Rain failed to deter visitors to Saturday’s Heathfield Show at Tottingworth Farm, Broad Oak.
Secretary Nicola Magill said: “Entry figures were marginally down on last year but not much, considering the weather.
It rained hard early in the morning and then again at lunchtime, possibly deterring afternoon visitors, but it was a terrific show with entries in the livestock and horse classes well up on previous years. In a couple of weeks we shall be getting together again to start planning for next year.”
After a grey start, the sun came out and Saturday became the sunniest day of the Bank Holiday weekend. Car parks filled later than usual but trade stand holders benefited from the later shower as visitors crowded into marquees.
Crowds enjoyed a wide mix of arena events including Jason Smyth’s adrenalin tour described as ‘gymnastics on quad bikes,’ an impressive gun dog display, birds of prey, the New Zealand sheep show, a hound parade and the impressive Lewes-based Harvey’s Brewery dray which led the championship parade into the main ring.
An attractive and imaginative Plumpton College stand won first prize for best small agricultural stand at the show where staff and students enjoyed meeting visitors, floristry staff provided tuition during the day and the range of land-based courses was on display.
The Country Ways exhibit was popular with beekeepers, blacksmiths, fly dressers, stained glass and trug makers, wood carvers, spinners and lace makers.
This year saw the return of the popular poultry marquee. John Bull commentated as the East Sussex and Romney Marsh and Southdown and Eridge foxhounds paraded alongside the Coakham Bloodhounds, Brighton, Storrington, Surrey and North Sussex Beagles and Pevensey Marsh Beagles.
A line-up of working steam threshers and vintage pre-war tractors mesmerised the mechanically-minded and the Eridge branch of the WI focused on modern, rural women who now run thriving family businesses such as breakfast ventures and holiday lets.
In the Farmers’ Market artisan cheeses rubbed shoulders with cider, bread, cakes, plants, English wines, preserves, oils and confectionery, providing a sweet treat to round off a country day.