First day of 119th Devon County Show goes with a swing

This is The West Country: All pictures Geoff & Tordis Pagotto All pictures Geoff & Tordis Pagotto

The 119th Devon County Show is in full swing after an opening day where crowds created a happy atmosphere, livestock exhibitors saw the son of a great champion take glory and traders did brisk business.

The 25th Show at the Westpoint showground didn’t so much defy the elements as take advantage of them as relaxed visitors dodged the showers in what Show Secretary Ollie Allen described as “ideal show weather”.

“It’s been a really brilliant day,” she said. “We’ve welcomed big crowds who enjoyed the hot sunshine to watch all manner of entertainment in six arenas and when the rain came sought cover in the many pavilions housing features which reflect the countryside and life in Devon.”

Although the car parks were wet and a few cars had to be towed out by tractors, the drivers said it was all part of their ‘great experience’.

The Show’s reputation as one of the foremost agricultural shows in the country brought visits by both the Defra Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, and the new President of the NFU, Meurig Raymond.

Highlights in the livestock rings included the coming of age for Yeomadon Luther who was crowned Devon breed champion. He is the son of Yeomadon Ferdinand, a former, great Devon breed champion.

Devon Girl Guides, Young Farmers and early visitors joined Andi Peters on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

Headline entertainment included the Kangaroo Kids acrobatic quad bike display watched by their dog Bruce. Matt Coulter and his son Sam brought Bruce, half dingo, from Australia to join them on their tour of the country this summer.

The Devon & Cornwall Police Dogs caught the attention of visitors, a well the arms of villains, as they demonstrated their role in modern policing.

The UK Snail Racing Championships along with the new-look West Country Crafts Pavilion featuring four room sets of all things made locally proved particularly popular.

Yesterday evening, the first Devon Farm Business Awards were presented at a gala evening overlooking the main arena. Celebrating excellence and innovation in Devon farming, the Devon Farmer of the Year went to dairy farmers Peter and Di Wastenage of East Budleigh.

The Show, in its 119th year, continues on tomorrow with visit by HRH The Duke of Kent and Saturday.

ends

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