Entries are now open for competitions running across the three days of the Royal Bath & West Show.

The show will take place at The Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, from Thursday, May 30 – Saturday, June 1, 2024.

Competitions executive Naomi Guiver said the livestock classes are at the heart of the show.

“Dairy, beef, sheep, and pigs are all on the agenda, which has been expanded to include new classes and championships that reflect the quality and purpose of the livestock sector today,” she said.

Section nameEntry close date
Sheep April 15
Beef cattleApril 15
PigsApril 15
ArtApril 18
ScurryApril 24
Light HorseApril 24
Heavy HorseApril 24
Bees and honeyMay 1
Floral artMay 1
Shoeing and shoemakingMay 1
Dairy cattleMay 6
CiderMay 9
EggsMay 13
Show JumpingMay 17
Sheep ShearingMay 17


New to 2024 are two new cattle championships: the Exhibitor Bred Dairy Championship and the Exhibitor Bred Beef Championship .

These aim to recognise the diligence and care taken to produce top-class homebred stock.

Source: Royal Bath & West Show

A dual-purpose category will also be added to the dairy schedule, welcoming entries for Dexter cattle and any other dual-purpose breeds.

The beef schedule will add classes under a new Any Other Variety Minority Breeds category.

In the sheep ring, the differing qualities of male and female breeding stock will be highlighted, with the introduction of Male and Female Breed Championships.

This year will not go without a national show, with the Southdown Sheep Society featuring an additional ‘group of four’ class.

On the shearing platform, the show will be holding the Six Nations Blade Shearing Team Championships.

This will see two-person teams from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and France go head-to-head.

Pig producers will also be representing the best of the best with native, continental, and rare breeds.

British Saddleback, Gloucester Old Spot, Oxford Sandy and Black, Welsh, and Tamworth breeds will be competing to qualify for respective ‘Champion of Champions’.

The KuneKune breed will be eligible under its own set of classes, as well new breed classes for the Mangalitza.


Organisers said the show has always been a mecca for equitation and horsemanship, and that this year will be no different.

New to 2024 are the rescue horse and pony classes.

“These classes are a real demonstration of determination and compassion,” Guiver said.

“Clearly there is a place for rehabilitated and retrained horses and ponies, and we are delighted to recognise that at the show.”

Competitors will go head-to-head in 22 ridden and in-hand qualifiers, chasing golden tickets to the prestigious Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

Qualifiers include Ridden Cobs & Working Show Horse, Coloured Horse & Pony of the Year (ridden), Miniature Horses, Mountain & Moorland Ridden Pony of the Year, and Ridden Hunter, including the Ladies Side Saddle Horse of the Year Championship.

HOYS qualifiers also include the fast-paced Double Scurry Harness – small and large – as well as the Shire Horse of the Year Championship and the coveted Price Family Supreme In-hand Championship.

“Year-on-year, the show’s equine schedule evolves to best represent modern breeding and horsemanship – while preserving important traditions and purpose, as seen with the heavy horses in harness,” Guiver said.

What showmanship is to the arena, craftsmanship is to the forge, Guiver said.

Highlights include Champion Farrier across shoemaking and pony, cob, and hunter shoeing classes, with up-and-coming talent recognised in the apprentice shoemaking class with the Worshipful Company of Farriers’ bronze medal.

Food and drink

The show will once again host the British Cider Championships, which will include a fruit cider class this year.

Organisers said visitors will not want to miss their chance to get involved with the People’s Choice Award – awarded to the best cider as voted by the public.

Visitors will be able to explore the South West Bees and Honey Show, where beekeepers compete for the best honey and bee products.

Head of shows, Jess Chiplen, said: “The show is a real celebration of the exceptional quality and taste of South West produce – as well as further afield.

“There will be plenty of street food and drink vendors dotted around the showground, so you’ll never be far from something delicious.”

Arts and horticulture

The Artists in Action tent will see artists demonstrate their craft, and visitors will be able to purchase pieces that catch their eye.

2023/24 art scholarship winner, Holly Bendall, will be around the showground taking sketches.

Source: Royal Bath & West Show

The floral art competition, themed ‘Splendid Somerset’, will take place in the show’s horticultural village and has of sub-themed classes like Festival, Picnic on the Tor, and A Good Vintage.

New to 2024 will be the introduction of a People’s Choice Award, which will see visitors cast their vote on their favourite display.

The horticulture village will also host the pop-up gardens competition, with exhibitors creating 4x4m displays.

“This year the competition will embody the theme Sensory Stages,” Chiplen said.

“The design should inspire and educate visitors about the importance of sensory awareness and sustainable living.”