Around 100,000 visitors celebrated the best of English food, farming and the countryside at the Royal Show which closed its gates on a four-day run on 6 July.
Though bedevilled by bluetongue and hampered by two rainy mornings, Show organisers, the Royal Agricultural Society of England, believe that the show was a positive start to a new format which saw it running from Thursday to Sunday for the first time.
“Bluetongue restrictions – which, ironically were changed the day after the show closed – left gaping holes in the livestock lines. Cattle numbers were down from 1200 to 200 and sheep from 1600 to 400 – over 2000 animals short of expectations. Each of those animals brings with it at least two or three people so their absence was a key factor in reducing visitor numbers,” said Show Director, Simon Frere-Cook.
“On the positive side we had a record 5000 school children in organised parties who all voted the Education Trail and Children’s Farmyard a huge success. We also had around 2700 horses – from the biggest working animals to the smallest children’s pony and included some of the nation’s best showing prospects in international qualifying competition. The Food Hall and Farmers Market were swamped with people all day, every day. And, on a more serious note, significant international business was done with a number of key overseas visitors.”
Watch our video round-up of the show: