Fun for all the family

The annual Border Union Show takes place at the end of the month – a great two days out for all the family with animals, food, amusements, shopping and countryside activities.

The 198th show is being held at Springwood Park, Kelso, on Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30, from 8am to 5.30pm.

An exciting main ring programme on Saturday afternoon features the Royal Artillery White Helmets Motorcycle Display Team.

There will also be fun and laughter with Dingle Fingle and his old car, a carriage driving championship, the annual display of vintage machinery, this year with the theme for both the demonstration plot and the parade being wheat, not forgetting the grand parade of livestock at 3pm followed by the Champion of Champions, judged by Border farmer Robin Forrest from Duns.

Another highlight is a vaulting display by the South of Scotland Select team, who will just be back from competing in Denmark.

Classes are held for horses, ponies, and a new addition this year, donkeys, on the Friday with Saturday featuring horses, cattle, sheep, dairy goats, alpacas, poultry, horse shoeing, shepherds’ crooks, industrial crafts and another new section for rabbits.

The show hosts several high-profile qualifiers and these attract entries from all over Britain. More details of classes and qualifiers can be obtained from

Entries are up on 2010 with 2,114 entries, including more than 904 equine and 903 sheep, a new record for the show. This includes the UK National Show for Hebridean sheep with 126 entries.

There are 117 cattle, including the Scottish Hereford National Show, Aberdeen Angus, Shorthorn and six breeds of Continental cattle, not to mention all the entries for goats, alpacas, poultry, the women’s industrial classes and the new section for rabbits.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see close up some of the finest animals and exhibits in the UK.

Another feature is the increasingly popular classes for the youngsters who compete in both the cattle and sheep young handlers’ competitions.

On Saturday afternoon, the Main Ring is dedicated to family entertainment. Acts this year, including around the showground, are the White Helmets Motorcycle Display Team, Dingle Fingle Car Comedy, Dog and Duck Display, South of Scotland Select Vaulting Team, Kelso Pipe Band, Carriage Driving Championship, Grand Parade of Livestock and Champion of Champions.

The countryside area, which is open on both days, provides education about various aspects of the countryside and environment through interesting and interactive displays.

There will be free fly-fishing demonstrations and tuition at the pond, harvesting potatoes using vintage machinery, greenwood pole lathe and drystone walling demonstrations plus information on sustainable energy options for the home.

At the Tweed Foundation stand, see beneath the water line, guess the weight of a salmon and learn how to tie flies.

By popular demand, Richard Savoury’s sheep show and the climbing wall are back. The Scottish terrier racing team will be in the countryside area on the Saturday with a display and the fun of trying to get terriers to race.

Music is always a popular feature, and this year apart from the Kelso Pipe Band, there will be performances around the showground from Wooler Junior Steel Band, the St Mary’s Scholl Samba Band and a walkabout jazz band.

The light-hearted children’s pet show is held on Friday at 3pm. Entries are taken on the field from those aged up to 15 and entry is free. Classes are held for rabbits, cavies, dogs and any other animals, from worms and turtles to alpacas and stick insects.

The food fair, which is held in the main exhibition hall on both days, includes a record 48 stands selling food and drink, a real showcase of fresh produce and treats. There will also be a free ‘food crèche’ where customers can leave their perishable goods refrigerated until they are ready to go home.

Admission prices are: Friday, adults £7, senior citizens £5, under 16 £3; Saturday, adults £10, senior citizens £6, under 16 £3. Parking £3 (both days).

Some classes and entertainment are not held on both days. For further information and times visit ring 01573 224188 or email