Shire Horses The Farmers' Country Showdown


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Shire Horses

Poultry farmer Rebecca hopes to attract attention to her new egg products. Molly, Jackie and Paul have winning on their minds as they enter their shire horses.


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Across the country, thousands of farming families work tirelessly

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around the clock.

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Bring them up, Isabel. Well done.

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Here they come.

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Shake it, baby, shake it.

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But there's one day each year...

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Come on, girl. Up you go.

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..when they get to leave the daily routine behind.

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Yoo-hoo!

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These are show days...

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Welcome to the Pembrokeshire County Show.

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..when they come together as a community...

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To the right!

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..to showcase the fruits of their labour...

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Had a quick look at the competition. I'm in with a chance.

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..and try to win prizes for their breed champions...

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Well done. Wahey!

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It's show business, folks.

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..and award-winning produce.

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-I got first!

-SHE LAUGHS

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And the last two jars.

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There will be highs...

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..and lows...

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No! No, no, no.

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..for the dedicated farmers who give everything to walk away a champion.

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No way!

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For centuries, shire horses have laboured side by side with farmers,

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working the land.

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Steady, Cedric.

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But there are now less than 2,000 of them worldwide,

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making them one of the most endangered species in the farming world.

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They're not something that you want your feet trodden on by.

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These gentle giants were famously used as warhorses

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and were the essential carthorses for 19th-century breweries.

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Today, a handful of farmers are devoted to keeping the breed going.

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Molly Langley and Jackie Shearman

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are both getting ready for one of the biggest shows

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in the horse calendar - Edenbridge & Oxted, in Surrey.

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The last thing you want is poo stains on nice white feathers.

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It's not just pride at stake,

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but the chance to show off their highly prized animals.

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-Many congratulations.

-Thank you.

-That's your rosette.

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At the edge of the North Downs in Kent

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is the picturesque village of Westerham.

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Come on, then. Come on.

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It's home to Molly and her family,

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who've worked the 200-acre Southwood Farm for 34 years.

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On the farm, we've got about 30 shires, 50 Hereford cows.

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-We've got seven dogs.

-SHE LAUGHS

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And then 20 light horses. So, in total, there's about 50 horses here.

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Despite the other animals on the farm,

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23-year-old Molly only has eyes for the shire horses.

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I got bought my first shire when I was ten,

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and then ever since then, it's just been shires all the way.

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I particularly love the heavy horses, but the shires are

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definitely my favourite. They stick out to me.

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They're just special, they're one of a kind.

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They're so good-natured, they're generally very big.

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They're just...I don't know, they have a sort of presence about them.

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The farm is a family affair.

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Working alongside Molly is her sister Sally,

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mum Margaret and dad William.

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We all have different roles on the farm.

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Molly, Sally and myself mainly do the horses.

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You really sort of do the properties, don't you?

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Yeah, I'm mainly on the building side.

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School runs, keeping the house clean.

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-Yeah.

-Food shopping.

-All has to be done.

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19 years ago, mum Margaret bought their first shire horse.

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Today, there are 30.

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Good girl. Good girl.

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Head up, Annie.

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It started in, I think '89, we got our first shire...

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and we've just sort of gone from there.

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This is Annie. Aren't you? She's four. Eh?

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You a good girl?

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It's just a passion. It really is a passion.

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Kent may be the Garden of England,

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but farm life is anything but relaxing.

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It's midday, and Molly's been at work since daybreak.

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This sort of time of year, we're looking at

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six o'clock in the morning, we come out, feed,

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although Dad is normally up about five.

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Even Christmas Day.

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A lot of people say, "Oh, it's a job."

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It's more of a lifestyle, really.

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-A mad choice, to be honest.

-SHE LAUGHS

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I'm not sure we're all that sane.

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When all of our friends are lying in on weekends,

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we're up at 8.30, mucking out, doing our ponies.

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You know, it's just... it's always been the norm.

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COWS MOO

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While the women look after the horses,

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William's got his hands full with the cows.

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All right, then. All right.

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These are just some of the Herefords we've got here.

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Like the shire horses, really,

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I've just always had an interest in Hereford cattle,

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and they've just always been a favourite,

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and we've sort of ended up just with Herefords, really.

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There's a few crossbred cows amongst them,

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but the majority are pure Hereford cows.

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-I'll wait for her to finish, shall I?

-HE CHUCKLES

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Keeping shire horses also has its challenges.

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Growing up to ten feet tall and weighing over 1,800lb,

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even the easiest of jobs can prove difficult.

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Obviously, everything's so far up, so if they don't want to play ball,

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then you're not going to get, you know, head collars, saddles,

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anything on them, really. Head down, buddy. Good boy.

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But we make sure, from a young age,

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you know, they're all taught that they put their heads down when

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they're asked and they never learn their size, so they never use it.

