The ArgusSouth of England show a "huge success" with visitor numbers up (From The Argus)

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South of England show a "huge success" with visitor numbers up

The Argus: South of England show a "huge success" with visitor numbers up South of England show a "huge success" with visitor numbers up

Organisers have branded this year’s South of England show a “huge success” after 71,000 people flocked to the three-day event.

Punters enjoyed everything from top-level show jumping to pig agility on the final day on Saturday as the sun blessed the Ardingly showground after a wet start.

Organisers said the packed programme coupled with the favourable weather had attracted 3,000 more visitors than last year’s event.

Jane Thomas, 43, who travelled from Reigate in Surrey with her family, said: “It is our first time here and it is a wonderful day out.

“There is so much to do, especially for the kids. They don’t get to see this kind of thing normally so it is a real treat.

“All the farmers are wonderful and let the youngsters pat the animals and talk to them. We will be coming again next year.”

As always the main ring was the focal point with a number of competitions and demonstrations taking place.

The crowds were four deep for the conclusion of the show jumping, while the hunt demonstration also proved popular.

Lord Egremont, who owns Petworth House, was the guest of honour to meet the hunt, which paraded with half a dozen horses and about 100 dogs.

While the world’s best were at Epsom for the Derby on Saturday, the champion jockeys of tomorrow competed in the Shetland Pony Grand National in the main ring.

The main ring also saw a livestock parade, heavy working horses demonstration and a motorcycle display team.

There was plenty away from the main arena, with cattle, pygmy goat and sheep judging, pig agility and bird of prey demonstrations.

The food hall, which always proves popular, was filled with the local producers and cafes, from across the region.

Pauline Paterson, 61, from Haywards Heath, has been attending the show for as long as she can remember.

She said: “It has changed a lot over the years but I always look forward to it.

“It highlights all the fantastic work which is done in the countryside and all the beautiful animals we have.

“It is also nice to see so many young people here. It is important they have an appreciation of the countryside. There is plenty for them to do and always lots of smiles.”

Iain Nicol, chief executive of the South of England Agricultural Society, which organises the event, described this year’s event as a “huge success”.

He added: “I want to thank the 2,000-plus volunteers who make this event possible for all their hard work and for the enormous effort from all those involved, who make this such a special show.”

Comments (3)

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7:39am Mon 9 Jun 14

rogerthefish says...

Well im certain it would have been double this if opened on Sunday.
Well im certain it would have been double this if opened on Sunday. rogerthefish
  • Score: -1

8:25am Mon 9 Jun 14

salty_pete says...

We went on Friday and had a marvellous day out. We were there for about 5hrs and never saw the same display or marquee twice. Brilliant.
We went on Friday and had a marvellous day out. We were there for about 5hrs and never saw the same display or marquee twice. Brilliant. salty_pete
  • Score: -2

4:10pm Tue 10 Jun 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

I've always believed this is the "Cruelty to Animals Show" in disguise and to find out the bloody hunt were used to open it and parade around confirms my belief.

I've never gone and never will.
I've always believed this is the "Cruelty to Animals Show" in disguise and to find out the bloody hunt were used to open it and parade around confirms my belief. I've never gone and never will. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 0

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