What a great country day out it was at the Rye Country Fair on 20 August at Salts Farm, East Guldeford. The show was a hive of activity from the first Junior Novice riding event through to the Parade of the Foxhounds and Bloodhounds at 4.30.
There were pony, horse and dog competitions of all types and classes, demonstrations of Fly Casting and Working Gun Dogs and performances by the Cinque Ports Lindyhoppers. Dozens of stalls selling all sorts of horse and dog requisites as well as country clothing. Fun for the children included a giant slide and other sideshows.
An amazing array of radio controlled model aircraft were on display including World War Two Spitfires and Hurricanes.
An excellent programme recalled that the first Rye Horse Show was held in 1955 at Gateborough Farm on John Hacking’s land. It was run by the Romney Marsh Hunt and was a popular feature of the summer holiday programme in Rye for more than 25 years, with Ann Hacking acting as secretary throughout.
Looking back at newspaper cuttings from 1975, prize winners included the Hacking family, the show jumper John Bunyan, the Wates family won a prize in the Working Hunter and Vanessa de Quincey – who is judging today – won the Pony Championship.
Highlight of the early shows was the Pony Club Musical ride – before the show, members of the Musical Ride would trot round Rye advertising the show – something which would be difficult to imagine now!