Foreboding weather warnings failed to materialise at this year’s Royal Cornwall Show, where visitors basked in sunshine on all three days.
Held at the Royal Cornwall Showground near Wadebridge on Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week, 116,721 people attended the event.
However, the dire weather predictions during the build-up and pockets of bad weather elsewhere during the three days in the region are thought to have had a knock-on effect to visitor numbers, with show secretary Christopher Riddle believing it led to a slightly lower attendance this year.
The crowds who did flock to the show were treated to a wide range of events and attractions including main ring thrills from the Bolddog Lings freestyle motocross team – fresh from their appearance on Britain’s Got Talent – together with the RAF Falcons parachute display team and a first visit by the mounted games association of Great Britain.
The Countess of Wessex, this year’s show president, made a two day visit, on Thursday and Friday, and extensively toured all corners of the show, calling at a variety of stands and events.
Mr Riddle said: “We were delighted that the Countess of Wessex was our president this year and she seemed to thoroughly enjoy her two days with us.”
The show enjoyed close to record entries in the cattle, sheep and pig sections of the show, with the standard exceptionally high.
Experienced British Blue cattle judge, Graham Brindley from Shropshire, talking to commentator James Morrish, said that the line-up in one of the breed classes was “the best he had ever seen.” There was also a big turnout in the equine section and show jumping classes.
The Countess presented trophies on both days during the grand parades of prize winning cattle, sheep, pigs and horses. She presented the cattle and sheep exhibitors who gained the most points with an oak tray each that had been hand crafted at the Mencap Genesis Orwell workshops, an Ipswich based project she visited earlier in the year that she asked to make her president’s awards for the show.
The Countess also presented long service awards to four local farm workers and prizes to winners from the bi-annual Forestry competitions, plus to Tim Blackshire of Levalsa Farm, London Apprentice, the winner of this year’s Duke of Cornwall’s farm diversification award.
Mr Riddle added: “There was a tremendous atmosphere at the show, demand for trade stand space was very high and early indications are that excellent levels of trade were enjoyed, with one machinery dealer selling 20 machines alone.
“Similarly the Cornwall Food & Farming Pavilion was packed throughout the show, with reports of strong sales and stocks running low.”
The event was not without its drama, however.
On Saturday a motorcycle stuntman was injured – including missing part of his ear – after a ‘Wall of Death’ display went horribly wrong.
Those watching Ken Fox perform the act, which involves riding a motorbike around a raised track at high speed, were said to have run screaming from the tent after he fell from the top of the wall to the floor when a footrest broke.
Mr Fox is said to have had part of his ear glued back on as a result, also suffering friction burns to his face and bruising on his legs – although he has described the injuries as “bumps and scratches.”
Police were called and Mr Fox was airlifted to Derriford Hospital in an air ambulance.
The scene of the incident was secured for investigation purposes and the Health and Safety Executive was informed.
Preparations are already in progress for next year’s show which takes place on June 4 to 6, 2015.