I love anything to do with the countryside and animals so I was very excited to be going to Kent County Show this year. We woke up bright and early so that we wouldn’t miss anything and headed to the Maidstone site.
Kent County Show is very popular, with around 80,000 visitors going each year. The show is hosted by the Kent County Agricultural Society which was started in 1923 with the aim of holding an agricultural show every year. The Society bought The Kent Showground (in Detling, Maidstone) in the 1960s and the Show has been held there each year since 1964.
Our first stop was to the equestrian centre. We watched the mini shetland pony competition and I immediately decided that I wanted one as a pet. Imagine the plaits you could do?
We then moved on to the full sized horses.
The horses were so elegant and went over the jumps so effortlessly.
Having admired the horses for long enough, I spotted a sign for the antiques market and as I love all things vintage, I grabbed Anthony’s hand and headed straight there.
I loved rummaging through the vintage things and treated myself to a beautiful vintage ring that I have worn most days since buying it. I would always pick second hand jewellery over new jewellery where possible, I love the history of older pieces and imagining what places each piece has been to and what interesting lives it has been part of.
Conveniently opposite the antiques and vintage village was an even more antique performance with the Tyrannosaurus show by Rentadinosaur. The dinosaur was very realistic and the performers were brilliant, ensuring that it was both informative and entertaining.
We promptly returned back to the present day and had a look around the ferret enclosure.
This ferret looked unbelievably cosy in his little basket and I added it to my list of pets for the future.
The sheep show was so entertaining. The presenter managed to teach us about the history of sheep and the key traits of the most popular breeds whilst making everyone laugh at the same time. He also demonstrated sheep shearing and explained that it is completely painless…he even demonstrated on his own arm.
The show culminated with all of the sheep dancing! I don’t understand how he got them to dance but it was amazing. Each breed of sheep did a different dance all in time to the music, with some shaking their heads about, some tapping their feet from side to side and some doing a quick step back and forth.
The same presenter later did a show in one of the main arenas called the ‘Dog and Duck’ show. We were so intrigued as to what it would be and sat on the grass by the fence waiting for it to begin.
The presenter seems to really understand animals and explained that too many people try to make their dogs or pets understand them but really we should be trying to understand their language. He gave the example of someone walking their dog down the street when they see another owner walking the other way with a much larger aggressive looking dog. The dog will immediately read its owner’s body language if he/she becomes anxious and to protect its owner, it immediately starts barking at the oncoming dog. If the owner had carried on as normal, the dog would probably not have reacted at all.
He demonstrated the need to read a dog’s behaviour by getting some untrained rescue dogs to herd up some ducks into a small pen. He did it perfectly and communicated to the dogs in their own language (body language that is, he didn’t start barking…) and staying in control.
The presenter has published his own book called ‘The Way of the Dog’ which helps owners to pick a breed and understand their dog.
While watching the show and talking about what kind of dog we might want in the future, we made friends with a lovely dog who was also enjoying the show next to us.
It was soon time for a tea and cake break. We walked around the food hall in its entirety trying to decide what to choose. There were 40 stalls and each one was selling something that looked and smelled delicious but I eventually decided on a slice of classic Victoria Sponge as you can’t go wrong with that!
We found a spot on a bench in the picnic area outside and I was in Saturday afternoon heaven, listening to live music, surrounded by bunting and eating cake – what more could I want?!
We embraced the country life and I had my first go of shooting. It’s not going to be a new hobby of mine but I did surprisingly well for a first timer.
There is a woodland area of the show encouraging people to learn bushcraft skills and selling wooden carved ornaments and other home made items. We watched a really interesting talk on how to make fire run by Jack Raven Bushcraft – one of those things that I think everyone should know but I still prefer the cheat option of simply packing a lighter in my rucksack! If you are interested in learning bushcraft skills, Jack Raven Bushcraft offer bushcraft courses ‘covering essential woodlore, wilderness & outdoor living skills, wild food foraging, axe workshops, woodland crafts, herbal remedies’.
Our final visit was to the livestock area.
We watched some of the displays and then had a look around the ‘backstage’ bit which was full of nervous and excited children who were there to present their animals with their schools/colleges or young farmers association group.
The sheep were the fluffiest things I had ever felt!
We had such a lovely day at Kent County Show and left with a long list of animals that we want to have as pets. Now just to save up for a few acres of land…