Families from across the Borders are being encouraged to experience one of the highlights of the area’s calendar, the Border Union Show, at Springwood Park in Kelso today, Friday, July 27, and tomorrow, Saturday, July 28, from 9am to 5pm.
Organised by the Border Union Agricultural Society, the annual two-day event is a unique celebration of rural life and this year features more than 2000 cattle, sheep, horses, rabbits and poultry, plus a host of entertainment, live music, country crafts, shopping and fabulous food and drink.
Children under 16 enjoy free entry to the show and visitors can see giant Clydesdale and Shire horses, tiny Shetland and Highland ponies, donkeys, sheep, cattle, poultry, dairy goats and rabbits, watch demonstrations of weaving and horse-shoeing and learn about wildlife, bird and countryside conservation.
Families can enjoy Richard Savory’s fabulous Sheep Show with its dancing sheep, a fun fair, face painting, a climbing wall, kids’ bungee harness plus a special tractor ride experience.
They can also take their pets along to enter the Children’s Pet Show on the Friday.
Pony Club inter-branch team jumping on the Friday plus a Saturday line-up including side-saddle riding, carriage driving and a straw baling demonstration are just some of the activities that can be viewed in the main ring, which will also host a display of the region’s finest livestock in a Grand Parade of show class winners. On Saturday main ring entertainment also includes the electrifying motorbike stunts of Broke FMX as well as the awesome precision driving of Paul Swift’s Britalian Job Mini Cooper experience.
Some of the region’s finest artisan food and drink will be available to sample and buy within the event’s Food Fair, and a chef will demonstrate some delicious recipes made with local Borders produce in the Show’s new cookery theatre.
No country show would be complete though without baking and hand-crafting competition classes and visitors will have the chance see some of the best home-made jams, bakes and flower arrangements in the Borders.
This year’s Border Union Show will have even more shopping opportunities on both days, with more than 200 trade stalls selling adults and children’s clothing, crafts, handbags, jewellery, candles, baskets, woollens, art, pet accessories and a host of other gifting and homeware products.
The event also includes pipe and brass bands plus a new music stage featuring local musicians performing a range of styles from jazz and folk to rhythm and blues. Young musicians from schools across the region will also take part.
For over 18s, the Border Union Agricultural Society has also reintroduced its popular show dances on the Friday and Saturday evenings.
Show-goers can view the latest agricultural equipment, learn about a host of veterinary products and rural business services, and catch-up with friends and colleagues in the agriculture industry to discuss farming life.
The society will also be hosting a free seminar for farmers on Friday, July 27, on the subject of succession planning. Called Grasping the Nettle, it features advice from experts in law, land agency, banking and accountancy. Please note, pre-booking is essential.
Neil Thomson, chairman of Border Union Agricultural Society, said: “The Border Union Show is a great day out, not just for farmers, but for people of all ages and from all walks of life.
“It’s a fantastic showcase of the best of Borders rural life and offers the opportunity to enjoy some great family entertainment, to see some amazing animals, learn about the latest farming techniques, sample delicious food from the region’s artisan producers and to spend time with friends and family.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to Springwood Park again this year.”
The Border Union Show usually attracts around 20,000 visitors and this will be the first year that the event has been organised by the society’s new executive director, Mags Clark, along with her small team and many dedicated volunteers.
She said: “I remember visiting the Border Union Show as a child with my family and am thrilled that I’m now helping to organise one of the most important events in the Borders’ calendar.
“We’ve introduced a number of new features this year which we think show-goers will love, such as tractor rides, show dances and our new cookery theatre.
“We hope that families from across the Borders and Northumberland will come and enjoy the fun this weekend.”