He’s been an exhibitor with his prize-winning Limousin cattle. He’s been a scrutinising judge of the highly competitive cattle show classes. Now Nick Hill will be running the show!

With over 40 years hands-on experience in farming and livestock management, show breeding, competing, and judging, Nick has been appointed by Gillingham & Shaftesbury Agricultural Society as new Show Secretary and Event Organiser for two of Dorset’s leading rural shows.

Nick will be responsible for the Spring Countryside Show, the first show of the year in Dorset’s rural events calendar. Still in its infancy, this two-day April event, showcasing rural life and crafts as well as live music, steam engines and classic cars, was launched just last year to great reaction at the Turnpike Showground in Motcombe.

Nick said: “My aim is to continue the massive success and growth of these shows, both the Spring Countryside Show which received 12,000 visitors in its first year and the Gillingham and Shaftesbury show in August which had a record number of 25,000 visitors in one day.”

Earlier this year, the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Agricultural Society, which runs both shows, announced that the annual August show will be a two-day event. Nick said: “This proves the 
huge success of the show and the need to just keep getting better and take the show to an even more exciting level!”  

At 13, Nick became a member of the Young Farmers Club, progressing to group secretary and Federation Chairman, where he was responsible for organising shows and rallies. After leaving school, he worked on his father’s 150-acre farm in Somerset, specialising in beef cattle and eventually took over the management of it. Here, he established a herd of Pedigree British Limousins, competing at agricultural shows throughout the country, including the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show.

He is also a member of the prestigious National Judging Panel and Breeds Standard Inspection Panel for the British Limousin Cattle Society and has judged at the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show five times.

“I am determined to maintain the very strong links we have with agriculture and local businesses, whilst providing fun-filled days for the general public,” said Nick. “I’m also a big supporter of encouraging more young people to consider careers in agriculture.  We need forward-thinking farmers who will continue to innovate the industry.

I’ve only been in this new role a few weeks and am already bowled over by the enthusiasm of everyone, especially our amazing volunteers. We rely on over 200 of them to help us pull the shows together.”

Show Chairman Giles Simpson said: “We look forward to what the future brings with Nick at the helm. We’re very excited to have someone with such an extensive background in the agricultural sector to be in the driving seat. It means we will be keeping agriculture at the heart of our two shows, which is where we know we outperform other shows in the area.

“Nick is keen to keep building on the positive reputation that both the Spring Countryside Show and the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show have. Along with our Assistant Secretary Bonnie Cradock, together they’re already coming up with great new ideas to enhance both shows. Watch this space!”

Tickets are now on sale for both shows which takes place at The Turnpike Showground in Motcombe.  Visit

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