Autumn sunshine and a fun-packed line up of countryside displays and activities attracted record crowds of 18,400 to the Autumn Show & Game Fair at the South of England Showground this weekend [October 3 and 4].
People of all ages came to have a go at some of the UK’s most popular country pursuits including gundog scurries, terrier racing, clay pigeon and air rifle shooting, fly fishing, falconry, archery and dog agility.
Seasonal food, family fun, a wide range of traditional country pursuits were on offer with over 230 tradestands providing great shopping at this popular show, which celebrates the Autumn harvest.
Said Michelle Nudds, Chair of the Autumn Show & Game Fair Committee, “We’ve had a cracking show this year – it was wonderful to see so many people smiling and enjoying the many different attractions we laid on.”
Huge crowds gathered to watch exciting new shows in the main ring, including Henrietta Cropper, the youngest competitor representing England in the final of the BBC’s ‘One Man and His Dog’ last week. She and her mother, Katy Cropper, entertained visitors with their sheep and geese herding on horseback with trained trials sheepdogs.
The Ridgeside Lurcher display, Warrenby Gundogs, cavalcade of hounds, donkey show, terrier show, dog agility, kite flying and birds of prey demonstrations and much more entertained the crowds, whilst newcomers to the main ring, Parelli South East Demo Team showed their unique people-training programme, which focuses on improving the horse and human partnership.
The South of England Agricultural Society continued to celebrate their chosen theme for 2015 of ‘The Next Generation’ and winners of their annual Student Assignment Project from Plumpton College, Sparsholt College and Brinsbury at Chichester College were presented with their prizes.
The Society is keen to encourage people of all ages to get involved with their work by visiting the show and learning how they can support the charity by becoming a member, which includes free entry to all four major shows throughout the year.
A variety of rabbits, poultry and farm animals were on display, together with a collection of vintage agricultural vehicles. Visitors also enjoyed spectacular displays from the National Vegetable Society and the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies, creative craft displays from the WI as well as a great range of shopping, including countryside fashion and equipment, regional foods and rural crafts.
The Society events team is now gearing up for their brand new look, magical Winter Fair on the 5 and 6 December at the South of England Showground in Ardingly. Food and drink will remain at the heart of the event with an expanded gift and greeting area and a large and exciting new Street Food and Artisan Food Market, run by the successful team at Food Rocks, appealing to families and foodies alike.
Spread across a range of the superb buildings at the Showground there will also be a large shopping marquee that will host new attractions including a magical Santa’s grotto, meet the reindeer, children’s entertainment and puppet show, music, wreath making and Christmas tree sales.
Tickets can be bought on the gate for £5 per adult, £4 for Senior Citizens and students with Under 16s given free entry when accompanied by a paying adult.