A new judge has been announced for one the most popular competitions in the Northumberland County Show.
The Light Horse Championship has recently been overseen by a number of high profile figures, including Lady Allendale, whose Bywell Hall home has been the show’s location for the past two years, and Marcus Clinton, principal of Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Campus, the event’s main sponsor.
Now equine secretary Mandy Charlton has announced that the 2015 competition will be judged by renowned North East horsewoman Juliet Rogers.
Mrs Charlton said: “Juliet brings an immense amount of experience and equestrian knowledge to the role. We’re thrilled that she has accepted the post.
“We also welcome Kielder Organic Meats as the Light Horse Championship’s sponsor and their support is greatly appreciated.”
Mrs Rogers is well-known for her charitable work with Exmoor Ponies as chairman of the Moorland Mousie Trust, an initiative founded in 2000 to promote and protect an endangered rare breed that has lived free on the Devon and Somerset moorlands for nearly a thousand years.
In 2006, the Exmoor Pony Centre in Somerset opened its doors as a refuge for the excess foals that are collected during the annual pony herd gathering, ensuring they do not end up in the meat market.
Mrs Rogers looks after dozens of Exmoor Ponies here in the North East, having purchased her first pair of foals 17 years ago.
Some of these can be found in unexpected locations around the region, grazing on rough ground in Gateshead and at Cleadon Hills Nature Reserve, playing a crucial role in conservation grazing, encouraging wildflowers to flourish and reducing bracken, scrub and gorse.
Mrs Rogers said: “I’m delighted to be judging at this year’s County Show. It’s a great honour to be involved in this fantastic event.”
Held at Bywell Hall, near Stocksfield, the Northumberland County Show will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, May 25, between 9am and 6pm.
Aimed at providing a fun family day out, as well as showcase for the best of the region’s agricultural offering, the event will feature competitive livestock classes for horses, cattle, sheep, alpacas, fur and feather, and more.
This year, the main ring attractions include the gravity-defying Britain’s Got Talent finalists, Bold Dog Lings Motorcycle Stunt Display, and the North Northumberland Dog Agility Team, who will attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the longest human slalom.
Other highlights include live music, food, a fun fair, British Show Jumping, Cumberland Wrestling, gun dog scurry, tug of war, Britain’s Strongman Challenge Qualifier, birds of prey, crafts and baking, a treasure trail, and over 350 trade stands.
More than 30 traders and caterers have offer special discounts and vouchers, with Kielder Organic Meats, for example, giving away free tea and coffee with every burger purchased.
This year, there will also be a new children’s area featuring animals from Kirkley Hall Zoo, pony rides, mountain bike demonstrations and a climbing wall.
Schedules are out now and online entries are being accepted through the show’s website, www.northcountyshow.co.uk , until April 25.