Fun for all the family at Hurst Horse and Country ShowBy Mike Pyle
June 30, 2010
Hundreds of horse-lovers trotted along to a celebration of the countryside.
The Hurst Horse Show and Country Fayre was held on Saturday and Sunday in School Road, Hurst, and it was the biggest yet.
Now in its 31st year, the annual show featured a huge range of attractions from a gymkhana and falconry displays to ferret racing and horse whispering.
The countryside festivities were opened by record-breaking climber Bonita Norris, 22, from Wokingham. She became the youngest British woman to scale Everest on May 17.
The sun shone and people enjoyed the stalls and plentiful and varied food and drink on offer.
The event raised money for the village primary school and a group of local charities including local Scout and Guide groups.
Sue Corcoran, a member of the organising committee, said: “It’s been great – great weather and very good crowds.
“It’s been a really nice country day out for everyone. There’s something for people of all ages.
“It’s all in aid of having a really good weekend for everyone, it’s a real community event.”
The show featured traditional pursuits like morris dancing, a maypole, which St Nicholas School children used to demonstrate traditional dance, and a tug-of-war.
But the animals were the stars of the show.
Prize-winning alpacas from Tippens Wood Farm in Hurst were on show while their owners demonstrated how they use their wool. There were also falconry displays, a petting zoo, dog racing, ferret racing and horse trials.
Pam Jennings, from Wokingham, came with her husband Dave and children Lucy, six, and Mark, nine.
She said: “It’s a great event. Loads of our friends have come down as well so it feels like a real family event.
“I’m not sure what my favourite thing has been. I liked the alpacas and I think the kids thought they were hilarious – but I think they liked the ferret racing the most.”
One of the star attractions at the show was a demonstration from ‘horse whisperer’ Mark Smith, who showed how ingenious methods can tame the wildest of horses.
Catherine Lochman, who helped organise the show, said: “He took two horses who were unruly horses and too strong for their owners.
“He showed that you don’t have to pull against a horse that’s getting away from you, he relaxed the horses and then they were cantering around nicely.”
The two horses he tamed were Smudge, owned by Toni Russell from Woodley, and Sherry’s Prize, owned by Claire Keohane from Twyford.
The show raises money for St Nicholas School in Hurst, as well as other local charities and organisations.
For more photos see this week's Wokingham Times, out today.