More than 65,000 visitors gathered in Ardingly last week to celebrate the countryside at the South of England Show 2018.
Spectacular performances in the Ardingly Ring included headliners, the Atkinson Action Horses led by talented stunt rider Ben Atkinson and his team, whose incredible display of electrifying live action wowed the crowds and provided a backdrop to a range of memorable displays of equestrian daring, top flight showjumping competitions, spectacular livestock parades and visitor participation in the Footpack and Cavalcade Hound Parades.
Iain Nicol, CEO of South of England Agricultural Society, said: “We are over the moon with the success of this year’s South of England Show, which is the pinnacle of our year.
“As a charity, the South of England Show relies on the passion and commitment of over 1,000 volunteers and supporters to put on this terrific spectacle of agricultural excellence and showcase of our stunning countryside.
“We are also generously supported by many businesses who help us every year to create and deliver such a wonderful experience for town and country people to enjoy. It is also a great platform for dozens of schools, colleges and businesses to engage with the countryside community across the South of England.”
One of the main equestrian highlights this year was the largest Heavy Horse Turnout ever convened at the South of England Show.
The South of England Show relies on the passion and commitment of over 1,000 volunteers and supporters to put on this terrific spectacle
The Discover the Countryside Zone and countryside hub attracted hundreds of students and families from all over the South to learn all about the importance of British farming and our beautiful countryside. This year the zone featured a range of activities including an abundance of horticulture and wildlife to view and, in some cases, to handle such as ferrets, tortoises, birds of prey, bats and fly-fishing.
The focal point of the newly created Entertainment Zone was the Long Man Brewery Music Stage, where visitors enjoyed fresh music from across the region throughout all three days of the show.
Curated by Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft and the Brighton Festival, designed by contemporary artist, Morag Myerscough, the stage itself become a visual feast for show-goers to admire and enjoy.
At intervals throughout Saturday fans of TV’s crime fighting pups PAW Patrol, had the incredible opportunity to meet characters Police Pup Chase and Fire Dog Marshall first hand, where many children had photos taken, received hugs and high-fives.
Amongst competition winners at the show, Mitchell Bridger from the Camelia Botnar Foundation took first overall place in the Young Craftsman of the Year, for a superbly crafted wooden coffee table with glass top and brass and copper detail.