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Surrey County Show organiser Sonia Ashworth made an MBE in Queen’s New Year’s Honours list 2014

PUBLISHED: 14:44 16 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:45 16 January 2014

Sonia Ashworth MBE

Sonia Ashworth MBE


Among the great and the good to be honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list this year was Surrey County Show organiser Sonia Ashworth, who was made an MBE.

Having joined the Surrey County Agricultural Society in November 1999 after working for the National Trust, Sonia has been running our county’s biggest agricultural event since the millennium.

“What a huge privilege it has been working with the farming community,” she says. “Farmers are a very rare breed in that they give so much of their time and effort to their local communities and it is a very humbling experience being made MBE when I know how much hard work they do.”

Sonia has had to cope with difficult times for farming, including two outbreaks of Foot and Mouth, but the one day agricultural show she helps to organise at Guildford on May bank holiday remains an important opportunity for the countryside to showcase top quality livestock right in the heart of the county town.

This year’s show celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Surrey County Agriculture Society following the amalgamation in 1954 of two smaller societies which go back to the early 19th century.

The jubilee show on Monday May 26 will feature one of the most exciting and spectacular displays in the world – the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

The troop will gallop into action across the Stoke Park arena and perform spectacular displays of horsemanship, with guns firing at the end of each display.

The 13-pounder guns used by the Troop date back to 1904 and they all saw service in World War One. They weigh almost 1.5 tonnes and with the horses, each team is almost 60 feet long - there are no brakes.

• For a full list of Surrey residents honour in the Queen’s 2014 New Year’s Honours, pick up your copy of February’s Surrey Life magazine @

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