A brilliant day out at the Spring Countryside Show


What a great day we had at the Spring Countryside Show today – were you there? Are you going tomorrow? There’s so much to see, but here’s our own highlights from the first day:

The Sheep Show. Brilliantly entertaining whilst being oddly educational – seriously do NOT miss this show. Experience more fun and excitment than you’d expect from a man and his sheep.
Find it: Friars Moor Farm Yard, three shows daily

The grown up gun dogs team at the Spring Countryside Show

The Gun Dogs display. SO so interesting and fun. And it’s not just for gun dog owners, it’s for anyone who owns a dog; the tips and tricks on training are incredibly useful, and as a bonus you get to watch the controlled mayhem that is a bundle of adorably excited five-month-old cocker spaniel puppies being the BEST dogs.
Find it: Gritchie Brewing Company Rural Ring, two shows daily

Young vintage steam engine enthusiasts at Spring Countryside Show

The Falconry display. Witness the captivating Mere Down Falconry performance – it’s always an amazing show.
Find it: Gritchie Brewing Company Rural Ring, two shows daily

Jonathan Marshall’s Free Spirits Show. Obviously. Always popular, it’s impossible to ignore the beauty of Jonathan’s Amadeus (yes, he’s one of the Lloyds Bank black horse) and his magnificent falcons. If you haven’t seen it before, prepare for the unexpected (see our interview with Jonathan Marshall here).
Find it: Gritchie Brewing Company Rural Ring, two shows daily

Flyball. Absolute chaotic yelping energy. These dogs are living their BEST life. Not a single member of the audience around us had a clue who was winning, and not a single one cared! Everyone was having a great time just watching the teams of dogs taking turns to fly down the jumps, slam into the ramp to retrieve their ball and then race back again while their humans yelled encouragement from both ends. The task seemed to be to get the dogs as hyped up as possible and then let them RUN. It works.

Flyball at the Spring Countryside Show

Terrier Racing. It’s absolute chaos, but it’s a thing of joyous beauty to watch, and the commentary is hilarious! Think your dog has the speed? Enter them in the terrier racing (it’s not just for terriers, we saw all sorts having a go) – it was just perfectly brilliant. Bonkers.
Find it: Gritchie Brewing Company Rural Ring, two shows daily

The Farrier. Do circle back if Sam Wilkes isn’t working when you see his area – it’s such a great opportunity to see the farrier skills up close, and Sam is great at explaining as he goes (you can see him featured in January’s A Country Living here).
Find it: Garden Village, three demos through the day

Spring countryside show grey face sheep

The Farmyard. Don’t miss out on the chance to get close to the wonderful (and HUGE) rare breed pigs and piglets, the completely wonderful grey face sheep, the Boer goats and the mad chickens. Do stop and chat to the people who breed them, they’re keen to talk!
Find it: Friars Moor Farm Yard

Spring countryside show OSB piglets

ALL THE FOODS! We had a fabulous hog roast roll from local Stalbridge butcher’s Else’s, plus a slice of cake from Victoria O’Brien’s tent. We tried where we could, but we just couldn’t sample all of the cheese, gin, rum, burgers, curry, jams, chills, pancakes, doughnuts, sausage rolls, cakes, fudge, pasties… Go prepared.

All images © Courtenay Hitchcock, BV magazine

Why not head down to the Spring Countryside Show tomorrow (23rd April)? It’s a great day out!
Gate Price is £16 per Adult, kids go free. Dogs on leads are welcome.
Find it at the Turnpike Showground, Motcombe (between Shaftesbury & Gillingham), SP7 9PL


  1. What a brilliant write up sounds just like the Gillingham & Show used to be a rare celebration of countryside skills. Well done to all involved


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