Thrills, no spills, at South of England Show

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CROWDS can expect a nail-biting experience at this year’s South of England Show on June 7, 8 and 9 with daredevil motorcycle stunt riders and a high-flying sway pole artist both promising awe-inspiring thrills.

The Show is an annual date in the diary of countryside lovers with 80,000-plus flocking to the South of England Centre at Ardingly. Two new performers have been booked this year in the shape of daredevil motorcycle riders of the Bolddog Lings Freestyle Team, and the international ‘sky walker’ Jean Monti, who will be standing on his hands 58 metres (185ft) in the air on the end of a vertical sway pole. The motorcyclist stunt team use the world’s largest landing ramp enabling them to jump gaps of more than 75 feet and reach heights of 35-feet plus. While airborne with their bikes, the riders release their holds on the handle bars to do death-defying tricks including the so-called “kiss of death”, “dead body” and “cliff hanger”.

One of the biggest draws of the show is the huge variety of animals that congregate on the showground. Thousands of horses, cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry are brought by their owners to be shown in the arenas and to compete for top prizes.

Equestrian events including hackney carriage driving and show jumping are always crowd-pullers, with some of the best horsemen and women in the country bringing their prize-winning mounts to the Show. A is the Cattle and Livestock Parade, a ritual every afternoon over the Show’s three days when breed prize-winners perform a lap of honour.

The future is represented in the 25th anniversary Young Craftsman of the Year competition with stunning work on show. Exhibitors from 14-21 from schools and college across the region display outstanding jewellery, ceramics, metalwork, textiles, design and technology.

With the Farming and Wildlife Area, Horticultural Section, Rural Crafts and dozens of trade stands also part of the huge Show’s enduring attractions, this celebratory year promises to be another winner for its organisers.