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Dorset County Show returns after two-year pandemic break

Editors-picks Sep 4, 2022 at 19:15

Organisers say there are 900 sheep entries in this year's show

The Dorset County Show has returned following a two-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers hope as many as 60,000 people will pass through the gates at the Dorchester Showground to see agricultural activities, livestock competitions and horticultural displays.

Around 6,000 exhibits will showcase Dorset’s food and farming sector.

The agricultural show dates back to 1840. It was last held in 2019.

With restrictions on mass gatherings in place, the show was cancelled in 2020, and again in 2021 over fears of spreading Covid-19.

Will Hyde, the show’s development officer described the break caused by the pandemic as “a good catalyst for change”.

Competitions where farmers get to showcase their livestock take centre stage during the two-day event, along with equine, horticulture and homecraft contests.

Other fun events include farming contractors being put their their paces in a bale-stacking challenge.

“The public sees bales of straw moving around the countryside at 30mph all the time, but this is going to be about how do they stack them, how they move them safely, showing we can put on our own bit of entertainment in the ring”, Mr Hyde added.

The show features livestock competitions, sheep shearing, vintage tractors and show jumping

The show features livestock competitions, sheep shearing, vintage tractors and show jumping

With the summer heatwave, labour shortages and rising production costs, Mr Hyde said many farmers were finding it “really tough out there at the moment”.

“Farming can be very lonely, it’s extremely hard work but one of the things the show does is give them the opportunity to come together.

“When times are good they come together to celebrate, when times are a bit tough like they are now, they can come together and realise they are not alone and that can mean a huge amount to people.

With the summer heatwave, labour shortages and rising production costs, Mr Hyde said many farmers were finding it "really tough out there at the moment".  "Farming can be very lonely, it's extremely hard work but one of the things the show does is give them the opportunity to come together.  "When times are good they come together to celebrate, when times are a bit tough like they are now, they can come together and realise they are not alone and that can mean a huge amount to people.

Camel racing previously featured at the show at the Cokers Frome showground in Dorchester