We decided it was about time that we took the children to experience the delight that is the Devon County Show this year. I used to go quite often growing up – often involved in the horse show side of things, where I would tag along as a helper-hanger-on-er with glee.
I admit that as I have gotten older, crowds of folk intimidate me a little. I was feeling apprehensive about the sheer volume of people we would encounter, and confess to worrying about hanging on to the little people!
I needn’t have worried. We had a wonderful day.
It was of course an early start. Our own animals here needed tending to before we could leave to admire a whole host of others. We ensured that everyone was let out fed and watered, and gave the goat an extra treat of cut branches in her pen to keep her occupied in our absence.
We set off on the journey expecting to hit traffic as we neared the Westpoint venue, but it didn’t happen. We sailed through and parked with ease – all very well organised and co-ordinated by the assistants, so that was one stress dealt with.
We left the car and headed towards the showground, making a mental note of everything we passed along the way so we could find our way back out again. We were in the white flag area which was easy to remember – for those that are planning a visit, be sure to note the colour of your flag as you leave the car park!
The first thing on arrival at the ground was lost child wristbands for the youngest two – genius idea, each band notes the parent’s mobile phone number. Then we were let loose into what felt like a great adventure playground.
Oh what a day!
Our first port of call was the main ring, where when we arrived, heavy horses were in full dress, and a mountain and moorland class was taking place. We cooed and ahhed over the equines on show – oh what beauties! Taisia and Amara were transfixed (and I confess, so was I. It brought back a whole load of joyful memories to be ‘horse showing’ again – even as just a spectator in the crowd).
We left the showring and decided to explore elsewhere – promising to return for more horsey action later. We strolled around the seemingly gazillion tented stalls, tempted by luscious looking and smelling edible delights and eyecatching retail displays.
There was so much to see and do.
There were steam engines to admire and examine. This area was one of Taisia’s favourites, and it was the one she chose to return to when asked where she wanted to revisit before we left.
There were stunning horses to talk to and learn about.
And animal areas to explore, including chickens, fancy pigeons, guinea pigs, rabbits, pigs, sheep, and one of my favourites – the angora goats.
There was so much to see, I know we only touched on a small part of it really. Now we have found our feet somewhat, we shall organise our day better next year. But this year, we ended our visit enjoying delicious ice-cream and sitting on the bank at the main ring, watching incredible show-jumping skills and watching the faces of the children lit up with joy.
Definitely a day to remember and one to revisit next year.
** Watermarked photographs courtesy of Wild Days Photography **