The Social Side of the Showing Community
The club recognises that only a small number of members are part of the show circuit, but we are keen to encourage more of you to come along, give it a try and get the showing bug.
Showing is more than being in the ring, it is a fantastic opportunity to meet other club members and breeders, to exchange ideas, get tips, share knowledge, and make friends.
The social aspect is important to all who show, it is our “holiday” time and as such we like to let our hair down at the end of the show day. This is especially so at 2 & 3 day shows when we camp in tents, trailers, caravans (for the slightly posh) and very occasionally the local Premier Inn (very posh!).
The start of each show day sees people arrive at the pig pens (some hardy folk before 5am!), feeding, watering, mucking out, washing, polishing, and prepping pigs, we even get time for breakfast! Everybody “mucks” in helping each other and making sure everybody is ready. As showing commences we continue to help each other, alongside the hustle & bustle of “showtime”, there is healthy banter and the odd can of the amber nectar. There is often a cluster of people around the tea/coffee station, eating the home-made cakes which people have brought to share. When showing is done for the day, there is time to chat and to look around the show ground, before the public leave and pigs are fed, watered, and bedded down.
Pig agility fun at the end of the formal showing, a fun way to end the day, not only for the breeders, but also the public who enjoy the antics of the pigs and handlers, it has been known to get quite competitive!
Then it is time to relax, often with a BBQ, shared meal, and liquid refreshments. With stories of the day, past shows, banter, and a good laugh! This maybe in the pig shed or at people’s trailers, each show has its own routine, with different people providing food and at times entertainment. Sometimes there are fish and chip, or pizza runs, a logistical nightmare for those taking the order and doing the collecting!
The children and young people are a central part of the show community, they make lasting friendships and look after each other, all are made welcome. It is uplifting to see all age groups together, enjoying the freedom to play at the end of the day. At some shows team games are organised, with children, young people and adults taking part.
It could be said the show community is a large family, who look out for each other, encourage each other and are always willing to lend each other a hand, or bits of equipment that have been forgotten!
If you are interested in showing, contact the club who will give you all the support, encouragement, and advice you need.