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Founded in Bodmin in 1793 as the Cornwall Agricultural Society, the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, as it has been known since 1858, boasts a long and proud tradition of agricultural promotion and tradition.
The first event, staged in September 1793, consisted of a ploughing match near the Red Lion Inn in Truro. The following year saw prizes for livestock being added to the awards on offer.
Although based in the then county town of Bodmin in North Cornwall from 1793 to approximately 1827, competitions were often also held in various other parts of the county
Early prizes were awarded for a wide range of competitions. These included land enclosure, fat sheep (with live and dead weights being examined), wool, farm carts, sheep shearing, agricultural machinery, turnip growing, bee keeping, cheese making plus, of course, awards for horses, cattle, sheep and pigs.
From 1827 to 1857, the annual show saw Truro as its home. Truro was by then very much the fashionable centre of Cornish life but in 1858 the Association turned nomadic, staging the annual show in the east and west of Cornwall in alternate years.
This year also saw the addition of Royal to the Association's title. Apart from breaks during the two wars, the show was to be staged on the above basis until 1960 when the Royal Cornwall Showground at Wadebridge became its permanent home.