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UK Pole Climbing Championships come to the Kent County Show for the first time this weekend

The sky’s almost the limit for competitors in the UK Pole Climbing Championships, which come to the Kent County Show for the first time this year.

You’ll need a head for heights and thighs like the tree trunks you are climbing to take on the 25m poles which have been put up on the showground ready for this weekend's show, which runs from Friday to Sunday (July 11 to July 13).

The pole climbing championships
The pole climbing championships

Tree surgeons are traditionally the most likely profession to give it a go, naturally, and if there are any who want to have a try and former world record holding climber Terry Bennett, wants to hear from them.

He said: “When you don’t have much experience, it’s hard on the legs, but for the more experienced guys, it’s 50/50 on the arms and legs. We go to quite a few shows, but this is the first time in a long time down south. We should have around 30 climbers.”

For the experts, it can take just over 10 seconds to shimmy up the pole. Terry’s world-record time was 10.3 seconds in 2006.

The heats and qualifying rounds will take place on Friday and Saturday, with the championship on Sunday. If you’d like to take on one of the poles, you can enter via the Show website at www.kentshowground.co.uk or contact Terry direct on terrypbennett@gmail.com

It will also be a first appearance for the Lamb National - the sheep version of the Grand National, which will be running on Friday and Saturday.

Runners in the Lamb National. Picture: Bob Hogg
Runners in the Lamb National. Picture: Bob Hogg

And it's only the second year in charge for show manager Lucy Hegarty. She will have under her control and she will have under her control more than 2,000 livestock and horses; hundreds of bees; small animals; trained dogs and poultry to think of - along with hundreds of volunteers and about 80,000 visitors.

Show manager Lucy Hegarty
Show manager Lucy Hegarty

She said: "There is never a day that I don’t learn something new. Every time you think you know the Show, you find there is a part you don’t know.”

“The most difficult bit is making sure the puzzle fits together. The visitors come for a lovely day out and that is what we try to give them.”

Organisers have planned for both wet and dry weather - although are hoping for the latter.

* Family tickets are £37 pre-paid - for two adults and two children - or £45 on the gate.
Adult tickets are £20 on the gate, and £18 in advance; a child ticket is £6 on the gate and £5 pre-paid, for five to 15-year-olds. A senior ticket is £13 on the gate and £11.50 beforehand. For details visit www.kentshowground.co.uk.

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