119th Annual Show on 9th September 2006.
Bowes Show is held each year in the park at Home Farm, Gilmonby, with the generous support of the farmer Mr.Gilbert Guy, and his family. Bowes Show has had an image of being a small sheep show, with an industrial tent and a few ponies, but in recent years, the show has reflected the national obsession with all things equestrian. The Horse and Pony section has expanded with more classes, affiliations, and entries, so that it is now a major equestrian event in the North of England.
This year Bowes has affiliated with the Veteran Horse Society, and is offering an Area Qualifying Section in the morning with classes for in hand and ridden horses and ponies aged 15 and over. Bowes has been asked, by the Veteran Horse Society, to stage the Regional Final as well as an Area Qualifier. It will be possible to come to Bowes and qualify for the Regional Final in the morning, compete in that in the afternoon, and go home qualified for the Christmas Show at Olympia. This is quite a coup for a “small sheep show”.
The Driving Classes have been expanded in recent years. The Show is delighted to announce that the Bowes Moor Hotel is providing extremely generous financial backing and is sponsoring the Driving Section of the 2006 show. This sponsorship will make it possible to continue to offer the high prize money and beautiful rosettes, which have encouraged the high standard and volume of entries over the past two years. This section also benefits from the support of Dorant 4×4 Motors, who provide the four wheel drive vehicle, which the chairman drives the judge over the marathon course, even crossing the river Greta at one point, to watch competitors on the route. Deepdale Off Road do their bit too, following the competitors as they drive the carriages over the course, to offer assistance to anyone who may be in difficulty. The whole event could not happen at all without the generosity of landowners Mr. Gilbert Guy and Messrs. Cooper, for allowing the carriages to cross their farms, and for their help in laying out the route to be used.
The Driving Classes are all affiliated with the British Driving Society, though are open to non-members as well as members of the BDS. The Private Driving Class where entries are often driven to vintage or antique carriages, and provide an elegant spectacle, is again included. The Mini-Marathon has become increasingly popular and well supported in recent years, and has attracted a very high standard of entrants.
The Dog Show classes and Pet Dog Agility have been enormously popular in recent years, since entries have only been accepted on the field, which allows locals and visitors to bring their dogs for a fun day out.
The Sheep section is always well supported with classes for Blue Faced Leicesters, Beltex, Jacob, Texels, Mules, and of course Swaledale Sheep. Bowes Show has after all been known locally as the “Swaledale Royal” so the standard of Swaledale sheep at the show will not be equalled anywhere. Barnard Castle Office of the NFU are sponsoring the Swaledale Shearling Ram Championship, the most prestigious award in this section. Its trophy is the show’s logo.
The Industrial and Horticulture Sections are always well supported with entries from the whole of the North-East. Some of the finest Walking sticks to be seen anywhere will be found in the Industrial tent.
Bowes Show has come a long way since the early 1980s when some committee members donated livestock to be auctioned to raise money to allow the show to continue. A huge debt is owed to those people who were so determined that a show as special as Bowes should continue. The show is still largely supported by year-round fund raising activities, and a lot of very hard work by a few dedicated enthusiasts, not to mention support from local businesses and private individuals. Since 2001, when Foot and Mouth Disease stopped most shows from taking place, the climate for small agricultural shows has been difficult. Bowes has not held cattle classes since 2000, due to the restrictions which have been imposed, but continues to put on what is always a traditional Dales Show.
FAO Neil Richardson, North of England Newspapers 27.02.04
Ref: Bowes Show – Equestrian Calendar date – 11th September 2004
Darlington & Stockton Times
As you will be aware, DEFRA movement & bio-security restrictions are still with us in some form particularly affecting sheep and cattle exhibitors. However, in 2003 we were able to bring back our sheep classes, and our new classes and events in all sections attracted more than ever entries and visitors. This has confirmed Bowes as having the largest (and, in our opinion, the best) show of livestock in the area. Following our very successful show in 2003, we have expanded all sections, created additional classes, and affiliated all our native breed and show classes as qualifiers for the Ponies (UK) finals, at Peterborough 2005. The North of England Dartmoor & Exmoor Show, held in previous years at Richmond, but on the same day as Bowes Show, will now be amalgamated with our show. Our carriage driving section providing well supported show classes and a mini marathon competition over the surrounding Dale’s countryside has
also been affiliated to the British Driving Association. Over the years our show has been steadily growing in reputation and can now proudly provide classes whose size, diversity and quality of livestock would be a credit to any major show in the North. We are hoping to continue to expand our 2004 show to include more new classes with new events, hopefully to include clay pigeon shooting. The inaugural multi terrain run held in 2003 will be expanded in 2004 and promoted by local fell running associations. The horses section will benefit from full affiliation to Ponies (UK) and we are now confident of bringing back cattle classes to Bowes for 2004. Again we will have the Horticultural & Industrial, Sheep & Cattle, Dogs, and Horses & Ponies Sections, as well as the carriage driving marathon & obstacle course, fell run, dog classes & dog agility, Punch & Judy, vintage machinery, crafts and trade stands, and numerous other attractions, for a great day out. The Bar and BBQ will stay on the show field until early evening (8pm) and of course we will have another of our popular Duck Races.
Your reporter, Sheila Dixon, has always been a kind and loyal supporter of our show, for which we are very grateful, and I am sure that she will verify our show’s importance to the Dales and indeed to the North of England.
I shall look forward to your comments on due course
Head Secretary, Bowes Agricultural Society