Thousands enjoy South Suffolk Show

MORE than 15,000 people flocked to an annual agricultural show, making it one of the most successful ever.Visitors packed onto the 80-acre site at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, at the weekend to be entertained by motorcycle stunt shows, dog display teams and racing horse carriages.

By Danielle Nuttall

MORE than 15,000 people flocked to an annual agricultural show, making it one of the most successful ever.

Visitors packed onto the 80-acre site at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, at the weekend to be entertained by motorcycle stunt shows, dog display teams and racing horse carriages.

Organisers say despite being unable to serve alcohol for the first time in the event's history, it turned out to be one of the most memorable shows ever.

Jim Mann, vice-chairman of the South Suffolk Agricultural Association, said: “We had the best part of 15,000 and it was probably one of the best years we have ever had.

“It was dry weather and a dry day but it was a wonderful day. People came out in their droves.

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“Considering the amount of people, I don't think many went away because there was no alcohol on sale.

“There were 160 trade stands and we had a record number of cattle entries. Post foot-and-mouth, we have seen a wonderful recovery for livestock entries.

“The craft marquee had to be extended to cater for extra entries. We also had more horses than usual - over 900 individual entries. It's entertainment for the whole family all day.”

Show organisers had been unable to sell alcohol due to a delay in St Edmundsbury Borough Council receiving the application.

But Mr Mann said traditional Suffolk ale would certainly be on the menu next year.

Other events at this year's show were the horse showing classes, including workers and private driving, a parade of hounds and a modern machinery display, all in the grand ring.

The countryside ring featured the judging of the donkey and Suffolk heavy horse classes, a side saddle costume and concours delegacy class.

And children were not left out, with an old fashioned fair with rides providing plenty of entertainment.

Despite the show's success, there will be little time to rest for the hard-working organisers.

“Tomorrow we will be organising next year's show,” said Mr Mann.

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