The National Shire Horse Show 2021 makes Newark Showground switch
The organisers of a national two-day horse show have moved the event to an outdoor venue at Newark next year to give it a greater chance of going ahead.
The National Shire Horse Show 2021 will be held at Newark Showground on March 13 and 14.
The annual show, which has taken place almost every year for 140 years, is a celebration of the breed’s history and heritage.
It will be the first time it has been staged in Nottinghamshire.
The show, which is the flagship event of the Shire Horse Society, has been held indoors at Staffordshire Showground since 2016.
This year’s event was cancelled because of covid-19, and organisers have chosen an outdoor venue for next year to give the event the best chance of going ahead.
Shire Horse Society secretary and show director Victoria Clayton said: “2020 has been a tortuous year and one we will be keen to forget.
“Looking to 2021, Newark Showground gives a wonderful outdoor platform that can accommodate all the elements of the National Shire Horse Show.
“It provides hard roads and tracks, undercover stabling and two wonderful rings in which to enjoy our fantastic breed.
“A move outdoors gives the most realistic chance to deliver a show in 2021, as we think it is unlikely that gatherings of our size at indoor venues will be permissible.
“It is very much hoped that our membership will understand and support the move and see that every effort is being made to produce the national show. And we hope that the public of Nottinghamshire and its nearby counties will join us and offer their support as our charity tries to recover from such a devastating year.”
The National Shire Horse Show is believed to be one of the oldest horse shows in the world, having been held for the first time at the Royal Agricultural Hall in London, in 1878.
It usually attracts more than 200 horses, which compete in a range of classes in hand, in harness and being ridden.
A few decades ago, the breed was in danger of dying out. It has had a resurgence in recent years, although it is still on the endangered breed list compiled by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.