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Giddy-up for 80th annual Lanark Foal Show

Lanark Foal Show

Competition winners at 2018's annual Lanark Foal Show

Clydesdale horse exhibitors from throughout the UK will descend on the home of the famous breed for the 80th annual Lanark Foal Show later this month.

The event will showcase over 40 entries at the town’s agricultural centre and is one of eight spectacles held in the UK to celebrate young Clydesdale horses born this year.

Organised by the Lanark, Biggar and Peebles Foal Show Society, the display of these native horses on Saturday 26 October, is a fantastic opportunity to get up close to the gentle giants, watch the animals being prepared for the show and talk to breeders and enthusiasts.

Shona Harrison, president of the society, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the 80th year of the Lanark Foal Show and are hoping for a great turnout at the event.

“Last year the show became affiliated to the Clydesdale Horse Society (CHS) and as a result, one or two-year-old horses exhibited on the day have the opportunity to win a CHS shield.

“This is a highly sought-after prize which a horse can only win once in its lifetime and attracts entry of older horses to the show as well as the foals.”

Young handlers aged between 12 and 16 will also be competing on the day - demonstrating their skill and expertise in managing the magnificent animals.

The Clydesdale horse dates to the middle of the 18th century and at its peak Scotland had around 140,000 Clydesdale farm horses with thousands exported to countries including Australia, New Zealand and USA.

Whilst numbers have dwindled over the years the popularity of the Clydesdale is again growing and adoration for the variety found around the world.

A forthcoming BBC documentary, The Greatest Horse, contains footage from the 2018 foal show in Lanark and celebrates the dispersion and influence of the Clydesdale horse throughout the world.

Speaking at last year's show, Ian Roy, secretary and administrator of the CHS, said: “The society has around 700 members throughout the UK and Europe where we hold the mother stud book, but America, Canada and New Zealand all have their own stud books.”

To celebrate the 80th anniversary, exhibitors will be presented with a commemorative rosette and pen.

Entry to the show is FREE to the public and doors will open at 9am with judging commencing at 10.30am.

Sponsored by local businesses and breeders from throughout the UK, the event promises to be a super day out for all the family and a raffle will be held in aid of Lanark, Biggar and Peebles Foal Show Society.

Article contributed by Alison Gilchrist.