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Obviously, you have slightly more lively, stubborn ones that fight it,

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but if you kind of get the groundwork there from, like,

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when they're foals, they tend to remember it the whole way through.

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Don't you? Eh?

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And the person who is responsible for the life the family now lead

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is Molly's 86-year-old grandfather Bill.

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He has always wanted to farm.

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You know, he had animals in the back garden when they lived in London.

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So I think that kind of pushed him to make it a reality, but, yeah,

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you know, we're very lucky he did have this dream because, without it,

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I don't know, you know, what we'd be doing right now, really.

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Bill's love for the countryside started when he was evacuated

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to a farm during the Blitz.

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One day, I'm in my office in Croydon.

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A pamphlet comes through about a farm for sale, which was this.

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-Mm-hm.

-So I came down and I make them a good deal.

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-SHE CHUCKLES

-So I bought it there and then.

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-Dad didn't see the farm, did he, before you bought it?

-No.

-No.

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He went...He always thought I'd never buy a farm,

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-but I said I would, yeah.

-LAUGHTER

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Just 12 miles down the road, in the village of Merstham in Surrey,

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is another passionate shire horse breeder - Jackie Shearman.

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There's a good boy, aren't you? There's a good boy.

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Jackie was a secretary, but in 1985, along with husband Frank,

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she made a life-changing decision -

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she left her job to buy Oakley Farm.

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We saw this house, which was totally derelict,

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and nobody in their right mind would have taken it on,

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but my husband sort of saw the potential,

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and I think that was 32 years ago. 1985, we bought it.

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You couldn't even come up the drive. It was totally derelict.

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It had been empty for eight years.

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All the hedges were overgrown.

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And we lived in a caravan in the garden for the first year.

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They've been working on it ever since,

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to establish their vibrant 35-acre farm.

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After a few decades of rearing cattle and sheep,

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Jackie and her husband decided just to focus on the horses.

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Somebody once told me that horses is like a disease you never get rid of,

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and I started riding ponies when I was four,

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so I think it's quite true.

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These days, well, we've only got the horses.

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Getting up, feeding, mucking out, turning out -

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in the past, I used to have horses that I would ride,

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so I would go out riding as well,

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but the roads are too dangerous for that any more.

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It's empty.

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Like Molly, it's the shire horse that captured Jackie's heart.

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She now devotes her time to breeding and showing her six shire horses.

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We started looking, and I got my original one, which is Rose,

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which we bought probably about eight years ago,

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and it sort of escalated from them.

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There's a sign on the wall over there that says,

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"Horses are like chocolates - you can't just have one."

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SHE CHUCKLES

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When Jackie decided to show her horses,

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she roped in retired policeman and fellow enthusiast

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Paul Bower to help.

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-I'm sure she's got bigger again.

-Yeah, she's a big horse.

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She's a really big horse. She's nice.

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I got involved with a show in Kent...

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-Was it eight years ago, Jackie? I think eight years.

-Yes, about that.

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Eight years ago, and I was wandering around, minding my own business,

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and this lovely lady came up to me and said,

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"We've just bought a shire horse

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"and we're looking for somewhere to show it." And I gullibly said yes.

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HE LAUGHS

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When I've been buying barrows in the past,

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lots of stuff goes missing at shows.

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So I bought pink barrows,

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cos most people don't like to be seen with a pink barrow.

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Paul included! In fact, at one time I think you refused

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to have anything to do with my pink barrow,

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-didn't you?

-I'm comfortable with it now, though.

-LAUGHTER

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I'm comfortable with it now.

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We had pink brooms, pink forks, pink barrows, pink feed bins.

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Paul now comes to help Jackie out twice a week.

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We've become good friends,

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and obviously I've got my own shire horses as well, so...

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been involved with shire horses for probably...

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probably getting on 30 years now. We get on quite well, really.

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She can be a bit bossy at times, but it's not too bad.

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Back in Kent, preparations are under way for show day.

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There's a lot at stake,

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and the shire horses need to be dressed perfectly.

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First stop - new shoes.

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So, today, actually, it's quite a sedate farrier day,

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cos it's only five coming in to have shoes done.

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At up to £150 a horse, this doesn't come cheap.

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Obviously, the shoes are judged. So they judge the best shod.

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But it just...it does complete the turnout.

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It's like the little things.

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Each little detail just gives you that little bit of edge,

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and, like, having a good set of shoes on is one of them.

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There are easier ways to earn a living

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than shoeing a one-tonne horse.

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Oi!

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It's hard to find a farrier that wants to take on the shires.

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As you can see, it's like, it's not easy -

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even just holding the foot up to trim it is a feat on its own

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without having to hammer the shoes on.

