It is with great sadness, due to the ongoing development in the area, that after all these years we will have to call a closure on Eastington Horse Show.
The 26th Annual Show was held at Claypits in 1951 – the first show being held in 1925, so has been going for 97 years, possibly omitting the war years. For many years it was Eastington and Frocester Horse Show.
Apart from so much enjoyment given to many, a substantial amount of money has been raised for the community – (the defibrillator at the church was a show donation). Over the years St Michaels Church, The Bluebells, Eastington Methodist Church, Owen Harris Community Centre, The Air Ambulance (of whom we have had first hand assistance – landing on the show field), have all benefited. We are very grateful to our many generous sponsors who have contributed to the success of the show over the years.
As anyone connected to these events will appreciate how much work and time is required to set it up, the transportation of the equipment (Berkeley Pony Club kindly making their Show Jumps available), skilled people to erect the tents, the ground force to mark out and put in the posts and rope line rings. The skilled team to plan show jumping courses and the dressage arenas, and every year organise the Gymkhana Games so much enjoyed by the children. Judges and Stewards who have generously given their time rewarded by dining on a fabulous lunch – again kindly donated. The dedication over the years of our hard working secretaries has been instrumental in the success of the shows.
The variation of horses competing has always been a great attraction, from the minuscule Shetland Ponies to the imposing huge Shire Horses. The Dog Show was always a popular feature, and was reinstated the last few years.
Cups were donated by local families. Each year the committee gathered these up for the polishing, and on the day of the show they were displayed in the Secretaries Tent, before presentation to the winner of each class.
The photo shown is of Alan Jenkins, who organised the Gymkhana for many years and gave so much pleasure to so many children, being presented with a memento by Pat Smyth (International Show Jumper who competed with, amongst others, Prince Hal and Tosca). The photo shoot was on Herbie Watkins Farm at Alkerton, whose daughter Jenny and husband Andy, run the Show Jumping to this day. Princess Anne brought her children, Zara and Peter one year, to compete on their ponies.
A part of our village activity and enjoyment has sadly come to an end, but, again, many thanks to all those who contributed in any way, and made it so much fun over the years, and the farmers who have kindly accommodated us.
Jim Pegler, our one time stalwart of the show, has recently died having given many years of unstinting support, he seemed to know every judge in the country. Our thoughts are with his family.