THE Duke of Kent will be the special guest at this year's Kent County Show at Detling, near Maidstone. It is the first time since 1998 that a member of the Royal family has attended the event.
The Duke, patron of the Kent County Agricultural Society, was also the visitor on that occasion.
He is due to arrive at the showground on Friday, July 16, the first day of the show, at about 10.30am. He is expected to stay until about 4pm.
The show, also being staged on Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18, will feature everything from livestock to arena displays, and produce from across the county to shows, demonstrations and performances.
Highlight of the main ring entertainment will be the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, led by founder member and equity registered stuntman, Ian Van Temperley, who has appeared in Hollywood blockbusters including Gladiator.
The performance will feature four sleek horses ridden by Famine, Death, Pestilence and War, dressed in Matrix style costume.
Back by popular demand will be the Shetland Pony Grand National, where ponies and jockeys will race for honours in a high-speed dash over miniature steeplechase fences, in the Astor and Falmouth rings.
Music will be provided in the main rings by the Minden Band, which was formed in 1994 as part of a reorganisation of British Army bands from former regimental bands in the Queen’s Division.
Lighting up the sky with their exciting air display will be the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment, whose experienced parachutists will be whirling to the ground with plumes of smoke and flags flying.
Jonathan Day, general manager of the Kent County Agricultural Society, said: “The night before the show opens, when you walk down the cattle lines and hear all the cattle mooing, it is brilliant. It may be my eighth show, but the excitement is still there. It is really special.”
This year's show will also feature the first art expo to be seen in the county show’s history, at the newly-opened Kent Pavilion.
The showground will be packed with more than 500 stands and exhibitions, including animals nurtured by the Kent Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, performances by the Hazlitt Youth Theatre from Maidstone, and a qualifying contest for the English Shearer of the Year.
For ticket details, visit the website at http://www.kentshowground.co.uk or telephone the ticket hotline on 01622 633060.
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