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We do a lot of heavy horses, but, you know,

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lots of people don't like to do them because they are too heavy.

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But, you know, we love them.

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So...I was born and bred with them.

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In the late 1800s,

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farriers and blacksmiths were kept busy,

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maintaining this essential footwear,

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with London's brewers alone using almost 3,000 shires

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to pull heavy loads.

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-Get your shoes fitted for school. It's a bit like that.

-SHE LAUGHS

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New shoes sorted, now for the shampoo and set.

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-Good girl.

-HORSE WHINNIES

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Annie.

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We travel all over the country, but Edenbridge is like...

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That's our local county, so it would be really nice.

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Yeah, it would be a really good win.

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It's definitely one we aim for each year.

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But it's all up to the judge on the day,

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and there's a lot that can go wrong.

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Molly is competitive, but you've got to have an element of, you know,

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wanting to win to do it.

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If you're just going along there to make the numbers up...

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it's...it's a great deal of work and expense just to go and stand there,

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isn't it? You've got to want to do well.

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Edenbridge is especially important if you're a horse breeder.

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You have the bonus now of, it's got a HOYS qualifier there,

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so that's a big draw.

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HOYS is the prestigious Horse Of The Year Show,

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and only one horse from Edenbridge will qualify.

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This year, I'd love to qualify, that would be the main aim,

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but obviously I know the competition's going to be very tough there.

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With the show just two days away,

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retired police officer Paul is preparing Jackie's horses.

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Come on, girls.

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We've got to wash the horses, bath the horses,

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get them to the showground.

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Then, once we're at the showground, before the showing classes,

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up early in the morning and we again have to wash all their feet

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and their feathers, and then we, what we call, plait the horses.

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We put flights into their mane, decorate their tails...

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generally groom them,

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which is probably three hours' work before we even get into the ring.

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So it's not just a case of taking the horses from the farm

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to the showground. There's a lot of work that happens in between.

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The foot is very important.

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They say, "No foot, no feather, no horse."

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You want a nice, big, round foot, because when they're working,

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that big foot was on the ground and pushing and pulling weights.

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It's fantastic. You know, a good strong foot.

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It sits in that way. And the feather, when you're judging,

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the judge likes to see a lot of feather around the foot,

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nice and silky and clean and white.

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Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

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Whoa! All right, Charlie.

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Now, you will behave.

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-Have you done, Charlie?

-No.

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While Paul deals with her horses, Jackie has a lot more on her mind.

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I've got 34.

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I've... There's four of them that are mares and foals.

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She is the Edenbridge Show secretary.

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I oversee just about everything on the showground.

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We deal with all of the horse entries, livestock entries.

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There's also about 300 trade stands,

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and everything is dealt with through this office.

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When Jackie first took the job 30 years ago,

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she worked alone, out of her dining room.

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Two or three people have come on to me this morning

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and said that they wanted this, that and the other.

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Like the show, Jackie's office has now grown to house a team of five.

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It is 365 days a year.

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At this time of year, most mornings,

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I start, sort of, four, five o'clock in the morning

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to try and get some work done before the phone starts.

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If they took Jackie away from the Edenbridge & Oxted show,

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say, took her away or she retired, I think the Edenbridge & Oxted show

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would struggle to find anybody to do the job the way she does.

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She's brilliant, she's organised, and she is the backbone of the show.

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And the stress levels up until the show are quite immense.

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My responsibility is to make sure that the show runs smoothly,

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but I'm also very thankful

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that I can have my horses exhibited there,

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only due to Paul doing it for me.

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And I do allow myself a little time off to go to the ringside

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to watch them being shown.

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After months of preparations, it's finally time to set off.

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All the hay needs to be loaded, the feed, the bedding.

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Pick up. Pick up.

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It's a big list, and you've got to make sure everything's done

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and, obviously, Mum likes very high standards,

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-so we have to make sure we comply to that as well.

-SHE LAUGHS

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And it's not just about packing up the horses.

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Jackie needs to transport her whole office to the showground.

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All these desks have got to be clear tonight.

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Then we get a trailer to load them all in, take them to the showground,

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and we should be working down there tomorrow.

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OK, Jackie, we're all ready to go.

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Horses are loaded. Everything going all right?

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No, ask me tomorrow.

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-I'll ask you tomorrow. The horses are looking great.

-Are they?

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-They're looking superb. We'll be...

-So you're hopeful?

-I'm hopeful.

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-We'll give them a go, we'll try hard, yeah.

-OK.

-We'll have a go.

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-All right.

-I'll see you at the showground in the morning.

-Yeah.

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In you go. Come on, up you go.

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There's going to be some tough competition there,

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so, you know, fingers crossed, one of them might do it for us.

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Show day has arrived.

