Tens of thousands of visitors poured through the gates on 11, 12 & 13 June for this year’s South of England Show to enjoy the best of agriculture and farming across the South East region, with superb displays covering every aspect of country life, supported by continuous arena action in the show’s four rings.
The South of England Agricultural Society’s chosen theme for 2015 is ‘The Next Generation’ and this was showcased throughout the three days across the 150-acre South of England Showground in Ardingly.
Family’s flocked to the show to take advantage of the new under 16s entering for FREE (when accompanied by a paying adult) and with the extra 10% discount offer for online bookings the Society enjoyed double the amount of e-ticket sales in comparison to last year.
Students from land based colleges from across the region and pupils from schools taking part in the Countryside Learning schools competitions at the show, gathered together to open the show with Clare Scheckter, President of the Society alongside special guest and Farmers Apprentice TV Show winner, Will Hinton.
Will also took part in some sheep shearing demonstrations with students from Plumpton College and enjoyed seeing other students show their skills in cheese making, forestry, poultry keeping, horticulture and floristry.
The future of farming and agriculture looked very positive as a large group of young rising stars as well as Next Generation champions, that have been identified by the Society this year, came into the main Ardingly ring at the end of Saturday’s Past, Present and Future machinery display to take a salute with Carole Hayward, Vice Chairman of the Society.
There was an unprecedented second year in a row win for the prestigious title of Young Craftsman of the Year 2015 and 18-year-old Thomas Streeter from Pulborough, West Sussex deservedly walked away with the winning trophy for his stunning wood turned collection, which impressed everyone who visited the stunning exhibition of work this year.
The breath-taking Bolddog Lings freestyle motorcycle display team, as featured in the final of Britain’s Got Talent in 2014, wowed the crowds on all three days finishing with an extra special finale on the Saturday evening where the audiences gathered ten rows deep on every bank surrounding the main arena.
Other highlights during the three days included the ever popular Titan the Robot with his unique blend of comedy, street theatre and music; the micro-sized Shetland Pony Grand National, heavy horse turnouts, cavalcade of fox hounds and world-class show jumping.
The newly zoned areas of the show offered an enhanced visitor experience and with over 700 trade stands people enjoyed a plethora of retail therapy as well as one of the most impressive food halls in the South East. The new ‘Market Place’ offered an exciting new place to shop, eat and be entertained with over 40 trade stands and 1920’s Gatsby band, Casablanca Steps, Mish-Mash Morris Men, a mesmerising Rock Balancing act and lots more.
The Show is the flagship annual event organised by the South of England Agricultural Society, which is a charity supporting education about the countryside. CEO Iain Nicol said, “We have enjoyed fantastic weather this year and have had an incredibly busy three days and I would like to thank all the competitors, trade exhibitors, sponsors, entertainers and contractors who helped us put on such a memorable show, and of course, the hundreds of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make this event possible and so special in the Society’s calendar.”
Join us at our next show, the Autumn Show & Game Fair on 3 & 4 October.
Find out more at www.seas.org
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Notes to Editors:
The South of England Agricultural Society is a registered charity that was founded in 1967 from a consolidation of agricultural societies going back to the 1830’s. The Society operates from the South of England Showground, a 150-acre site situated just outside Ardingly village in the heart of the West Sussex countryside.
Working across the six counties of Berkshire, East Sussex, Hampshire & the Isle of Wight, Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, the Society’s aims are to showcase farming, agriculture and the countryside through annual shows and serve the community through the provision of education, grants, awards, bursaries and scholarships for people with an interest or involvement in farming, agriculture and other related land based industries.
The Society’s flagship event is the South of England Show, which takes place in June each year. In 2015, the Society will be hosting the following events and initiatives:
Shows: Spring Garden & Leisure Show – 3 & 4 May (incorporating The Open Dog Show, The Alpaca Show) South of England Show – 11, 12 & 13 June (incorporating The Hackney Horse Show and The Hound Show) Autumn Show and Game Fair – 3 & 4 October; Winter Festival – December 5 & 6.
Educational events & competitions: Connect with the Countryside; Jim Green Memorial; Young Craftsman of the Year Competition and The Student Assignment.
Industry events and schemes: The South of England Farming Conference – 18 November and Farming and Estate Days.
Awards and bursaries: Award of Honour, travel bursaries, Nuffield Scholarships and grants to land-based colleges.