Directors at Nantwich Show some 20 years ago decided that it was time to introduce a sheep section to compliment the other livestock exhibits that were such a big attraction.
The first shows consisted of a small marquee with a number of different breeds on display. In addition to the sheep on display there were two features, a trimming demonstration to show how sheep were prepared for shows and a guess-the-weight competition for children.
As the popularity grew there were more and more requests for competitive classes. Space at the showground at Dorfold Park is always at a premium but Directors agreed to a two part arrangement, Display and Competition.
A committee to organise and co-ordinate arrangements was formed and members, in addition to getting exhibitors to the show, had to deal with many animal health regulations, especially segregation of animals of a different health status, designated animal areas, public health conditions, the list is endless.
When we expanded the sheep section it was far too expensive to provide cover with the result that on several occasions we were very wet to say the least!
In 2008 we introduced the shearing demonstration. This proved to be a big hit with the public. For anyone who has not seen an expert shearer, it is a fascinating event to watch.
Administration goes on throughout the year but the real work starts when, to comply with animal health regulations, the showground has to be cleared of any livestock four weeks before show day. Behind the scenes, penning allocation and checking exhibitor’s forms are just some of the routine jobs to be done. When the sheep perimeter fence is erected, early in July, the work on the internal layout begins. To accommodate 150 sheep in pens and to provide judging rings approximately 800 hurdles are required. There is a dedicated band of workers, all volunteers, including some 20 people who are needed on the day to make it all happen.
The day after the show, everything is broken down to allow the showground to be cleared as soon as possible. The results are forwarded to the secretary to pay out all the prize money and any other paperwork is completed.
A few weeks after the show a general review takes place to see where did things right and where we can improve and then we start again for 2016!
I do hope that you will enjoy the sheep section and the best one day show in the country.
Kevin Hammersley, Sheep Chairman.