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Surrey's Edenbridge & Oxted Agricultural Show is a cornerstone

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of this farming community.

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Edenbridge & Oxted, it's just a really nice show to come to.

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It's one of the largest two-day shows,

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and there's just so much to do here.

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This year, it falls on a bank holiday weekend,

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and around 35,000 visitors

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are expected to come and enjoy the best of country life.

0:20:200:20:25

I've never been to Edenbridge before,

0:20:250:20:27

but I have met a number of wonderful people here,

0:20:270:20:30

and most importantly, the caterers are exquisite!

0:20:300:20:34

It's a foggy 5.30am.

0:20:410:20:43

The gates aren't open yet, but in the Heavy Horse Village,

0:20:440:20:48

it's already busy.

0:20:480:20:50

Most of the owners have been up for hours.

0:20:500:20:53

4.30 I was awake.

0:20:530:20:55

But then we were in bed quite a while.

0:20:550:20:58

We got to bed reasonably early, around 10pm,

0:20:580:21:00

so we got some sleep.

0:21:000:21:02

There's no point in getting up

0:21:030:21:05

and not being ready to do things.

0:21:050:21:07

Before the madness kicks off,

0:21:100:21:12

Jackie finds a moment to check on her horses.

0:21:120:21:15

Just giving them the feed. They're just finishing off their feed.

0:21:150:21:19

-Sorry.

-They we'll start on the job of sorting them out.

0:21:190:21:22

-She's not too bad.

-Good girl.

0:21:220:21:23

She hasn't laid down and laid in any muck, so we're OK.

0:21:230:21:26

-Breakfast is her priority.

-Yeah. She likes her food, Lady Jane.

0:21:260:21:30

So, we'll see. Anyway, as you can see, they're all up here, so I think

0:21:300:21:33

there's going to be a queue this morning for the washing out,

0:21:330:21:36

-so we'll have to fight our way in.

-All right.

-But we'll get there.

0:21:360:21:39

-If there's any problems, I'll give you a shout.

-OK.

0:21:390:21:41

-All right.

-I'll crack on.

-Good luck.

-See you later. Yeah.

0:21:410:21:45

-We'll do our best, as always.

-SHE CHUCKLES

0:21:450:21:47

With the rising sun come the first visitors of the day.

0:21:510:21:55

It's already predicted to be a scorcher,

0:21:570:22:00

with temperatures expected to reach 28 degrees.

0:22:000:22:03

In her mobile office, Jackie is already sorting out problems.

0:22:060:22:10

Jackie? I've put the police by the other side of that,

0:22:100:22:13

because there were loads of cars and loads that didn't have, like,

0:22:130:22:16

-didn't even know what cars they were.

-Down by the llamas?

0:22:160:22:18

No, I put them on the other side, you know, where the sheep man was?

0:22:180:22:21

Oh, yeah, I'd forgotten that was a space.

0:22:210:22:24

-There was a bit of a gap and they said that would be enough space.

-OK.

0:22:240:22:27

-So they're happy.

-All right, that's lovely.

-It fills that gap.

-OK.

0:22:270:22:30

There's been a few issues overnight

0:22:300:22:32

and then gates haven't been unlocked this morning that should have been.

0:22:320:22:36

So, if anybody's got any problem at all,

0:22:360:22:38

it's usually me they come to,

0:22:380:22:40

cos they don't know where else to go, really.

0:22:400:22:43

This time of the morning, I tend to stay upstairs,

0:22:430:22:47

because all the judges and the stewards are meeting downstairs,

0:22:470:22:50

and if I'm there, they all just home in on me,

0:22:500:22:54

so I'm up here, and then if the girls have got any problems,

0:22:540:22:57

they'll call up and ask.

0:22:570:22:59

-Jackie?

-Yeah?

0:22:590:23:00

-Oh, thank you. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

-LAUGHTER

0:23:020:23:07

There's not long to go until the first competition,

0:23:150:23:18

so it's all hands on deck to get these horses ready.

0:23:180:23:22

Right, stand still.

0:23:220:23:24

Braiding the shire horses' hair

0:23:250:23:28

is a tradition that pays homage to their past.

0:23:280:23:31

-You haven't got enough hands sometimes, so...

-HE LAUGHS

0:23:310:23:35

Used as warhorses over the centuries,

0:23:360:23:39

it would keep their long locks out of the way of swords, muskets

0:23:390:23:43

and, eventually, rifles.

0:23:430:23:46

These are Molly's colours, because you have your own colour.

0:23:460:23:50

We've always been green and yellow.

0:23:500:23:52

Molly, for some reason, went orange and white,

0:23:520:23:54

so it looks like a giant Liquorice Allsort.

0:23:540:23:57

In more peaceful times,

0:23:570:23:59

it's used to show off the horse and distinguish between competitors.

