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Agricultural Society Maintains County Show Through Alternative Series of Events

Dorchester Agricultural Society host the annual Dorset County Show usually attracting crowds of
60,000 people. Recently the Society made the bold decision not to hold the County Show in 2021
due to ongoing concerns and hurdles linked to the COVID-19 pandemic instead, opting for an
alternative programme of events spread throughout the second half of the year.

The new line-up will look to recreate popular parts of the Show but at stand-alone events spread
across the County, taking the Show to the people and interacting with the usual stakeholder groups
such as traders, sponsors and most importantly the public. On this occasion the Society are
fortunate not to be tied to a permanent Showground that they own, instead they have managed to
reduce overheads by negotiating reduced rent payments on their usual site and as an alternative use
unique venue’s across Dorset.

Show Secretary, Will Hyde said “It has never been a more challenging time to run events but doing
nothing in 2021 was never an option, we have used this time to take a fresh approach. We hold the
skill set within the team and we have resources to build and organise events, rather than asking
large numbers of people to come to us we are going to take smaller events to people throughout

The new programme includes; a dedicated Homecraft & Horticulture Show, fundraising Tractor Run,
stand-alone Equine Event, a New Members’ Reception and Winter Livestock Show, these events will
be run alongside the Society’s annual Ploughing Match and regular support of a local Sheep Dog

Will Hyde continues “the new venues we have sourced are really exciting for example, we are
looking to maintain our routes in the county town by bringing livestock back to Dorchester town
centre’s redundant cattle market. All of the alternative venues have appealing properties such as
permanent infrastructure or landscape value which will help keep our costs down. We are also
pleased to be working with local authorities and land owners who are backing these events and
support the Society’s work.”

The Society have worked hard to produce a programme that meets their charitable objective’s as
well as appealing to their Members’ who have continued to pay subscription fee’s through two
challenging years. As a way of thanking Members’ for that support Society Presidents Lord & Lady
Fellowes will be welcoming Members’ to their home in early summer for an evening reception.

The Dorset County Show events programme for 2021 includes a variety of events, starting at the end
of June with more details to be announced in due course. Events include:

  • A Tractor run – 27th June
  • A Members Reception, hosted by Dorset Agricultural Society Presidents Julian and Emma
    Fellowes – 1st July
  • A Dorset food and craft market, alongside a homecraft and horticulture show – 31st July
  • A standalone equine show – 5th September
  • Sheep dog trails – 12th September
  • An autumn machinery and cultivation demonstration dray – 28th September
  • A ploughing match – 3rd October
  • A winter livestock festival and Christmas market – 27th November

For more information about the Dorset County Show, visit www.dorsetcountyshow.co.uk.