A RATHER unusual sight will greet visitors to Hereford and District Driving Group's annual show on Sunday, May 6 - a display of driving goats!

The long-forgotten pursuit of driving goats dates back to the Victorian era and is kept alive and well through the auspices of the Harness Goat Society.

Traditionally, harness goats were seen as the safe way of introducing children to carriage driving without the threat of biting and kicking ponies and the lunchtime display at the HDDG Spring Show will demonstrate the versatility and great fun which can be achieved driving goats.

The Hereford branch of the Riding for the Disabled will also put on a display, showing the skills and achievements of its members.

This event, at Marlbrook, near Leominster, is destined to be even bigger and better, with more new classes and specialist category awards.

Last year's show attracted nearly 200 entries and the group has had to move to a new bigger showground at Marlbrook, near Leominster.

Sterling Suzuki has offered title sponsorship again to this popular show for the third year running after managing to secure the sale of three vehicles off its stand last year.

With good access, overnight parking and permanent stabling available nearby, it remains one of those "must do" shows.

The 26-class line up has been amended to accommodate nine new Osborne Qualifiers, including two young driver classes for private driving and exercise vehicles as well as two new exercise vehicle classes.

Other classes such as the sporting tandem, commercial vehicles, disabled, juniors and miniature and donkeys proved showstoppers on the day last year from the spectators' point of view and will be included again this year.

The show is popular with grass roots members and is an ideal proving ground for the forthcoming season.

One of the main attractions this year will be the show's recognition of the unsung heroes of the driving world - the breeders.

With certain breed numbers in decline, such as the Hackney and Cleveland Bay, the show has taken a stance to promote good breeding and acknowledge breeders.

"This is commonplace in other equine disciplines such as racing, eventing, in-hand and ridden classes, so why not driving?" said show organiser Lester Dagge.

"Various breed societies have been approached and have contributed special prizes to the breeders of the winning registered breed classes."

The show will also feature another first with the launch of its Taste of Herefordshire food fair.

A marquee with more than 16 food stalls is planned, as well as a large number of trade stands and breed societies which will help make this a great family day out.

The show is open from 9am-5.30pm and the first class is at 9.30pm. Entry is £5 per car and there is also parking and toilet facilities for disabled people. For full details, visit www.hddg.co.uk, or telephone 01584 890882.