The Glendale Agricultural Society is gearing up for this year’s Show which will take place on Monday 29th August at the Showground in Wooler. To celebrate and highlight the important roles women play in agricultural and rural industries, this year the Society have chosen the theme, ‘The Year of the Lady’. The show will feature all lady judges showcasing just how many women are involved in agriculture at a very high and competitive level. There will be a number of other events throughout focussing on this theme.
The Glendale Agricultural Society’s annual Show is the largest show and rural event in North Northumberland. It encompasses a range of exhibitions, events, activities and displays with many focussing on farming and the countryside.
As in previous years, there will be an abundance of livestock classes, with 105 classes for cattle and sheep alone, offering breeders the opportunity to showcase the very best of their stock.
Judging the Interbreed Championship and Young Handler classes, Fiona Sloan from Strathearn in Dumfries, commented: “I am thrilled to have been invited to judge at the Glendale Show. I regularly judge both Young Handlers and Interbreed classes, and to have been invited to be part of the all lady ensemble of judges is a real honour.”
New for 2016 are the Minority and Rare breed classes to cater for the increasing number of smaller breeders who keep them for both their wool and their novelty value. Some of the breeds expected to be shown in these classes will include Ryland, Valais Blacknose and Shetland.
In the sheep section, judging of the Blue Faced Leicester classes has been split into sections for the traditional and crossing types, which will be judged separately. This simplifies the process for the judge whilst differentiating the two different kinds of animal within the breed.
Sponsoring the cattle section for the very first time, Borders Counties Insurance Brokers will sponsor the magnificent Lilburn Estates Cattle Trophy, which is always a highly contested competition with the fantastic trophy worth £20k.
There will be a Livestock point’s competition once again this year, which allocates points from first to third place in all sheep and cattle classes. Sponsored by Carrs Billington, this has a top prize of £200 which will be awarded to the exhibitor collecting the most points throughout the show.
The Grand Parade of Livestock, in the main ring is the bringing together of all of the Champions across the show and culminates in crowning the Champion of Champions. In 2015 the title was awarded to W.D. Allen with a Cheviot Sheep which was overall Sheep Champion.
Looking forward to his first show as Chairman, Roland Barber said: “It is imperative that the Glendale Agricultural Society support local agriculture and the farming community, and the show provides the perfect platform to do this. The horticultural, industrial equine and livestock classes make the show what it is.
“The Livestock section, under directors Andrew Walton and Ian Murray, is going from strength to strength and as last year was a record year for entries. This year has even mores classes.
“I think it is very important to highlight that an event such as this takes a huge amount of time to organise and requires a huge amount of support. I would like to thank all of the exhibitors across all of the sections, the stand holders, the sponsors and of course the people who come to support the show on the day.”
One of the major highlights this year will undoubtedly be sheepdog demonstrations by Katy Cropper, the first woman to win the popular television show ‘On Man and his Dog’, which will involve not only sheep, but geese and horses too. On hand to help out will be daughter, Henrietta, who already has impressive credentials of her own. Henrietta has previously made history in the sport after becoming the youngest ever competitor on ‘One Man and his Dog.’
A first for not only the GAS, but for the whole of Northumberland, the Donkey Breed Society Miniature Supreme Championships will be held at the Show. To partake in these Miniature classes, donkeys must be a maximum height of 36 inches. This will accompany a variety of traditional donkey classes which also includes fun classes for the donkey wearing the best fancy hat, which is now a regular at the Show. As the only Show to hold Donkey classes in Northumberland, the classes have grown in popularity since they were first introduced in 2011, and record numbers of entries are expected at this year’s Show.
Glendale Show is an unmissable day out for all the family. With a ceaseless supply of main ring entertainment, visitors can experience a freestyle motor cross display, sheep dog demonstrations, a parade of foxhounds and falconry display. In addition to this, the Glendale Horticultural and Industrial Society is a highlight for so many people who attend. With the theme of this year’s show in mind, the Horticultural and Industrial Society are also doing a class, titled ‘Ornament of the Lady.’ With thousands of exhibits this is a showcase where crowds can enjoy the finest of arts and crafts, floral arrangements, photography, vegetables, stick dressing and baking.
For those who love to shop and learn more about rural industries there are over 200 trade stands, from clothing to cars, plants to produce.
In the Countryside Marquee, Sheep Tales a group of local lady crafters will be raising awareness of local products, suppliers, artists and makers through a range of demonstrations. Included in this is Anna Turnbull of Biteabout Art who will be showcasing extraordinary wicker weaving and felt.
Occupying the main ring in the earlier part of the day will be an array of equine classes including; hunter, ex-racehorse, mountain and moorland, welsh ponies, arab, coloured and showjumping classes.
Also taking place during the morning are the Goat classes. With 26 classes displaying a variety of goat breeds, including milking competitions, these are sure to be highly contested.
In keeping with the ‘Year of the Lady’ theme, the show will be offering a prize to the best dressed lady with generous prizes for the winner and runner up.
Described as the County Show for North Northumberland, the roots of the Glendale Show are still very much with a rural ethos. The event is extremely valuable to the local economy, attracting in the region of 12,000 visitors to the area. It also acts as a platform for many local businesses to promote themselves and showcase what they have to offer. Although many shows have changed over the years, Glendale has evolved, keeping the tradition on which the show was built on 124 years ago firmly at its core.
The lifeblood of the show, undoubtedly, is the sponsors, without whose generosity the show would struggle to exist. Each year the show costs in the region of £100,000 to stage and this would not happen without their support. This year’s mainline supporters include; Lilburn Estate, Northumberland National Park, Ford and Etal Estate and Lazy Grace.
Show Secretary, Rachael Tait said: “We are hugely grateful to all of our sponsors, both longstanding supporters and those getting involved for the first time.
“Sponsorship funds so many things from banners to exhibits, classes to prizes, and without their kind generosity, Glendale Show would certainly not be the scale it is today.”
In addition during the day, entertainment around the showground will include:
- Squibb Freestyle Motor Cross display team
- Fell racing for both children and adults.
- Rural crafts.
- Countryside marquee.
- Speciality food marquee.
- Vintage machinery.
- Chainsaw carving.
- Live music.
- Children’s entertainment.
With the backdrop of the Cheviots and access directly from the A697, the show provides a stunningly picturesque and fun day out for people of all ages. Dogs are welcome and their owners can enter them in the Companion Dog Show on the day, with entries taken from 12 noononwards.
The gates for Glendale Show open at 9am on Bank Holiday Monday August 29th. Tickets can be purchased online in advance at a reduced rate.