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Southport Flower Show is bringing back its iconic show-jumping demonsrations

1 month ago

Southport Flower Show is bringing back its iconic show-jumping demonsrations

Southport Flower Show returns from Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 August to Victoria Park and one of its most iconic highlights will be making a come back.

Show jumping at Southport Flower Show dates back to back to 1924 when the festival first launched. It was then known as the Grand Floral Fete and its included Horse Leaping’. The show was affiliated to the Show Jumping Association with horse leaping events taking place in an uncovered grandstand with £315 in cash prizes. Show jumping continued right up to the 1980s. Geoff Billington was one of those riders and he has agreed to return for this year’s 100th anniversary and entertain you all like back in the day.

Geoff Billington said:

“What an honour to be asked to do a showjumping demonstration at Southport Flower Show. I first competed there in 1968 on ponies. Everyone used to tow their caravans behind the horse boxes and stay for a week, using it as a holiday as well as a show. Myself and my friend John Whitaker were starstruck walking past Harvey Smith and David Broome’s caravans, only a few feet away from our tents! We were 13 years old.

Southport Flower Show - The Guide Liverpool

When I progressed into horses, I rode for a man that owned the Talk Of The North Nightclub in Manchester. He told me one day, I had to go with his horsebox and pick up a racehorse from some stables behind a garage. The horse was called Red Rum (three times Grand National Winner) and the trainer Ginger McCain didn’t have a lorry and they wanted me to parade him at the show. I wasn’t too happy as it stopped me going on the fairground with my pals!

It was a unique show, jumping under the swinging floodlights for the evening jumping class. All the top showjumping horses used to love being exercised on the beach when they weren’t competing. It was a show that every show jumper looked forward to

I’ve been lucky to have a long career in the sport. I’ve jumped all around the world, ridden for Great Britain on well over 50 Nations Cups, competed at two Olympic Games, been ranked in the list of Top 10 Riders in the World and still lucky enough to be competing in a sport I love, at the age of 69.

I look forward to entertaining the crowd, showing them our training methods and telling stories about travelling the world with the famous John & Michael Whitaker, plus double Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton”.

Southport Flower Show, sponsored by the Seventy Ninth Group, is the UK’s largest independent flower show and attracts over 55,000 visitors across 4 days.

Visitors to this year’s show can enjoy inspirational show gardens, spectacular floral displays, gardening advice, a pop-up shopping village with everything you need for the home and garden, cookery demonstrations, live music, entertainment and so much more!

Special guests confirmed to date for the Garden Theatre are Carole Baxter and George Anderson of Beechgrove Garden, Adam Frost of BBC Gardeners’ World, David Domoney of Love Your Garden, Skinny Jean Gardener of BBC’s and CBBC’s Blue Peter and CBeebeies Star Justin Fletcher.  Cookery Theare guests confirmed to date are Phil Vickery of This Morning and Platinum Pudding winner Jemma Melvin with many more to be announced over the next few months.

So why not join us Thursday 15th – Sunday 18th August 2024 to celebrate 100 years of Southport Flower Show. Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting announcements on our Southport Flower Show website and social media channels.

You can book your tickets for Southport Flower Show HERE.

Read about the special 100th anniversary cake bing backed especially for Southport Flower Show HERE.

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