TOWARDS the end of the 19th century it was the fashion for landowners and their tenants to create their own agricultural societies.
Henley farmers supported both field and show-day classes at the Royal East Berks, Wokingham Agricultural Association, Chiltern Hills, South Bucks and the Royal South Bucks shows. Henley, however, was conspicuous in not having its own association.
Richard Ovey of Badgemore, who was considered to be a visionary and courageous landowner, decided to go it alone and founded an association in Henley despite intense competition from established ones.
He held a ploughing match on his own Hernes Estate in the autumn of 1892.
He was encouraged by his friend William Anker Simmons (of Simmons & Sons estate agents), who was later knighted for his services to agriculture.