The Melpash Show takes place towards the end of August each year on the last Thursday before the bank holiday and the showground nestles between the harbour of West Bay and the county town of Bridport.
The showground was well laid out and divided into Craft & Trade stands with a magnificent Food Hall showcasing the finest Dorset fare. The next section had the countryside Arena where the likes of Ferrett & Terrier racing and the Young Farmers tug of war could be enjoyed. This area also has more trade tents and a Creche and rest area for the little ones. The main arena with Grandstand was all things ‘Horse’ and next to that were areas for Livestock judging and a Fun Fare.
We started our day with a breakfast roll and a cup of coffee and sat down to plan our day. After having a brief scoot round we made our way to the Grandstand by the main arena to watch a new class to the show, ‘Ridden Heavy Horse’. The horses were amazingly turned out and the lovely horse pictured was my definite favourite. There was a little excitement at the end when one of the horses decided that she had had enough of her rider and threw him off. It was a long way to fall, but thankfully he wasn’t hurt and jumped straight back up. There was no chance of him getting back up on the horses back without a step ladder so he led his charge out of the ring.
Next came ‘The Cavalry of Heroes’, a show dedicated to the 8 million horses, mules and donkeys that lost their lives in the last 2 world wars. They kept it light-hearted and there were many tricks and great horsemanship on display against a backdrop of two brothers going off to war together.
We then left the main arena and spent some time in the Livestock judging area and spent a happy hour or two viewing the best of breeds for cattle, sheep and pigs. I particularly enjoyed seeing the very young handlers proudly leading out their charges, although who was leading who was sometimes debatable. Later in the day, the animals enjoyed a well-earned rest and a massage or two from these two little girls.
We then headed back through the trade stalls with our eyes firmly fixed on the Food Hall for lunch. There was so much to choose from and all tastes and allergies catered for. In the end, I decided on a glass of cider from ‘Bridge Farm Cider’ and a delicious pork and apple burger from ‘The Cottage Cooks’ based in Axminster ([email protected]).
There is so much to do at the Melplash Show and it caters for all ages and abilities. For the young, there was a fabulous ‘Discover Farming’ marquee with lots to do and explore to encouraging youngsters into an exciting career in farming. For the very young I spotted a Punch & Judy show and face painting and there was also a creche and rest area.
After lunch, we enjoyed ‘The Sheep Show’ which was great fun and well worth watching. They are at many of the counties shows across the UK so look out for them if you are visiting a county show in the future. We then headed back to the main arena to watch some of the show-jumping.
Having exhausted ourselves we headed for home with the last stop at ‘Kin Toffee Vodka’, who were the winners of the ‘Best taste in 2017’, for a little nip and purchase of a bottle of their finest.
What a great day out! Put a date in your diary for 2019.