zone: Businesses who have been trading for less than a year have the opportunity to promote their products at the Heathfield Show.
There is also a food marquee where you can taste and purchase everything from wine produced by Off the Line in Hellingly to artisan pies, puddings and toffees.
Six rings showcase different events at various times such as heavy horse displays and a chance to meet the local gun dogs. Big crowds always form for the exciting monster truck displays and this year’s new addition – the Shetland Pony Grand National – is expected to be very popular.
The show also offers farmers, livestock owners and horseriders the opportunity to compete against each other while showcasing their amazing animals. You will get the chance to see huge, beautifully groomed cattle being led around the ring by expert handlers. If you like pigs and sheep, there will be some wonderful specimens on show – all looking to impress the judges and win prizes.
If you prefer smaller animals you can visit the poultry marquee for the chance to hug a hen. There is also the ever popular Sheep Show which is returning this year.
The New Zealand style team of presenters educate and entertain with their fantastic sheep all over the country. ‘Nobby’ the Norfolk Horn stands centre stage while others are introduced to their podiums. We learn about each breed’s attributes and how wool from the sheep’s back becomes a jumper to wear. The shearing demonstration is well commentated and has the audience captivated.
The 30-minute show is cleverly devised and is highly entertaining and extremely informative, a rare combination. The highlight of the show is the “The sheep show Hustle – Dancing sheep!
The Monster Trucks will be returning to the Heathfield Show in 2019. Big Pete is one of Europe’s largest Monster Trucks with a full size American truck body, and is now partnered by the Grim Reaper. This is a chance to watch two real Monster Trucks at work jumping and crushing cars. Jumping 15ft in the air is an impressive sight for any event, crushing anything in its path.
Vintage tractors are back again with some dating back to the 1940s and the local WI will be at the show again with their own Bake off in Heffle WI style.
More than 120 people and companies sponsor the Heathfield & District Agricultural Show each year. Over 18,000 people attended the Heathfield Show in 2018 and, with free admission for children, the event is one of the best one day agricultural shows in the UK.
Why not enhance your experience this year by joining the Heathfield & District Agricultural Show Society. There are many advantages of, not least the opportunity to visit the show and enjoy privileged facilities and support the show’s ongoing success. Find out more here
The Heathfield News is delighted to be the official media partner again this year.