0:23:590:24:04

We're quite traditional with the yellow and green colours

0:24:040:24:07

that we chose, but then Molly's a lot younger than us,

0:24:070:24:10

and she's got a few wacky colours.

0:24:100:24:12

Not helpful. OK.

0:24:180:24:20

Trying to smarten myself up, to look smart.

0:24:210:24:23

The horse must look smart, but the person showing it must look smart

0:24:230:24:27

as well. There's no point going in like, you know, scruffy

0:24:270:24:30

to impress the judge. And I always do this and get my tie too short,

0:24:300:24:35

so I'm going to start again.

0:24:350:24:37

Competition time is fast approaching,

0:24:390:24:41

and Paul's 15-year-old helper Nathan is feeling the pressure.

0:24:410:24:45

Lost a brush.

0:24:470:24:49

Where's the blue brush?

0:24:510:24:53

Luckily, it's hidden in plain sight, and work can carry on.

0:24:560:25:00

-Got it.

-Eh?

-Got it.

0:25:010:25:04

-What are you laughing at?

-I'm laughing at you.

0:25:050:25:08

He's right to be nervous, as there are old rivalries about.

0:25:080:25:12

Because it's such a small, small, sort of, group of people,

0:25:140:25:17

we're often against Jackie and Paul.

0:25:170:25:19

-It's good for banter, shall we say, between each other.

-LAUGHTER

0:25:190:25:24

Even though the focus is on the competition,

0:25:250:25:28

the talk of the Horse Village is the new judge in town.

0:25:280:25:32

Well, I can never remember if it was Winston Churchill or Will Rogers,

0:25:360:25:39

but one of those clever men said that the outside of a horse is good

0:25:390:25:42

for the inside of a man, and they were, they were spot-on.

0:25:420:25:46

Experienced breeder Brit McLin has flown in especially

0:25:470:25:50

from Colorado, USA, for today's show.

0:25:500:25:53

I'm here today, judging the heavy horses, all breeds.

0:25:550:25:58

I expect most of them to be shires.

0:25:580:26:01

We want exquisite feet and hoof heads, and the hocks need to be flat

0:26:010:26:05

and clean and offset

0:26:050:26:08

at approximately a 13.5 degree angle from perpendicular.

0:26:080:26:13

Even Jackie is curious about the new judge.

0:26:150:26:18

Checking out the American judge. He seems to want to see them trot more than walk.

0:26:200:26:23

-OK.

-So he's going to be all about action, I think.

0:26:230:26:25

-OK.

-So I just hope Jane's not having one of her lazy days.

0:26:250:26:30

But we'll crack on.

0:26:300:26:31

I mean, he's coming all the way over from America,

0:26:310:26:34

so it's quite nice to get a judge from a different place.

0:26:340:26:36

It probably means he's looking for something different

0:26:360:26:39

to what the normal judges over here would look for.

0:26:390:26:41

I think he'll probably, like, going off the top of my head,

0:26:410:26:44

a big horse with a bit of movement, but I could be completely wrong.

0:26:440:26:47

-We'll see.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:26:470:26:49

It's 9am. The show is coming to life.

0:26:540:26:57

COCK CROWS

0:26:570:26:59

So this class is open to colts, fillies and geldings.

0:27:030:27:05

Paul is showing Jackie's horse, Lady Jane.

0:27:070:27:10

When they're in the ring, I just take it in my stride, really.

0:27:120:27:15

I get excited if they're winning,

0:27:150:27:17

and if they go on to win, sort of, championships,

0:27:170:27:19

-I have been known to burst into tears, but...

-SHE LAUGHS

0:27:190:27:23

It's not just the horses being inspected today.

0:27:240:27:28

Mr Roper, you should smile, it's more becoming.

0:27:280:27:30

No extra points for looking grim.

0:27:330:27:35

Molly's dad William and horse Malcolm

0:27:380:27:41

are first up for inspection...

0:27:410:27:43

There.

0:27:430:27:45

You're being a silly.

0:27:450:27:47

-All right, that's perfect.

-Thank you.

0:27:470:27:49

..and judge Brit is determined to put them through their paces.

0:27:490:27:53

Our turn.

0:27:580:28:00

-Nothing's acceptable unless she wins, really.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:28:080:28:11

Judge McLin has seen all he has needed and lines up his shortlist.

0:28:130:28:17

You're not allowed to scowl when I do this,

0:28:170:28:22

but I need to swap these two.

0:28:220:28:26

It's announced until they go up to the main ring.

0:28:260:28:29

Different judges do it different ways. Put her down to third.

0:28:290:28:32

Whoops.

0:28:330:28:35

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

-APPLAUSE

0:28:350:28:38

First place goes to Molly's dad.

