The region’s premier agricultural expo promises ‘something for everyone’.

Shorthorn cattle take centre stage at the 2011 show.Shorthorn cattle take centre stage at the 2011 show.

THE very best of British farming will be taking centre stage at Umberleigh with the return of the North Devon Show next Wednesday (August 7).

The region’s premier agricultural show was cancelled last year following one of the wettest summers in living memory but organisers promise the 47th show will be ‘tip-top’, with something for everyone.

Show secretary Pat Sennett told the Gazette: “It’s going to be an excellent show – the showground will be absolutely jam-packed with things to do and see.

“It’s been a whole year in the planning and there will be something for everyone.”

The high-flying Bolddog Lings FX team will be thrilling crowds at this year's North Devon Show. (Pic by Bolddog)The high-flying Bolddog Lings FX team will be thrilling crowds at this year's North Devon Show. (Pic by Bolddog)

The 100-acre showground at Umberleigh Barton Farm, just off the A377 opposite the Umberleigh Service Station, opens at 9am.

Attractions in the main ring include high-flying acrobatic motorcycle displays by the Bolddog Lings FX Team; carriage driving; pony club games; performances by the Bideford Youth Pipe Band and North Devon Pipes and Drums; Young Farmers Club games; parade of hounds; and the final grand parade of champions from all the classes.

Meanwhile in the Tarka Ring, entertainment will be provided by The Mighty Smith Strongman Show; Victor Pitts’ Ducks and Dogs; North Devon Falconry; and the Bideford Gymnastics Club Display Team, among others.

Livestock classes always form the backbone of the show, which never strays far from its agricultural roots.

This year, exhibitors from all over the South West will be displaying some 500-plus sheep, 300 horses and 150 cattle.

Beef and dairy cattle sections always attract some of the best representatives of their breeds from across the South West, with new commercial beef and interbreed classes added this year.

There is also show jumping, a poultry show, dog show, alpaca classes and new for this year, an alpaca village.

“Also new this year is a Delicious North Devon area, organised by North Devon+ to highlight the best local produce,” said Pat.

“The show is really well supported by businesses and we have hundreds of trade stalls,” added Pat, who praised those who volunteer their time to help make the event happen.

“The show committee is made up of around 350 members, some of whom have been with us since the year dot and have given up their time for decades.

“Everyone who is connected with the show is a volunteer. More than 100 stewards give up their time willingly – we couldn’t manage without them.”

A rural skills area will offer various demonstrations, including, wood turning, rope making and basket weaving. Visitors can also try out activities such as archery and fly casting in the country pursuits section.

There is also a travel expo, fairground and vintage vehicles, as well as business arcade, horticulture, food hall and craft and gift marquees.

There are 50 acres of parking on-site but show-goers can also catch specially laid-on busses from Barnstaple, Bideford and Torrington. People arriving to Umberleigh by train can catch a hopper bus to the showground.

Discounted advance tickets are on sale at Tourist Information Centres and other locations until Monday.

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