Saturday, 19 May 2012

Devon County Show 2012

On Thurday, my hubby and I went to the Devon County Show, held at the County Showground at Westpoint, Exeter. The weather was overcast and pretty cold, and it rained on and off, but that didn’t deter the crowds, or us, from having a good time! However, we did notice that things were on a smaller scale than last year, and there weren’t so many things I wanted to photograph, but that might just have been the lack of sunshine.

What I love about agricultural shows (and all sorts of shows in these venues) is that you see things you don’t normally see in your day to day life. Some of these things may not seem very exciting, but I love to step outside my normal routine!

The first thing we did was to go and see the animals. It’s always fun seeing the farm animals all washed and groomed, and their owners dressed in white coats, exhibiting and competing, and this year we got up close and personal to the sheep! Some very handsome rams and some gorgeous black-faced ones.

We also saw the cattle being judged, but from slightly further away. I was amused to see that the hall where the craft shows take place had been taken over as a cattle shed!! Hope they clean it up well before the next craft show!

As usual there were lots of different stands on the showground, and at the end, my hubby was pleased to find the Batik man’s stand – we’d given up on him this year! I was able to get another pair of ethnic trousers and a couple more tops – lovely and cool in the summer and they hide a multitude of lumps and bumps!

I love seeing all the stands selling agricultural equipment – lovely shiny tractors and various machines!

This is a slurry machine. Nice and clean, isn’t it! At least for now!

They had a fun wooden cut-out cow this year, with a tank of water and udders underneath so that the kids could “milk the cow”! It was life-sized, and to add a touch of realism, it even had ear tags! We were laughing that what came out of the udders was clear – ultra-skimmed milk, perhaps?

They had run a competition to create a bicycle suitable for agricultural use (probably a young farmers’ initiative) and they’d come up with some really great creations! Here are a couple of them.

In the main arena, we caught the tail end of the show jumping. I was sorry not to see it all, because it’s always lovely seeing the beautiful horses and their riders so beautifully turned out, showing such skill. I never see show jumping these days, outside of the shows, but it takes me back to the village gymkhanas when we were children! We saw them in the collecting ring, though, before the lap of honour.

Also taking place was the wonderful carriage driving – again, something we never see outside a show. This year, there was a commentator explaining that it wasn’t just the skill of driving that was being judged, but every detail of the carriage, the harness, the clothes the drivers were wearing – all had to be in keeping with the era of the individual carriage. Also, I hadn’t realised that the carriages were all genuine vintage articles, and not reproductions – but they had all been so beautifully restored that they looked like new! As usual, my favourite was the one with the horse who pranced with his front feet – so elegant! This is the video I made last year, when there were quite a few more competitors in this event.

I think the horses are probably what I enjoy most at the show. Here’s this year’s video I made of the horses.

Unfortunately we had to leave before the display of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the Mounties) – I’d love to have seen them! They have been before, and are always tremendously good value with their scarlet coats, and everything, including the horses, of course, groomed to perfection!

We saw some interesting structures – some very pretty summerhouses, and some igloo gazebos, a whole tent full of hot tubs, and various tents with exhibits of crafts. As usual the blacksmiths were there, demonstrating (very noisy!) and there was a display of their work, but again, this was on a smaller scale than last year, which was sad.

Altogether a lovely day out, although the weather could have been nicer, and the whole thing was definitely scaled down since last year.

(The complete set of photos is in my Photobucket album, and you can see last year’s visit here.)


  1. We have a similar show up here at Corbridge. Always good photo ops!

  2. Even on a smaller scale it looked like grand fun! I use to own a jumper and even competed when I was younger, had a great horse, he's jump over a puddle or a stick lying on the ground! lol crazy horse, his name was Prince Albert! :) waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

  3. Looks like a fun day out. My hubby is from that neck of the woods.

  4. It was lovely to see you - even if it was only briefly, glad you had a good time x


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