0:28:380:28:40

It's a brilliant start to the day.

0:28:400:28:43

Really, yeah, really pleased with that.

0:28:430:28:45

Really good class of horses.

0:28:450:28:47

And third place for Jackie's horse Lady Jane

0:28:470:28:50

is also a respectable result.

0:28:500:28:52

It would've been better if she'd been higher placed,

0:28:570:29:00

and Paul won't be happy, but...

0:29:000:29:01

It's a real quality class, top quality.

0:29:010:29:04

So you've got to be reasonably happy.

0:29:040:29:06

You're fighting with the best, so, move on now.

0:29:060:29:09

Next class.

0:29:090:29:11

And you don't know you've come third, do you?

0:29:140:29:16

Malcolm just went in and won the class.

0:29:190:29:21

We're really pleased, it was a really strong class.

0:29:210:29:23

Yeah, we're really happy with how he performed. He behaved himself.

0:29:230:29:27

You can't ask any more than that.

0:29:270:29:28

So, hopefully he'll go on and behave for the rest of the day -

0:29:280:29:31

-fingers crossed.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:29:310:29:33

-The second filly...

-Yeah.

-..was the one that beat her at Norfolk.

0:29:330:29:36

Oh, right, OK. So you sort of expected that?

0:29:360:29:38

No, not really, I thought...because I don't like it.

0:29:380:29:40

-But it's show business, folks!

-LAUGHTER

0:29:400:29:43

-All right.

-I'll go and get the next one, get sorted.

-She looks lovely as well.

-She does, yeah.

0:29:430:29:47

It's almost midday,

0:29:520:29:53

and the temperature has peaked at 28 degrees.

0:29:530:29:56

This year is the 180th Edenbridge & Oxted show.

0:29:580:30:02

It started the year Queen Victoria came to the throne.

0:30:020:30:05

Morris dancers date back even further and, today,

0:30:110:30:14

this group are already on their third performance.

0:30:140:30:17

I am Terry Wyatt.

0:30:240:30:26

I'm the bagman for the Royal Liberty Morris from Havering.

0:30:260:30:29

So I deal with all the money.

0:30:290:30:31

It's important to keep Morris dancing alive.

0:30:370:30:40

Because it's our tradition.

0:30:400:30:41

Like anything folk, wherever you go, it's our tradition.

0:30:410:30:46

ALL SHOUT

0:30:460:30:48

It's our second year here and we enjoy it so much, you know,

0:30:510:30:54

cos of the atmosphere, the...

0:30:540:30:57

..well, the animals. Everything.

0:30:570:30:59

We just really love it.

0:30:590:31:00

A lot of people ask me how do we get recruits and I always say to them,

0:31:070:31:12

"We breed them." We don't need to go out and sort of get people.

0:31:120:31:17

Everything is all family.

0:31:180:31:20

Thank you very much.

0:31:260:31:27

Over in the horse village, Molly's family are getting set

0:31:300:31:34

for the next competition of the day.

0:31:340:31:36

Goldie's going in next.

0:31:360:31:38

She's my only horse here today, but my sister Sally is going to

0:31:380:31:41

show her for me. I was originally in the class with my other mare,

0:31:410:31:44

so obviously Sally's been practising with her, so she's got the...

0:31:440:31:48

She's going to take her in.

0:31:480:31:50

This is a mare class

0:31:500:31:52

and the two families are competing again.

0:31:520:31:55

The hopes aren't as high for her as for Jane in the previous class.

0:31:560:31:59

I thought Jane was the better of the two horses,

0:31:590:32:02

but you never know. We've got to go and give it a go.

0:32:020:32:05

Paul is also up against one of his own horses,

0:32:050:32:08

which is being shown by his family.

0:32:080:32:11

-TANNOY:

-So, here we have the shire barren mares,

0:32:110:32:13

four-year-old and over.

0:32:130:32:14

So these are mares that are over four years old

0:32:140:32:17

and don't have a foal this year.

0:32:170:32:19

They refer to them as "barren mares".

0:32:200:32:23

Some of them might be foaled, but they've not got foals at foot,

0:32:230:32:26

so they're always classed as barren mares.

0:32:260:32:29

Brit McLin is back to judge and nothing is going to get past him.

0:32:290:32:35

It costs nothing to smile.

0:32:350:32:37

There you go.

0:32:370:32:39

If you have a look at these mares,

0:32:400:32:42

you'll see that they do have a very feminine appearance.

0:32:420:32:44

They are slightly more curvy, I would say,

0:32:440:32:47

than the male counterparts.

0:32:470:32:49

To get into the Horse Of The Year qualifier, Paul needs to do well.

0:32:510:32:55

Ooh, I know, you're a good girl.

0:32:590:33:01

Lift up, lift up. She's a bit funny on her front legs.

