Fringe Box



Meet The Man Who Will Take Over The Helm Of Surrey County Show

Published on: 28 Apr, 2014
Updated on: 28 Apr, 2014

A former army officer with an equestrian background has been appointed to run the Surrey County Show when Sonia Ashworth retires as chief executive this summer.

Richard Todd, 34, will take over officially on July 1, but he is already getting stuck into the preparations for the show at Stoke Park, Guildford, on bank holiday Monday, May 26, under the guidance of Sonia, who has run the largest one day agricultural show in the UK for the last 15 years, on behalf of Surrey County Agricultural Society.

Richard Todd will taking over the running of the Surrey County Show.

Richard Todd will taking over the running of the Surrey County Show.

Richard brings a wealth of experience in leadership, development planning, logistical operations support and community engagement to the job. After studying law at the University of the West of England, he joined the Royal Artillery, serving in a range of postings from Intelligence and surveillance based on the South Coast, jungle warfare training in Belize to land based operations on the Falkland Islands, service in Canada, Germany, Kenya and Arizona complete with a deployment to Afghanistan as a forward observer and finally as the Second in Command of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

He has been involved with horses from the age of 13, experiencing most of the equestrian disciplines. He has worked in riding schools, livery yards, sport horse breeding and international horse transport including air freight.

Richard has set up two polo clubs, one at his university and the other for the Royal Artillery, he has worked as a kennel-man for the Hampshire Hunt and in National Hunt Racing. His agricultural experience includes milking cows, driving tractors and haymaking as well as his time at Merrist Wood College, Guildford.

“I am hoping to bridge the gap between the perception and reality of the Surrey County Show,” he said. “Most people think agriculture doesn’t really exist in Surrey, that it is just commuter belt, I disagree and believe that there is much to be celebrated about agriculture in the UK’s premier county.

“I grew up in Grayshott and Surrey was my local county show. When I was preparing to leave the army I knew I wanted to join the agricultural and outdoor events sector and I was delighted when the opportunity arose to work for The Surrey County Agricultural Society, ultimately taking on the County Show and the wide portfolio of charitable interests that the society has.

“I am incredibly excited at the prospect of expanding on the great work that Sonia has done in making the county show so successful and have many visions for what we can do next. I am keen develop the educational side of the society, particularly through the Surrey Farm and Food Week and Surrey County Ploughing Match and Country Fair in September.”

Richard lives in Surrey with his wife Amy, son Albert and cocker spaniels Nelson and Edith.

Heavily discounted tickets are already available online at Adults £13.50 (£17 on show day), seniors £10 (£13 on day), child £5.50 (£6 on day), families £34.50 (£40 on day).

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