Our Heritage - New Forest Show

In 2020 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the New Forest Show by looking back at the history of the Show and the people and organisations involved.

The Early Years

The New Forest Agricultural Show Society was founded in 1920 and the first New Forest Show was held in 1920 as a small, one-day event at Netley Marsh.

Following the trauma of the First World War, the local community wanted to bring people back together with a celebration of their traditional agricultural lifestyle.

Pictured: A newspaper clipping from one of the earliest Shows


The earliest Shows featured judging of cattle, pigs, goats, poultry, rabbits and vegetables. Following this were parades of cattle, horses and ponies and the day always ended with musical stalls and dancing.

The show charged an entrance fee of 2 shillings and 4 pence and earned £464 revenue!

Pictured: The Judging panel from one of the earliest Shows

The Show Continues

In the decades that followed the Show grew considerably in popularity and spectacle.

Over time, it went from being a one day event, to two days, then up to the three day festival that it is now.

The Show continues to grow each and every year and we are assisted in the running on the Show by around 330 volunteers. They give their time freely to support and promote our event, and without their invaluable assistance the Show would not be the success that it is today.

Pictured: A man takes his horse into the pub with him

Royal Visits

The Show is rated amongst the top ten agricultural Shows in the country and the visit of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in 2012 boosted the profile of the Show to its highest level yet.


Pictured: Pony Club Pagent to celebrate the 1953 Coronation

The Modern Show

Nowadays The New Forest & Hampshire County Show is an annual three day agricultural Show held every year at the end of July, attracting around 95,000 visitors.

Show jumping is a major feature, with international classes held throughout the three days.

A wide spectrum of equestrian and livestock competitions take place each year, plus a variety of spectacular displays, entertainment and activities.

Charity is at our heart

The Society is run by The New Forest Agricultural Show Society (Charity number 1004255).

We are highly conscious that the Show continues to build on its remit of ‘the holding of an annual Show to promote and encourage the development of agriculture, forestry, equestrianism and horticulture and encourage the improvement in the breeding of stock’.

The New Forest & Hampshire County Show helps raise funds to support the New Forest Agricultural Show Society and other local and national charitable organisations. The New Forest Agricultural Show Society is a private company limited by guarantee.