0:33:010:33:04

She's a bit... I don't know why.

0:33:040:33:05

The judge is still inspecting them.

0:33:060:33:08

He inspects their legs, their bodies, their conformation,

0:33:080:33:11

the whole thing.

0:33:110:33:12

Next up is Molly's horse, Goldie.

0:33:220:33:25

We know what we're doing, right?

0:33:250:33:26

All of these people pay the same entry fees,

0:33:350:33:37

all these people put in the same amount of work,

0:33:370:33:39

all these people have the same extreme pride of ownership.

0:33:390:33:44

And for them to come out and...

0:33:440:33:45

..offer themselves up

0:33:460:33:48

to some judgmental old cowboy from Colorado...

0:33:480:33:51

..speaks well of them.

0:33:510:33:54

-TANNOY:

-We have number 273.

0:33:540:33:56

Back to work.

0:33:580:34:00

-TANNOY:

-And that's Leap House Lisa, owned by Mr J Bower.

0:34:000:34:04

Thank you. Got it?

0:34:040:34:07

It's a good result for Paul.

0:34:080:34:10

He gets second place with Jackie's shire and one of his own gets first.

0:34:100:34:16

Yes, it would have been nice to have come first,

0:34:180:34:20

but you can't win them all.

0:34:200:34:22

That's a little bit better. In the championship, we won, anyway.

0:34:230:34:26

So not too bad. And the boys are up at the front, so...

0:34:260:34:29

..I'm smiling a little bit more now.

0:34:290:34:31

Molly's horse is also in the rosettes.

0:34:310:34:34

And gets an extra little bonus.

0:34:340:34:37

She got third in the mare class and then the best shod out of the class,

0:34:370:34:41

as well, so, very pleased.

0:34:410:34:44

She was a good girl.

0:34:440:34:46

The Edenbridge and Oxted show boasts many activities,

0:34:540:34:58

including the lesser-known traditional crafts.

0:34:580:35:01

My name is John Carnell.

0:35:040:35:05

I've been a trug maker for the last 40 years

0:35:050:35:08

and I've still stuck to the traditional method of making a trug.

0:35:080:35:12

Well, a trug is a traditional old Sussex basket.

0:35:160:35:20

What's very special with the trug, it's very durable, very strong...

0:35:210:35:25

..and very light.

0:35:260:35:28

Trugs were put on the map when Queen Victoria ordered a batch

0:35:290:35:33

for members of the Royal family in the 1800s.

0:35:330:35:36

Once, this skill was crucial to the agricultural industry

0:35:370:35:41

to sow grain or feed livestock.

0:35:410:35:44

Nowadays, they're still loved and admired and have other uses.

0:35:440:35:49

This is the smallest size we make.

0:35:510:35:53

It's nice for eggs, children.

0:35:530:35:57

They love going blackberrying with something like that.

0:35:580:36:02

Well, I've been coming to Edenbridge show for the last 25 years and,

0:36:020:36:06

get the right weather, it's all very nice

0:36:060:36:09

and, if I get a few sales, even nicer.

0:36:090:36:11

Lovely, thank you.

0:36:110:36:13

-Enjoy it.

-Present for my friend, and she'll be really pleased.

0:36:130:36:16

Thank you. Bye-bye.

0:36:160:36:17

The most anticipated event of the day has finally arrived.

0:36:230:36:27

The chance to qualify for the Horse Of The Year Show.

0:36:290:36:32

Even to just place somewhere in the qualifier

0:36:350:36:37

for the Horse Of The Year Show would be good today.

0:36:370:36:40

It is going to be a real tough one, I think.

0:36:400:36:42

There'll only be a handful of horses

0:36:420:36:44

that go forward to the qualifying show,

0:36:440:36:47

which is at the NEC in Birmingham,

0:36:470:36:50

so it's a huge honour for anybody to qualify at these shows.

0:36:500:36:52

People are here to win.

0:36:530:36:55

We may be good friends, you know, off the showground,

0:36:550:36:59

but when you're here, you are here to win.

0:36:590:37:03

If you're not excited when you qualify for Horse Of The Year,

0:37:030:37:06

it's going to take a lot to get you excited.

0:37:060:37:09

It's the competition both the crowds and the competitors

0:37:090:37:13

have been building up to.

0:37:130:37:15

It's down to judge Brit to put forward

0:37:150:37:18

the best of the best from today's entries.

0:37:180:37:21

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and all the ships at sea,

0:37:240:37:27

this is the class.

0:37:270:37:28

If we could do just an easy walk around, please.

0:37:300:37:33

This is it, this is the big one.

0:37:410:37:43

Step back a little bit.

0:37:450:37:47

Yeah. Just as far or as short as you feel suits you.

