Getting Ready For the Big Day!

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be giving you an insight into the workings of Garstang Show with a series of interviews with our organisers and exhibitors. 

The first is from our main ring commentator – Ms Jo Jefferson. 
As our main ring commentator, Jo is the voice of Garstang Show, providing the link between the organisers and general public. So, Jo has to be involved in the organisation of the show, know all about the different sections and entertainments and learn about the competitors. She also has a hand in how the audience experiences the show – so a real kingpin in the organisation.

How did you become a commentator at agricultural shows?
Jo is a retired PE teacher with a love for local theatre. So, when she was asked to commentate at her first show about 6 or 7 years ago, she jumped at the chance. Her background as a theatre performer helped a lot indeed. “It’s like equine theatre” says Jo, the competitors are on the stage performing to their best and it’s my job to provide that link between the competitor and the audience, explaining about the horse and rider, to talk about what the judges are looking for etc. Jo mentions that in fact it’s a lot easier to script an agricultural show rather than learn a script for the theatre, as she can ad lib on show day! 

What is the most important part of your role as main ring commentator at Garstang Show?
The role Jo has on show is an important one, she’s the voice for the show, so it’s not just the competitions that she will be portraying on the microphone but important messages from the organisers, for example informing the public of main entertainments, timetables and timetable changes to more serious announcements such as car parking instructions, or health and safety information. Not only does she need to keep the audience informed she also needs to keep them interested and entertained – which we think she does fantastically! Although she did mention that she’s now called the fails and dells lady, after getting tongue tied when the Dales and Fell ponies came in at a show – but hey we all make mistakes! 

How do you prepare for the Show?
Jo’s already preparing for the show, she keeps a file on all the sections and judges so she has the latest up-to-date information. Most importantly she has a sun hat, rain mac and a pair of wellies in her car – because whatever the weather the show must go on!!

What are you most looking forward to on 4th August 2018?
The whole atmosphere of the show. “It's such a pleasure for me  to be part of the hard working friendly team organising this great one day show. It's always really busy and such a fun-filled family atmosphere.”

Horses are a huge part of Jo’s life so she’ll also be looking forward to watching Atkinson Action Horses!
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