County showcase opens its gates

THE gates have now opened for the 179th Suffolk Show.

Despite being a little grey and overcast visitors are beginning to pour into Trinity Park near Ipswich.

Wrapped up against the inclement weather thousands of people are already on site, keen to get an early glimpse of the festivities.

A display of heavy horses is already underway in the President’s Ring, while spectators have also flocked to watch the show jumping in the Ipswich Building Society Grand Ring.

The popular Adnams food hall is also starting to fill up, while the cookery theatre demonstrations are about to get start.

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First on the bill are Andy Cole and Gerard King of the Suffolk Food Hall in Wherstead, near Ipswich.

Also happening today are the Long Service Awards, which will be handed out to 17 agricultural workers who together have been in the industry for more than 650 years.

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Christopher Bushby, executive director of the Suffolk Agricultural Association, said: “It is amazing that in today’s age we are seeing more and more people qualify for these long service awards.

“Where other industries have a high staff turnover, the good news for agriculture is that the workforce is loyal.”

Another highlight is expected to be a display by an Apache helicopter.

Organisers are hoping 90,000 people will attend the show over the next two days.

Visitors are already reporting long queues on roads leading to the show ground.

However, the weather is expected to improve throughout the day, becoming brighter and warmer this afternoon and into tomorrow.

Today’s programme

The Suffolk Agricultural Association reserves the right to alter the programme and times as necessary.

The Ipswich Building Society Grand Ring

8.00am Show Jumping – The Speed Derby

9.05am The Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry (122cms)

9.45am Heavy Horse Turnouts – Pairs

10.50am The Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry (148cms)

11.30am Show Jumping – The Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Two Star International Trial

2.00pm Military Display

3.00pm Coaching – Kindly sponsored by Suffolk New College

4.00pm Parade of Hounds

4.15pm Grand Parade

5.00pm Heavy Horse Turnouts – Teams

5.40pm Show Jumping – The Ride & Drive

President’s Ring

8.15am Suffolk Horses

1.00pm Sheep Dogs

1.30pm Pig Racing

2.00pm Heavy Horse Obstacle Driving - Pairs

2.35pm Suffolk Gun Dogs

3.15pm Parade of Hounds

3.45pm The Royal British Legion (Long Melford Branch) Corps of Drums

4.15pm Sheep Dogs at Work

5.00pm Pig Racing

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