The Royal Cornwall Show, organised by the Agricultural Association, is well into its third century, having been established in 1793. The show has stayed true to its original purpose of supporting and displaying ‘Cornwall’s impressive agricultural industry’ and throughout the years they have continued to host a spectacular display of agricultural machinery, local food produce, and of course the competitive side of the show!
These competitions were originally held in the form of ploughing matches and judging of livestock. Now, it has developed into one of the most prestigious equestrian and livestock shows, as well as rabbits, pigeons, poultry, flowers, food… the list goes on!
The Main Ring accommodated a whole array of entertainment over the course of the three days, appealing to all members of the audience, from top class show jumping to the RAF Falcons!
Unfortunately, due to not being there the whole weekend, we weren’t able to watch all of them (although we wish we did!), but there were a few show stopping displays we managed to catch.
Upon arrival, we headed straight up to the Main Ring where the first of the show jumping competitions commenced, at 10am. This class was ‘The Rosevean Veterinary Grade ‘C’ Jumping Competition’. In layman’s terms, it was a rather challenging show jumping course, sponsored by the renowned local practice ‘Rosevean Vets’. The whole audience sat and watched, with great enthusiasm, the magnificent horses and their brave riders taking on the course in hope to get a clear round and make it through to the timed ‘jump off’.
At 2pm we returned to the Main Ring as it was being prepared for the ‘Atkinson Action Horses – Lights, Camera, Action!’. Now, if any of you have endeavoured to watch Poldark, Peaky Blinders or Victoria, you may well have seen these horses for yourself!
Atkinson Action Horses are a team of highly skilled, professional, riders and some incredibly skilled horses. The group often travel the country holding exhilarating displays for live audiences. However, in between this, the horses come into their own celebrity element, as they are fully trained stunt horses who strut their stuff on the big screen.
We were lucky enough to catch a small glimpse of the kind of stunts the horses have been trained to do, for their displays or movie appearances, and it was impressive to say the least! From the horses jumping over one another, to a stunt man standing on two of his horses…whilst holding on to, and steering, an additional two horses…whilst going over jumps… (yes, it was as bonkers and brilliant as it sounds).
Before too long, it was time to have a browse in the Cornwall Food & Farming tents. We were inundated with row after row of some of the most incredible, fresh, Cornish produce!
A stall that we were particularly drawn to belonged to the Cornish Food Box. We spoke to one of their very helpful representatives who told us all about the great work they do. The Cornish Food Box are a business who are striving to make it as easy as possible for people to have access to top quality, local food, selling produce they can ‘feel good about’. What does this mean? Well, it is fish caught sustainably, grass-fed meat, and locally grown fruit and vegetables (often just down the road!).
This initiative supports local businesses and is a much more sustainable way of sourcing food. You can have your own personalised hampers delivered to your home or holiday property, having the choice of a plastic free option. If that is not, possible due to the items you have selected, the Cornish Food Box will take any excess packaging away with them to be recycled, after you have unpacked it. We thought this was a brilliant addition.
Following this, we began to feel a little peckish so headed for another stall that couldn’t be missed, Baker Tom’s! A pain au chocolat and chocolate brownie were swiftly purchased.
At the Royal Cornwall Show, you will find much more than the wonderful selection of food stalls. They provide one of the largest trading opportunities in Cornwall for everything from agricultural machinery, to luxury garden furniture. Although we were not there to purchase any such things, just by walking through these particular sections, it doesn’t take long to understand how significant this weekend is for many businesses. A hub for the Cornish economy!
As mentioned, there were cattle, goats, rare breeds, rabbits, poultry, cage birds, dogs, pigs, sheep, horses’, alpacas and even bees!
Of course, a visit to the enormous cattle shed was a must. Here you are able to walk around the cattle lines. The cattle lines being rows and rows of cows lined up in their stalls on huge straw beds, either relaxing or being prepared to be shown. Have you ever seen a cow getting a blow dry before? No? Us neither…but it was quite an experience! You can’t help but feel in complete awe of these magnificent beasts, who are the champions of their breed, exuding the highest quality in Devon and Cornwall.
Although a little smaller, the goat tent was equally as enjoyable. The competitive classes for the goats run on the first two days of the show, and this is where their breeding, conformation and dairy produce is judged. We took to the ring to try and gauge a little more about how this is done and thoroughly enjoyed the more mischievous little goats who were being rather un co-operative when being inspected. Certainly, keeping the crowds entertained!
The purpose of the high level of competition across the whole board, including the poultry, pigs and sheep, is to demonstrate the vast amount of high quality produce we have available in Cornwall. Encouraging shopping ‘close to home‘, and further supporting local businesses that are vital to the Cornish Economy.
The show truly stayed committed to demonstrating the best of what Cornwall has to offer, in all aspects, especially an excellent sense of community spirit!
If you are able to visit the show for its full three days, you certainly won’t be short of things to do. We were there just for one and barely scratched the surface on all the wonderful things they have on display.
So, here is a huge thank you to Royal Cornwall Show and we can’t wait to be back next year!