Visit the Dorset County Show this weekend

One of the biggest weekends in Dorset will take place this weekend at the Dorchester Showground. 

The Duchy of Cornwall and the Developers of Poundbury are the headline sponsors for this year’s event and invite show visitors to see them in Avenue K. 

Celebrating the best of agriculture and rural life, The Dorset County Show is run by Dorchester Agricultural Society and was established in 1840. The two-day show attracts 60,000 people and is held each year at the Dorchester Showground.

Designed to promote agribusiness through traditional competitions, events, and demonstrations, the show offers the farming community the chance to exhibit the best of their wares to the public.

Helping draw an expected 60,000 visitors to the two day agricultural extravaganza held at the Dorchester Showground also features an incredile food hall, live music and more than 450 trade stands. 

With more than 1,000 exhibitors and competitors travelling from across the country to take part in the 176th annual event, the show animals and livestock favourites will be rising to the challenge to leave with a coveted red, white and blue rosette.

Will Hyde, Show Secretary said, “We are delighted to have such strong entries forward in all of our equine and livestock classes, more entries create a higher standard of competition and the public love having the opportunity to see these animals up close.”

With such a diverse range of competitive classes, four spectator rings, showjumping and countryside rings, there will be lots of opportunities for visitors to meet livestock breeds. Where size is no object, we take a closer look at some of the show’s entrants sure to please all guests.

Poundbury to sponsor Dorset County Show

The Developers of Poundbury, CG Fry and Sons, Morrish Builders and Zero C. All three developers have made a significant contribution to the development over the years, including the newly completed central hub and heart of Poundbury, Queen Mother Square. Future projects include a mix of new homes and business space in the North East Quadrant. With construction now over two thirds complete, the final phases in the Northern Quadrants will bring a total of around 2,600 homes, 35% of which will be affordable, and even more jobs and local amenities by the time the development completes in around 2025.

Will Hyde, Show Secretary said, “Dorset County Show is delighted to have The Duchy of Cornwall and the Developers of Poundbury as our headline sponsor of this year’s show. The show has always been based near the County Town and we recognise how well Poundbury now complements Dorchester bringing much needed housing and employment opportunities.”

Ben Murphy, spokesperson for The Duchy of Cornwall said, “As a predominantly rural estate with a long association with the town of Dorchester and people of Dorset, The Duchy of Cornwall is delighted to be supporting The Dorset County Show alongside its developer partners in Poundbury. We are really looking forward to the event itself, as well as the opportunity to encourage more people to come and discover Poundbury”.

Will Hyde added: “As headline sponsor, The Duchy of Cornwall and the Developers of Poundbury will have a presence at the centre of the Showground and we hope our visitors will use the opportunity to talk with the developers and hear about everything Poundbury has to offer.”

This year’s main ring attraction will include Jonathan Marshall with a falconry display on horseback, as well as horse drawn Coaches, fast paced Scurry Racing and a Grand Parade of Livestock each day showcasing some of the finest cattle, sheep, goats and pigs in the South West.



The Kunekune are a New Zealand breed and the smallest domestic breed of pig in the world. Their name is pronounced ‘koo-nee koo-nee’, and means fat and round in Maori. A firm favourite among pet pig owners, their placid friendly nature and love of human company make them a popular attraction at the show.

The Oxford Sandy and Black is a rare traditional breed of pig. It is increasing in popularity from virtual extinction twenty years ago. Sometimes referred to as the “Plum Pudding or Oxford Forest Pig” it is one of the oldest British pig breeds. Its good nature and ease of management make it a favourite for owners.


The Valais Blacknose is an incredibly rare breed and hails from the mountains of the Valais region of Switzerland.  Commonly referred to as ‘the cutest sheep in the world’, due to their unique appearance and loving nature, it makes them highly prized by owners wanting an unusual pet sheep.

Jacob sheep are a traditional British breed combining two characteristics unusual in sheep. It is piebald (dark-coloured with areas of white wool) and often multi-horned, giving it a similar resemblance to a goat.

As things heat up for the top-class livestock paraded in front of the judges, others will be given the chance to cool off during Sunday’s Piddle Brewery speed shearing competition. Contestants will showcase their grooming talents in a race against the clock to take top billing.


The cattle section see’s entries from all of the traditional showing breeds such as Herefords, British Blues and Devons all of whom will be judged on the Saturday, making way for the rare and minority breeds in the Sunday where we will see the likes of Longhorn and Riggit Galloway.

Another first for the Dorset County Show 2017 will be live milking demonstrations near the cattle ring. Featuring a purpose-built mini milking parlour and commentary from Tom Foot, dairy farmer at The Open Air Dairy, Tom also supplies the award winning cheese makers – Ford Farm who will be exhibiting within the food hall.

Heavy Horses

Heavy Horse classes were re-instated last year at the Dorset County Show with huge success, this year they continue to grow in popularity with Shire Horse and Clydesdale entries. The dedicated Heavy Horse ring will draw large crowds right at the heart of the Showground.

Along with sponsoring this year’s Heavy Horse Village, Palmers Brewery will be bringing their carefully restored Brewery Dray that dates back to 1885.

Will Hyde added: “Palmers Brewery has a long standing relationship with Dorset County Show, their beer is sold at a number of the bars on site so we were delighted when they wanted to sponsor the Heavy Horse section and even better that they wanted to show off a piece of Dorset history with their brewery dray.”

Sunday afternoon sees the return visit of internationally recognised gundog trainer and breeder, Neil Varney at the countryside field.  Offering expert training for visitors who wish to participate with their own dogs, he will also present exciting live demonstrations with his Twistmount Gundogs.

For more information and tickets go to:

Tickets will also be available to buy in The Brace of Butchers in Poundbury

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