Horse acrobatics, arts and food at this Saturday’s Hadleigh Show

Ruth Mann (L to R) Anna, Rory and Dave Palmer with Silvie the dog at Hadleigh Show 2016. Picture: Si

Ruth Mann (L to R) Anna, Rory and Dave Palmer with Silvie the dog at Hadleigh Show 2016. Picture: Simon Parker

Hadleigh Show returns this Saturday, promising a full day of family entertainment

Stewards James Burman (left) and William Pratt at the Hadleigh Show 2016. Picture: Simon Parker

Stewards James Burman (left) and William Pratt at the Hadleigh Show 2016. Picture: Simon Parker

The 178th Hadleigh Show, organised by Hadleigh Farmers’ Agricultural Association, is back this Saturday, and promises more entertainment and attractions than ever before.

Excitement for the event builds-up on Friday night, when the funfair flings open its gates, offering traditional fairground attractions and rides.

At 8am the following day, visitors can enter the showground itself, which will be buzzing with activity – including 150 classes of cattle, sheep, goats and horses, 160 trade stands, an art exhibition and sale, rural craft and flower tent, and education tent.

The main attraction in the Grand Ring this year is The Devil’s Horseman Display Team with their Cossack trick riding show. Each of the riders has to not only be physically fit, demonstrate gymnastic ability, and have a taste for danger, but must foster a relationship of trust with the horses to enable them to hang at impossible angles for their tricks!

Also in the Grand Ring will be PG Rix Farms – one of the UK’s leading onion growers and processors, growing around 60,000 tonnes of alliums a year. The business will showcase its huge machinery, including a drill, onion topper, windrower and harvester.

Other displays to look out for range from the hilarious Sheep Show and Dog and Duck Show, to Sky Birds of Prey, the Tendring Dog Agility Team, vintage tractors, and the Young Farmers Tug of War competitions.

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This year’s show isn’t just about watching though, it’s about ‘doing’ too, and there are lots of have-a-go activities planned for visitors. At the top of the showground visit British Cycling, who’ll have a mini mountain bike skills course for children. Tudor Archers from Sudbury offer you the chance to try your hand at archery. And there are various crafts to get involved with in the education tent and beyond.

Hadleigh Show is pleased to be the launch pad for the Hadleigh Festival of Gardening and Art, with the festival having a stand set-up telling showgoers about the programme for this year – inspired by Cedric Morris.

Elsewhere, on the arts front, Gainsborough’s House is attending the show for the first time. And in the art tent there’ll be lots of work from local artists, as well as demonstrations from potter Hazel Bradshaw and willow weaver Louise Harward. This year’s featured artist is Laura Jayne Fisk, who’ll be exhibiting original pieces, print and ceramics.

As ever, food is a big attraction at Hadleigh Show and this year organisers are really pleased with the mixture of independent food retailers in the Food Hall, where there will be lots of new faces. A blend of exciting street food stalls has been pulled together too, offering something for all tastes.

And the bar has doubled in size and moved to a new position at the show, with Prestige bringing bar snacks in the form of chicken wings and soft shell crab rolls.

Show director Patrick Goudkuil, said: “Once again we aim to be the best one-day country show in Suffolk, or even East Anglia. It really is a fun, family day out filled with entertainment, education, lots of exhibitors and countryside enthusiasts.”

Get your tickets here or at Avis Newsagents, Hollow Tree Farm shop, Boxford Post Office, Bates, Wells and Braithwaite, Hall Farm Shop, Hintlesham Barns, or Elmsett Post Office and Stores.

Tickets remain the same price as last year, with ‘early bird’ offers if you book before Friday. Adults are £9 (£13), children five to 16 are £5 (£7) and senior citizens £7 (£11).

Parking is free.