On the 29th of February 1887 a small group of farmers, breeders and others interested in agriculture met at the White Hart Hotel, Launceston, and decided to hold a horse show. The Launceston Agricultural Society soon became an established organisation. The first show was held in July of 1887 at Mr. John Cory’s farm at Kensey and was just for horses, cattle and sheep were included the following year. Mr. C. G. Archer of Trelaske was the first shows President with Dr. Shepherd and Messrs J. Kitto, J. Palmer, G. Lobb, and J. Vickary the Stewards. Mr. C. Parsons was the Vetenary and Mr. Hare the Treasurer. The Hon. Secretary was Mr. N. Lobb. The judges for agricultural horses were M.r. Lang, of Knowle, Sidmouth, and Mr. Henry Brown, of St. Austell. Hacks, hunters, and cariage horses were judged by the Earl of Portsmouth, Mr. C. H. Basset, and MR. G. B. Battams.
In the early years, the Show was held within the town boundary of Launceston with Pennygillam, Windmill and Scarne being used. The show moved to its current site at Kennards House in the mid 1950’s. Launceston Horse Show as it was known was highly respected as an equestrian event, and before the popularity of the motor car large crowds gathered each year with the railways running special “Show Trains” from places such as Plymouth to the event.
There is now a book available on Launceston Show’s history written by 2017 President Leslie Vanstone. For a copy contact: email@example.com