Ardingly welcomed back the Autumn Show & Game Fair

Jonathan Marshall pleasing the crowd
Jonathan Marshall pleasing the crowd

A record number of visitors were welcomed on a super sunny Sunday at the Autumn Show & Game Fair.

The fair took place over the weekend, October 6 and 7, at the South of England Showground in Ardingly.

The showground was buzzing with visitors of all ages, many accompanied by their dogs.

They has a go at dog agility, terrier racing, gundog scurries, and clay pigeon shooting. As well as fly fishing, falconry, archery, axe throwing, and many more.

Visitors enjoyed all these activities whilst enjoying the countryside at one of the largest game fairs in the region.

Iain Nicol, ceo of the South of England Agricultural Society said: “The weekend saw over 15,000 visitors coming to have a go at something new, enjoying a wide variety of countryside sports, whilst celebrating our farmers and the harvest.

“The nostalgic sight, sound and aroma of the South Eastern Vintage Agricultural Club display is always impressive.”

Society president, Richard Benyon MP, attended the show and presented the awards in this year’s student assignment competition, which is funded by the society and open to all students studying at land-based colleges in the region.

This year’s worthy winners came from Plumpton College in East Sussex, Sparsholt College in Hampshire and Merrist Wood College in Surrey, while students from Brinsbury Campus at Chichester College were awarded second and third prizes.

Autumn was also celebrated with over 120 horticultural competition entries and ‘Harvest Moon’ flower arrangements, organised by the BBC’s gardening expert Jean Griffin.

Children, who had planted pumpkin seeds at Spring Live! earlier this year, brought back their wonderful pumpkins of all different sizes to put on display.

First-class main arena attractions included Jonathan Marshall, who wowed the crowds with his breathtaking performances on his dancing Spanish horses and high-speed falcons. Alongside wonderful displays from Warrenby gundogs, Ridgeside Lurchers and Huxley’s birds of prey.

On Saturday visitors watched the Kent & Surrey Bloodhounds take centre-stage and on Sunday the Cavalcade of Hounds and Huntsmen looked resplendent in their full regalia.

The popular pumpkin trail offered children a fun journey around the showground stopping off to see the rabbits, poultry and farm animals.

Michelle Nudds, chair of the Committee, said: “I was delighted to see that the rare gun dog breed display in the kennels was so well supported this year, attracting huge crowds of people to come and meet them; and the gorgeous Sealyham Terriers.”

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