The oldest prize in the Royal Norfolk Show trophy cabinet will be awarded at this week's event for the first time in 172 years.

The Norwich Plate – actually a silver tankard – was last awarded at the 1850 show to the 16th Lord Hastings of Melton Constable Hall, for his prize-winning shorthorn bull.

The elaborate trophy was won outright and kept by the winner, but it eventually ended up in the possession of the Royal Show, before being bought back at auction by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association in 2013.

It will now be awarded each year to a winner in a different livestock category.

For 2022, it will be presented to the In Hand Supreme Champion in the equine competitions, after the judging which starts at 4pm on Thursday in the Wensum Ring.

Tom Corfield, a longstanding steward at the show, is a partner at rural property specialists Arnolds Keys – Irelands Agricultural, which is sponsoring the trophy.

“It is very exciting to bring back into use possibly the oldest trophy in the show’s history," he said.

“Given that it was last presented in 1850 – just three years after the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association was founded – for a prize bull, it is entirely appropriate that the trophy will now be awarded across various livestock categories from year to year, reflecting the broad scope of animals exhibited at the show.”

The George III silver tankard was made in 1785 in London by Thomas Liddiard, and was later embellished in the 1840s with elaborate "chasing" including a horse –possibly a Norfolk Trotter or Hackney – and a plough on the domed lid.

The Royal Norfolk Show returns to the Norfolk Showground on June 29 and 30.

For more information and to buy tickets, see