There’s lots of activity at Knockaloe as the site is made ready for the Royal Manx Agricultural Show this weekend.
Show secretary Carol Kennaugh, told us what was in store for exhibitors and visitors this year.
She said: ‘Carol Kennaugh, secretary of the Royal Manx Agricultural Society, said it was wonderful to be able to once again organise the show without the restraints of Covid, and in particular to bring UK judges to the event.
‘Our exhibitors work long and hard to bring animals of an immensely high standard to the show. Whilst we will still continue to use some locally-based judges, we recognise how important it is to invite judges from off-island to acknowledge the dedication of the exhibitors and the high standards they achieve.’
There are a few changes being made for this year’s show and the first one that visitors will notice is the new entrance, further down the road towards Glen Maye at The Creggans.
Carol explained: ‘We’re hoping that this will prevent long tailbacks at the Patrick Road junction.’
From an exhibitors’ point of view, another change is that the Light Horse section, which attracts the largest entry numbers in the show, will this year have its championship judged in the main ring, just prior to the Grand Parade.
This year’s show president is Mark Quayle and he will be following the tradition of announcing the judge for the Supreme Championship on the day.
Carol reported that entries are holding up well, especially in the Young Handler classes.
She said: ‘I’m really, really pleased with the Young Handlers’ classes. We’ve kept the Holsteins, which has got a very good following, then two or three years ago we introduced an “Any Other Dairy Young Handler” and “Beef Young Handler’ and they’ve really taken off.
‘It’s just so good to see the young ones coming through.’
Another first for the show will be the fell race taking place on the Saturday, organised by Manx Fell Runners. It will start at 1.30pm just inside the main ring and set off on a circuit that takes in Corrin’s Tower on Peel Hill and finishes by the beer tent.
Also new to the show will be the Land Rover Experience Display Team who will be offering passengers exhilarating rides as they put their vehicles through a mobile course beside the Mylchreest Motors stand, designed to make the vehicles show off their capabilities and get the passengers’ hearts racing.
Quad bike stuntman Paul Hannam from North Devon will be thrilling the crowd with awesome jumps and tricks on a range of quad bikes. A former racer at British Championship level, Paul will be accompanied by a special guest from the world of quad bike racing. Between displays, visitors to the show can drop in at Paul’s interactive stand where they can get a closer look at the bikes, meet the riders and get a photo.
All the UK entertainment acts, have had their travel paid for by a generous sponsorship from Isle of Man Steam Packet.
Manx Telecom will be providing family entertainment for all: Isle of Play will be back to help youngsters play, make things and use their imagination, while there will be multi-player fun with Matrix in their virtual reality arena, and various gaming experiences featuring the latest consoles and AR headsets in partnership with Energy FM.
There will of course be all the usual livestock and equine judging and the Arts & Crafts competitions, the popular dog obedience and agility shows and the vintage transport parades.
Finn Partington will be giving sheep shearing demonstrations, and there will be Pony Club Games and carriage driving competitions and exhibitions.
A wide variety of food and drink outlets will cater for all tastes and there will be a new Food Court where a selection of outside caterers are grouped together in one large tent.
The beer tent and bandstand are moving to the opposite end of the showground and will feature regular performers Crosby Silver Band and Steve Cowin, along with The Shenanigans and Harvey Mushman on the Saturday.
Carol added: ‘We couldn’t do what we do without Manx Telecom.
‘The support we get from them is unbelievable.
‘Without Manx Telecom and our other sponsors, it’s impossible to imagine how theshow would run.’