Successful sunny end to the Autumn Show & Game Fair

Record crowds were welcomed on a super sunny Sunday at the 2018 Autumn Show & Game Fair, which took place on 6 & 7 October at the South of England Showground.

The Showground was buzzing with visitors of all ages, many accompanied by their dogs, ‘having-a-go’ at dog agility, terrier racing, gundog scurries, clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing, falconry, archery, axe throwing, blacksmithing, pony rides, kite flying, mini steam railway, bread making, vegetable sculpting and plant pot painting, whilst enjoying the countryside at one of the largest game fairs in the region.

Iain Nicol, CEO of the South of England Agricultural Society said, “After a wet Saturday, we were thrilled to wake up to blue skies and sunshine on the last day of the Show. The weekend saw over 15,000 visitors coming to have a go at something new, enjoying a wide variety of countryside sports, whilst celebrating our farmers and the harvest.

“The nostalgic sight, sound and aroma of the South Eastern Vintage Agricultural Club display is always impressive and this year was even bigger and better. Providing the perfect backdrop to the Show, dozens of unique vintage agricultural machinery, cars, Scammel and traction engines filled the huge space behind our Main Ring and Norfolk Pavilion. It always draws a crowd and we were thrilled to see so many people enjoying the important heritage of this bygone era of farming.“

First-class main arena attractions included Jonathan Marshall, who wowed the crowds with his breathtaking performances on his fairytale dancing Spanish horses and high-speed falcons, alongside wonderful displays from Warrenby Gundogs, Ridgeside Lurchers and Huxley’s Birds of Prey. On Saturday visitors watched the Kent & Surrey Bloodhounds take centre-stage and on Sunday the Cavalcade of Hounds and Huntsmen looked resplendent in their full regalia.

Autumn was also celebrated with over 120 horticultural competition entries and ‘Harvest Moon’ flower arrangements, organised by the BBC’s gardening expert Jean Griffin. Children, who had planted pumpkin seeds at Spring Live! earlier this year, brought back their wonderful pumpkins of all different sizes to put on display. Many youngsters stopped to have fun painting flower pots or sculpting vegetables, ably assisted by the Young Farmers Clubs.

Set in the most stunning location at the far end of the Showground, clay pigeon enthusiasts were able to enter the High Gun and Ladies High Gun competitions and the Team Shoot Challenge and many others stopped to have a go at this popular country sport under the safe and expert guidance from Northall Clay Pigeon Club.

The popular pumpkin trail offered children a fun journey around the showground stopping off to see the rabbits, poultry and farm animals; traditional funfair; kite flying and superb horticultural displays.

The South of England Showground is now looking forward to the expanded magical Winter Fair, complete with giant snow globe on 24 & 25 November. For further information visit www.seas.org.uk

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