62nd Brompton Regis Show
A bright and sunny morning got the 62nd Brompton Regis Show and Gymkhana off to a fine start on Saturday 15 August and set the scene for a thoroughly enjoyable day. Encouraged by a forecast of fine weather, attendance was at a record high with spectators and competitors coming from far and wide. This even included one couple from Australia who planned their holiday around the Show, having discovered the programme on the internet.
The days’ previous rain tested the nerves of some, but meant the going in the show field was near perfect and many combinations of horse and rider took advantage. The show jumping in Ring 1 was as popular as ever. The course was built by Miss Jo Fuller and judged by Mrs Helen Fuller. With great weather, sensible entry fees and a ‘friendly atmosphere’, multiple combinations battled it out to try and win some of the prize money, rosettes or a silver challenge trophy on offer in each class. The Bampton Scouts helped throughout the morning’s show jumping ensuring poles were up ready for the next rider, as we needed to finish in time to make room for the wonderful spectacle of the many fancy dress competitors! ‘Zebras, (three) bears (and a dog), Witches, a bumble bee, Neptune, plus many more handily crafted costumes gave the judge, Mrs Prilla Vereker an unenviable task of choosing a winner. But no-one went home disappointed, as along with the placings rosettes, ‘special’ rosettes were awarded to all those who took part. A short interlude saw the local’s finest runners line up. From ‘under fives’, to ‘over the hill’ the challenge was taken up with great aplomb – well there were Haribo sweets on offer!
Meanwhile in Ring 2, Judge, Mr Michael Scott had the task of picking no less than nine winners from a range of classes including, (WH) Working Hunter Pony, WH Horse, Nursery WH, Best Turned Out, Leading Rein Pony, Veteran, Family Pony, Riding Club Horse and finally best Pony Club Pony. The Championship held for the First Prize winners of all the showing classes was won by Tanisha Little on Storm.
In the afternoon, Ring 2 saw the Mountain and Moorland classes keenly supported. Judge Ms Kestra French saw a quality number of ponies compete In hand and Ridden classes. Some young ponies were getting their first experience of showing and were given time to settle before producing some professional looking individual shows, which were a credit to their handlers and producers. This year’s Mountain and Moorland Championship was won by Susannah Muir with Three Shires Zanatan.
Not to be forgotten, the Clear Round show jumping ring. This is mainly for children (and canines) who find the main ring a bit daunting and this year it was run by Ellen Cowling. Due to a mix up with the delivery of jumps, the set used came out of the Cowling’s shed. Luckily these had been re-painted by Ellen earlier in the year and although there was a definite ‘pink’ theme, seemed to agree with most competitors!
Back to Ring 1, there was a parade of the West Somerset Foxhounds and many parents and children took the opportunity offered to mingle with the hounds. With the Gymkhana now set out, ponies, children, leaders, all took part in trying to win the potato, bending, trot and walk, mug or finally consolation race, for those who have not won anything. This is a favourite as it always contains the very smallest and youngest children. But don’t worry, a lot can happen in twelve months and next year they’ll be back to give the older ones a run for their money!
The Companion Dog Show continues to go from strength to strength with a record 190 entries this year, including an amazing 28 entries in the Best Country Dog (Working or Sporting) Class alone. Judge Mrs Rosemary Barren faced some difficult decisions and the four pedigree classes were fiercely competitive with Dave Clemence from Ilfracombe and his Pointer, Jack, winning best in show. The family fun classes provided some great entertainment, especially the Best Sausage Catcher and the Longest Sit Classes, and were much enjoyed by participants and spectators alike.
The Cookery, Flower, Handicraft, Vegetable and Egg Shows proved as popular as ever with Charlotte Selley winning both the Jubilee Rose Bowl for being the competitor with the most points over the five shows and the cup for most points in the Cookery Show.
There were a record number of entries in the Cookery Show with Molly Routledge winning the best individual exhibit in the open classes for her beautifully Decorated Cake and Colin Hutchings winning the best exhibit in the men’s classes for his Fruit Scones. It was a delight to see such a large number of entries in the children’s classes with Nicholas Payne winning the cup for the under 16 year old gaining most points and Liam Stephens the cup for most points in the 9 years and under section. Lucy Hannah won the best exhibit in the children’s classes with her prettily decorated Small Cakes.
Despite worries over what flowers would still be out, the Flower Show exhibits looked spectacular. The cup for the best flower exhibit went to Harley Rich for his stunning Dahlias and the cup for the best flower arrangement to Jennifer Stringer. Pauli Joyce won the award for most points overall and in the children’s classes Lucinda Payne won the cup for the best exhibit for her decorated hat.
The standard of exhibits in the Vegetable Show was high and competition fierce with newcomer Harley Rich winning both the cup for the best exhibit and the cup for the best novice entry. Liam Stephens won in the children’s section for his ‘mode of transport’ made from vegetables and fruit.
Entries in the Handicraft Show were wide ranging with Mike Budd winning best in show in the open classes for his beautifully crafted oak stool and Liam Stephens winning best exhibit in the children’s section for his animal made out of vegetables.
The Egg Show was well subscribed this year with Stuart Stacey winning best exhibit for his Three Matching Hens Eggs and Archie Hannah best exhibit in the children’s class for his Decorated Egg. Visitors enjoyed seeing the newly hatched chickens on display.
There were bargains to be had at the local produce, plant, white elephant and book stalls and a wonderful array of prizes for the Show Raffle and Auction of Pledges as well as at the Bottle Stall. Children had a great time too with lots to occupy them – a play area, face painting and a huge bouncy castle as well as a slack line, a low level tight rope. A new attraction this year was bat box making and an exhibition on native tree species.
The day ended with Mr Edward Luxton auctioning off the produce kindly donated by exhibitors, which provided lots of laughs and entertainment to round off a successful day.
What with all the preparation for the show as well as running it on the day not far off 100 volunteers were involved somehow or other, a tremendous effort. A big thank you must go to all of them. The purpose of the show is to provide a good day out for the local community and visitors and its appeal remains its traditional nature and family friendly atmosphere. Long may it continue! The show also raises much needed funds for local good causes. The overall financial picture is not yet clear, but organisers at this stage are cautiously optimistic for a good result.
Sarah Merchant – Show Secretary