THOUSANDS of people flocked to the 34th Manifold Agricultural Show on Saturday – which organisers are optimistic could turn out to be a second successive record breaking year.
The show broke its record for attendance last year when more than 5,000 people visited the event.
It was again held in the grounds at Castern Hall grounds, between the villages of Ilam and Alstonefield.
Glorious weather welcomed visitors to the showground, which saw the car park and trade stand spaces packed to capacity, while catering and ice cream vendors enjoyed a roaring trade.
Main ring attractions included a puissance event, tug-of-war, a slow tractor race, a dog and duck display and terrier racing.
Chairman of the show committee Bruce Daniels said: “We are delighted with the day. It looks like a record gate and trade stands are up by more than 30 per cent, which is excellent.”
Secretary of the organising committee Mark Simcock said: “There has been a great turnout of people.
“We must be doing something right as the show continues to grow.” Treasurer Jason Hails said: “There has been a large crowd which has resulted in a brilliant day.
“There have also been lots of trade stands and competitors attracted to the show.” Brian Johnson of Leek, who was helping to man the Leek Crime Prevention panel unit, said it had been busy all day.
He said: “I have been coming to this show for a few years and this is the most people I have ever seen. We have been busy since 10am.” It was a good day for the Belfield family of Sheen as they took prizes in the cattle and sheep section.
The family took the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Trophy for the Supreme Show Champion with their Belgium Blue cow.
They also took the prize for the champion local beef animal.
The champion bull was won by Mark Allen and Peter Wright, and the champion local dairy animal went to Georgina Higton of Thorncliffe.
In the sheep section the Belfield family again took major awards with their animals by winning the R G Critchlow Trophy for the best entry and the Cynthia Hurt Trophy for the best exhibit of a pair of Ewes and Shearling ewes, along with the Bev Grindey Trophy for the best ram.
Tom Richardson of Throwley Moor took the Bury and Hilton Cup for the best pair of ewe lambs and for the best pair of butcher’s lambs.
The Charlotte Hails Trophy for the best rare breed went to Peter Ovens of Ashbourne.
The Charlotte Trophy for the best cade lamb went to Emma Birch. In the Shire horse class the Supreme Champion went to L M Fountain of Marston Montgomery with Woodhouse Revelation. They also took the Reserve Champion Trophy with Woodhouse Bonnie Jean.
The large poultry and pet marquee, which was organised by the Henmore Poultry Club, attracted a large entry.
The Best in Show trophy went to Sue Atkins of Burton-on-Trent with her Silkie female.
In the horticultural section the Best in Show award went to 12 year old Hannah Rowbotham of Warslow for her bunting.
A fabulous cake supporting British Farmers, which had been made by Heather Fryer, won the Maureen Rooker Shield.
The best trade stand award went to ‘Woolly Wednesday Spinners and Knitters’ who meet at Cauldon Lowe village hall on the first Wednesday of each month.
The show committee offers an annual student bursary to students who are about to embark on a higher education course.
Students have to reside in one of the parishes bounding the River Manifold. The grant scheme is known has The George Richardson Memorial Bursary.
Mr Richardson was president of the show committee for 10 years and was involved in the creation of the society. Anyone interested is asked to contact Mark Simcock on 07971 961570 or visit the Manifold Valley Agricultural Society w e b s i t e www.manifoldshow.org.uk