Over the past century, the Royal Three Counties Show has become a much-loved event in the calendar, and now features over 6,000 animals, the UK’s largest collection of rare and minority breeds and numerous livestock national breed shows, with 15 due to be held this year.
The Farming Village, sponsored by Ballards LLP, is the place to see some of the finest livestock from across the UK, meet the farmers, and watch the animals compete to be crowned champion of champions. You’ll also be in awe as young farmers and handlers take to the ring with their animals, proudly showing them off!
Over the three show days, there are nearly 900 classes, 120 breeds of animals across 35 judging rings– that’s a lot of livestock!
Each year, a number of livestock breed societies choose to hold their national breed society show at the Royal Three Counties Show with the aim of promoting their breeds to a wider audience. The national shows showing the best of breed within the UK at the 2024 Royal Three Counties Show will be:
- Hebridean Sheep Society
- Llanwenog Sheep Society
- Oxford Down Sheep Society
- Jacob Sheep Society
- Hampshire Downs Sheep Society
- Beltex Sheep Society
- Zwartbles Sheep Society
- Blue Texel Sheep Society
- Texel Sheep Society
- British Angora Goats Society
- Longhorn Cattle Society
- Gloucester Cattle Society
Each day, the spectacle that is the Grand Parade of Livestock takes place in the Main Arena, where the accompanying commentary will explain more details about each of the breeds.
FARMING EXPERIENCE AREA
The Farming Experience Area is an interactive educational space that took visitors through ‘The Story of Wool’ in 2023, by linking the sheep being shown and sheared at the show to fleece competitions and the creation of garments and products.
Visitors could see different types of fleeces and feel the variety in wool texture, depending on which breed it’s from and have-a go at spinning.
Experts talked about the range of products that wool can be used for and farmers were on hand to have your burning questions about shearing and sheep farming answered. There were also different breeds of sheep to meet.
BRITISH WOOL FLEECE SHOW
View the prizewinning fleeces during the show and discover how British Wool grade, promote and sell the fleeces produced by the British wool industry in the Farming Experience Area.
The British Wool Marketing Board is responsible for the promotion of wool as a sustainable fibre that is usable in a range of products including fashion, construction and interiors and is represented at the show.
SHEEP SHEARING COMPETITIONS
The Sheep Shearing area, with thanks to our main sponsor Listers Shearing Equipment, is a hub of excitement and activity all through the show, with a whopping 2,000 sheep expected to be shorn over just three days. From sheep shearing competitions on all three days to demonstrations offering advice and guidance on the Friday, the area is perfect for everyone interested in sheep farming or keeping.
The fleece show is held in the ‘Farming Experience’ area for you to view comprised of a variety of fleeces from lots of different breeds.
With thanks to our 2023 Sheep Shearing Sponsors:
- Belmont Farm & Equine Vets
- Elanco Animal Health
- R.M.Jones Farm Centres
- SJ Sheep Conveyors
- British Wool
- Sugarloaf Clothing
YOUNG FARMERS CLUB (YFC)
The Young Farmers always know how to inject a healthy amount of fun into proceedings. Come along and watch their trademark humorous competitions and performances on the stage that are guaranteed to put a smile on everybody’s face and view craft and cookery exhibits. You’ll also be able to watch members take part in stock judging, a skill which combines being able to compare and place livestock and explain the reasons for decisions to a judge.
There will also be lots of information and advice available on how to join a YFC, where your local Club are, and the types of activities and events members get involved in throughout the year. You can also learn how being a YFC member enhances personal development, develops skills and provides valuable experience that will stand you in good stead both personally and professionally.
NATIONAL RARE AND MINORITY BREEDS SHOW
Sunday is your chance to see the largest gathering of rare and minority livestock breeds in the country. This show will see entries from across the UK, as breeders seek to promote over 50 different breeds of cattle, pigs and sheep to a wider audience and educate visitors on the benefits of these often native breeds, which in turn will help to keep the breed alive into the future.
The show also aims to inspire the next generation to get involved in the future of rare breed survival through the Rare Breeds Junior Handlers class. The Royal Three Counties Show held a qualifying round for the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s Young Shepherd of the Year competition (with the final to be held at English Winter Fair at Staffordshire County Showground on Saturday 18th November 2023).
REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP EGG SHOW
See all shapes, sizes and colours of prize winning eggs being displayed in over 50 classes.