The Nantwich Agricultural Society celebrates its 120th anniversary

Sian Jones of Wrexham with her yellow dyed Beltex sheep

Sian Jones of Wrexham with her yellow dyed Beltex sheep - Credit: Pics; John Cocks

This year’s Nantwich Show not only celebrated everything agricultural, but also 120 years of the society that makes it all happen

Around 30,000 people took in the sights and sounds of the Nantwich Show, which once again returned to Dorfold Park. Hundreds of awards were given out to competitors, many of whom travelled from across the county to take part. However, celebrations were had weeks before a foot was set onto the showground, as the Nantwich Agricultural Society, which runs the annual event, celebrated its 120th anniversary.

The society has also been recognised by Her Majesty with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Earlier in the summer, chairman of the society, Michael-John Parkin, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace to meet the Her Majesty, and then the actual award was officially presented to volunteers on the showground one week before the show opened its gates.

‘The award is a wonderful recognition of the dedication of all our volunteers, many of who have served at the show for over 30 years. It is a great encouragement to keep our fantastic show going for future generations.’

Younger visitors were keen to get involved in the joviality of this year’s show, and the mounted fancy dress competition in the Main Ring proved popular with spectators.

Jana Carney, 9, and Holly Lynch, 15, were announced winners of the competition for their Frozen theme outfits. The pair from Warrington dressed up as Disney favourites Anna and Elsa, and even got their 20-year-old Shetland pony, Kerryston Dell Boy, to resemble Sven the reindeer. ‘We are very happy,’ said Jana. ‘It took about a week to do the costumes so it’s great to win!’

Students at local Reaseheath College were also recognised with awards throughout the day, with Level 3 Diploma in Agriculture pupils enjoying record success in the cattle section, winning a total of nine rosettes in young stock showing and young handler classes.

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The students prepared and showed three heifers from the Reaseheath Holstein dairy herd and four young beef shorthorn cattle, including bull Redhill Jethro – which was the first time students have had the opportunity to handle a bull in the show ring.

As well as competitive sections and events, foodie guests were treated to demonstrations from celebrity chefs at the Le Gruyere Cookery Theatre including James Martin, Will Holland and ex-Coronation Street actor Sean Wilson, and the Mornflake Pavilion showcased a range of food and drink traders from around the county and beyond.

A range of events in the Main Ring kept visitors entertained throughout the day, including the thrill-seeking Bolddog Lings freestyle motocross riders, who put on stunning stunt displays, and the medieval looking Shire Horses. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring class is the decorated shire horse, where competitors spent hours dressing their horses in plaits, flights, tail rings, neck bands and ribbons.

Phillip Lloyd Williams, who was awarded first place, says it takes his mum Jackie 19 hours to clean the decorative harness for his seven-year-old gelding, Barn Acres Dan. ‘I would say she loves it, but I don’t think she does,’ admitted the horse lover from Wrexham, who participates in shows as a hobby. ‘It’s a great feeling to win. I enter each year, but most of the time end up coming second!’