Lucy Hegarty, show manager said: “We knew that Saturday was going to be a challenge, it has been 28 years since the England squad reached a semi-final, whilst numbers were visibly down, the five fan zones we provided for visitors to watch the game were a resounding success.”
The highlight of the Show was The Household Cavalry Musical Ride, performing twice a day on all three Show days. This incredible display tapped in to the mood of the nation and the display received huge cheers during and after each performance.
Kevin Attwood, chairman, said: “We have wanted the Household Cavalry Musical Ride at the Kent County Show for a number of years but due to their popularity and the fact they are a working Regiment we had to be patient. To have them here this year was very apt. The pageantry and sense of pride in our armed forces really added to the atmosphere of the Show this year and their closing canter through the Main Astor Ring with the National Flags was something that all our visitors will remember for a long time to come”.
On Friday 6 July there were a number of important discussions, debates and visits which highlighted the current political climate in the Agricultural Sector. Rural Plc started the morning with a presentation and annual report explaining the financial implications of the past year on the farming sector. This was followed by Hadlow College launching their innovative Vision50 project to coincide with their 50th anniversary.
Lord Colgrain, president, Kevin Attwood, chairman and members of the board of directors for the Kent County Agricultural Society then greeted Neil Parish MP, chair of the environment, food and rural affairs committee. He toured the show speaking to growers and farmers to understand the problems for the industry in Kent.
With the high temperatures predicted in advance, organisers, the Kent County Agricultural Society were able to ensure that both visitor and animal safety and welfare was key during three exceptionally warm days. The grand parade of livestock was reviewed with some of the livestock not taking part. Water, shade and seating was provided around the showground which saw increased attendance on Sunday.
Lucy Hegarty, show manager said: “This has been a fantastic show, the weather, incredible standard of the displays and demonstrations gave this year’s show a really vibrant atmosphere and we were also delighted to report no problems with the traffic flow and car parking. The Kent Remembers display in the Garden Life area was the other major highlight. We were delighted to have worked with the Royal British Legion on bringing the awe-inspiring sculpture, ‘Every One Remembered’ to the Show, alongside the handcrafted poppy display which was enjoyed by all our visitors. This area was a poignant reminder of just how many people lost their lives during the Great War.”
The overall standard of the equine competitions this year was outstanding with all the Show Rings hosting a full programme. HM The Queen had success, with her horses receiving first in the Heavyweight Show Hunter, Champion Young Hunter and Reserve Champion in the Cuddy Horse of the Year Show qualifier.
The Detling Stakes, jumping on Sunday, was a thrilling competition with Mark Edwards winning with Quidde du Bussion Z owned by Tony and Bernice Hill as well as taking second place with Montreux’s Tale and also sixth with Tinkers Tale. Visitors also enjoyed the fast-paced spectacular Osborne Refrigerator Double Harness Scurry, the majestic heavy horse classes and the beautiful miniature ponies and horses.
Livestock entries saw a significant increase in 2018 with record entries for both sheep and wool, this ensured that visitors were able to see more competitions and enjoy a larger number of sheep, with the highest number of entries since 2007. Cattle entries were the slightly down after record numbers in 2017 due to a clash with the National Simmental Show. Designer Holsteins won the Supreme Dairy Champion and Barwood & Padfield from Norfolk won Supreme Beef Champion.
Lord Colgrain, President said “We have had a wonderful 2018 Show, the showground looked stunning, visitors were happy and glorious sunshine helped to create a buoyant atmosphere. The Household Cavalry Musical Ride was outstanding and it was fitting that the Society Chairman Kevin Attwood took the final salute. Kevin will be ending his six year term as Chairman in February and has steered the Society with professionalism, courage and enthusiasm. We are all indebted to his firm leadership and passion, he will be missed.”
The dates for the 2019 Show will be 5- 7 July 2019 when the Kent County Agricultural Society will be celebrating its 90th Show.