Organisers of this year’s Rutland County Show were delighted with the success of the event, despite a drop in attendance.
With a full year since the move to a new showground, a number of improvements were made ahead of the 183rd show yesterday (Sunday).
The layout of several sections was improved and new areas such as the Local Larder and events including a farrier competition were introduced.
And although wet weather meant the attendance was down about a quarter, organisers were still thrilled with the show.
Director Emma Dodds said: “It was a really good day. As an agricultural society what’s important to us is that the people who came enjoyed themselves but also looked around the stands and saw everything.”
Most of the improvements and new features this year seemed popular with visitors.
Emma said: “The farrier competition worked. It was really entertaining to see a load of guys running around trying to make shoes.
“The rural crafts area worked very well, and there were a lot of people watching and asking questions.
“We had a new education zone and a lot of people visited. We had Rutland Fly Fishing, people with chickens and ferrets, and a beekeeper.
“They were all free stands. It was just about them coming and showing what they do in the area.
“The beekeeper was thrilled that a lot of children knew about the cycle of the bee.”
Particularly popular was the Local Larder area, which showcased artisan food producers from across the region.
Emma said: “That was brilliant. It was so busy. People I have spoken to thought it was a section we need to expand on.”
There was plenty of entertainment in the arena as well, from animal displays to vintage tractors. Highlights included the Sheltand Grand National, where youngsters raced Shetland ponies in a series of heats to try to qualify for the final race.
The 1st Military Working Dogs Regiment made a special visit from Germany ahead of their move to St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham to show off their skills to their new neighbours.
The Cottesmore Military Wives Choir gave a rousing performance.
And there were a number of impressive pieces of farm machinery on show, from the newest combines to customised vehicles in the tractor pull competition.
Emma said: “The most important thing was that people who came left knowing a bit more about a particular thing they had seen. We have had some really lovely comments. We had more positive feedback this year than last.”