Ashby Show first started in 1904 at the Bath Grounds at Ashby de la Zouch, behind the Royal Hotel. The main aim was to continue the advancement of livestock breeding in the form of competitions. This allowed for other livestock farmers to socialise whilst also providing a stage where farmers could chose breeding stock.
Like many agriculture shows there was a break during some of the First & Second World War years when the Ashby Show was not held. All the effort was put into supporting the war effort on the home front. Campaigns such as ‘Dig for Victory’ now meant the people were being encouraged by the government to grow their own food to help relieve the strain of food rations. Any grass land was used for food production even the grass on the sides of railways, lawns, sports grounds and racecourses such as Nottingham were turned into vegetable beds.
Under the helm of the society Mr Garratt, the last show in 1966 was held at the Bath Grounds. Mr Garratt held the post for a staggering 23 years, during his employment he oversaw the move to the beautiful site at Calke Park with the kind permission of Mr C.A.R Harper-Crewe. This was an ‘tremendous task as the preparatory work carried out included i.e. making the athletics arena, ploughing, levelling, re-seeding, drainage and and laying main water to mention a few’ taken from the meeting minutes from February 1971. The first show held at Calke was an immense success with the move justified, a dog and cage-bird show had been introduced and were classed as the best in the country with an impressive 700 entries in 1969 in the dog classes.
Measham Lodge Farm was to be the third showground that Ashby Show was held on with the kind permission of Mr Parkes. With more land means more trade stands and competitors classes being introduced.
In 2013 the show once again moved venue and now currently is held on in the heart of the national forest at Cattows Farm by kind permission of Mr & Mrs A Ludlam.