0:37:480:37:51

Come on. Let's go.

0:38:070:38:09

-Thank you, Paul.

-Thank you, sir.

0:38:170:38:18

We're in the lap of the gods.

0:38:210:38:23

Or the lap of the Americans.

0:38:230:38:25

And the nice thing is, whatever the result is,

0:38:260:38:28

Mr Langley says he's going to buy me a beer afterwards.

0:38:280:38:31

It's always Mr Langley that buys him a beer.

0:38:320:38:34

HE LAUGHS

0:38:340:38:35

We've been going since five o'clock,

0:38:370:38:38

and all the preparation that's gone into it, we're getting to the...

0:38:380:38:42

..the main part now.

0:38:430:38:45

-TANNOY:

-Very well done to the winner of this qualifying class.

0:38:500:38:53

A very worthy winner.

0:38:530:38:55

And it's Molly's horse that's won the qualifying place

0:38:550:38:58

for Horse Of The Year.

0:38:580:39:00

He's smiling.

0:39:010:39:03

Absolutely thrilled to win it, to be honest with you.

0:39:040:39:07

Not expected, but, yeah, really, really pleased.

0:39:070:39:09

I'm absolutely over the moon with him. I've had him since a foal.

0:39:090:39:13

I bought him as a foal...

0:39:130:39:15

..never really with the intention to show him,

0:39:150:39:18

to use him as a stallion.

0:39:180:39:20

But, yeah, I'm really thrilled with him.

0:39:200:39:22

He's done us proud.

0:39:220:39:24

Good day. Very good day.

0:39:240:39:26

Absolutely brilliant.

0:39:300:39:31

Absolutely. Yeah, didn't expect that one today.

0:39:320:39:35

So, very happy.

0:39:360:39:38

We're going to HOYS!

0:39:380:39:40

-It's like the golden ticket, isn't it?

-It is the gold.

0:39:400:39:42

Yeah, out of that bar, is it? The chocolate. The golden ticket.

0:39:420:39:45

-That's the one.

-Even better that it's local to home.

0:39:450:39:48

-TANNOY:

-A very worthy winner.

0:39:480:39:50

And we all look forward to seeing his progress at the NEC in October.

0:39:500:39:54

Although Jackie's horse didn't win,

0:39:540:39:56

Paul is always the first to offer congratulations.

0:39:560:40:00

Well done, Margaret. Congratulations.

0:40:000:40:01

-Thank you, Paul.

-Congratulations, Molly.

0:40:010:40:04

Well done. You're pleased with that, aren't you?

0:40:040:40:07

-BOTH: Yeah.

-Very pleased with him.

0:40:070:40:09

The Edenbridge and Oxted show is almost over.

0:40:190:40:22

-ANNOUNCER:

-So, if you'd like to do your lap of honour, gentlemen.

0:40:240:40:26

If you would like to stay in for the parade, we'd like to keep you, please.

0:40:260:40:30

The last of the rosettes are handed out.

0:40:300:40:33

Lovely. Just stand where you are.

0:40:330:40:35

For our farmers, judging is now over.

0:40:350:40:38

We haven't had a bad day. Jackie's horses have come second and third.

0:40:390:40:43

Yes, I am a little bit disappointed with Jane.

0:40:430:40:45

She's been winning everywhere else.

0:40:450:40:46

Today she's come third. But that's the nature of the game.

0:40:460:40:49

That's what they call show business and you have to crack on.

0:40:490:40:52

Despite a lack of red rosettes,

0:40:540:40:56

Jackie's hard work has ensured a wonderful day out

0:40:560:40:59

for tens of thousands of people.

0:40:590:41:01

This is very satisfying, seeing it all come together.

0:41:020:41:06

You know, the show, the horses, everything together.

0:41:070:41:09

A year's work goes into it and it starts again,

0:41:110:41:14

maybe not tomorrow, but on Wednesday.

0:41:140:41:16

And Molly and family have walked away with the dream result.

0:41:160:41:21

The highlight of the day was definitely winning the HOYS qualifying class

0:41:210:41:25

with a two-year-old colt.

0:41:250:41:27

It was a strong class, wasn't it?

0:41:270:41:28

-It was a strong class.

-It was, you know...

0:41:280:41:31

I think today would have been good for the business side with the shires,

0:41:310:41:34

because, obviously, if they see you out doing rather well,

0:41:340:41:37

they're more likely to come and have a look at what you've got for sale.

0:41:370:41:40

This year has been full of hard work...

0:41:400:41:42

..planning, toil and triumph.

0:41:430:41:47

There's now only one last thing to do.

0:41:500:41:53

Cheers. Well done, Molly.

0:41:550:41:56

Careful you don't fall over with it.

0:41:560:41:58

End up wearing it!

0:41:580:41:59