Entries for livestock – goats, cattle, sheep and pigs- and horses at the Dorset County Show are all up on last year.
Numbers have been swelled thanks to an excellent entry of local sheep breeds – 62 entries for the Dorset Down classes; 54 for the Dorset Horn and Poll Dorset and 22 for the Portlands – which are having their own class for the first time at the Show.
Both the Dorset Down and Portland breeds are on the Rare Breed Survival Trust list. The Dorset Down was developed in the early 1800s by crossing local Wiltshire, Berkshire and Hampshire ewes with Southdown rams. It has suffered due to the immense popularity of the Suffolk and the introduction of foreign breeds, such as the Texel.
The Portland – a small, stocky and short primitive breed - dates back to before the Roman Invasion but they are a hardy, thrifty breed that is well suited for life on a small-holding.
Dairy classes entries have been the highest seen for many years with a good number of Holsteins, Ayrshires, Jerseys and Guernseys.
The area has some of the best dairy farmers in the country. Last month, the top dairy prize – the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers National Milk Records Gold Cup title went to Simon Bugler, from Pilsdon Dairy Farm, Bridport
There are also good entry numbers in the new Heavy Horse classes and in the Former Racehorses section.
Homecraft and horticulture entries are similar to last year, though there has been real interest in the cookery section. There have been 27 entries for Cider Cake, made from an original recipe from 1840 and 41 entries in the Victoria Sandwich class.
Other categories which have caught the eye include the Scarecrow Competition, which has seen 18 entries; an Article of Crochet, Colour Photograph and Jar of Chutney.
Richard Cuzens, Dorset County Show Secretary, said he was delighted with the excellent turn-out in the livestock and horse sections.
“We are really pleased to see the one of our largest entries in the dairy section for many years and it is also great to see our local breeds coming here in good numbers.
“We hope people will come and visit the show rings and see the champions in our Grand Parades, which take place on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon.”
27th August 2016 12:30:00
Early bird tickets for this year's Dorset County Show go on sale this week at just £12 for adults.
Commercial, pedigree and rare breed sheep farmers will once again be battling it out at this year's Dorset County Show Flock Competition.