Horses are still the stars of the Seaside and Rural Show

Southsea hosted the Rural and Seaside Show at Castle Field on the seafront. (left to right), Blake Stanley (seven), from Portsmouth looks at the miniature horses with owner Terena Plowright. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Southsea hosted the Rural and Seaside Show at Castle Field on the seafront. (left to right), Blake Stanley (seven), from Portsmouth looks at the miniature horses with owner Terena Plowright. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

It’s time to get your skates on!

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Heavy horses, hula-hooping and classic cars will all be part of the action at the Rural and Seaside Show this weekend.

The three-day event in Southsea has a full programme of activities, displays and demonstrations for all the family.

There will be donkey rides, archery taster sessions, welly throwing, sheep grazing, chickens and geese, market stalls and Punch and Judy shows.

Other attractions will include falconry displays, ferret racing, classic cars, children’s rides and pirate re-enactments.

Portsmouth City Council assistant events manager Heather Todd says the event aims to offer visitors an out-of-the-ordinary experience.

‘The whole idea of the show is to bring something to the city that people wouldn’t normally see,’ Heather says.

The event has evolved from the Heavy Horse Show, which ran for about 30 years.

Heather says the council decided to change the focus of the show three years ago as there were not as many of the animals around anymore.

However, she says, horses remain a central part of the show.

‘We have horses coming from all over the south of England, from Kent, as well as Emsworth and Waterlooville.

‘We’ve also got some younger horses who are only two years old but are already 18 hands, which is very big for a horse.’

Heather says the show is one of the most popular springtime events in the city and a great way to celebrate the long weekend. ‘We had 30,000 people come along last year,’ she says.

Tomorrow’s programme includes hula hooping taster sessions and pirate sword fighting displays.

On Monday there will also be a brightly-coloured, pop-up tennis courts organised by the the Lawn Tennis Association, giving people the chance to try tennis for free.

Monday will also include presentations of rosettes to the horses by the lord mayor of Portsmouth and scurry driving championships.

Each day there will be ferret racing,farm animals, donkey rides, archery, stalls and children’s rides.

The show takes place Castle Field from tomorrow to Monday between 10am and 5pm.

Entry to the show is free.