Around 15,000 visitors made the two-day Leicestershire County Show a big success in near-perfect weather at the weekend.
Staged by Leicestershire Agricultural Society at Harborough Showground north of Market Harborough, the event completed the re-invention of this celebration of rural life.
Show chairman and farmer James Webb said: “We’re delighted. The move to Market Harborough has really revived the County Show.”
Because the event was over two days this year, many people stayed locally overnight. Every major hotel in the town area was sold out.
The big 85-acre showground was buzzing on both days - but on Sunday in particular - with cattle sheep and horse competitions, craft, trade and food stalls, and events from the Rockwood Dog Display Team to the Bird on the Hand Falconry Display.
One prizewinner was Charlie Lloyd, from Worcestershire, with his Decorated Heavy Horse Fifield Admiral, or ‘Monty’.
He said it took the best part of a week to shine up more than £5,000 worth of horse brasses and other decorations that Monty paraded round the main show ring at Market Harborough.
There’s also hard work behind each stall in the craft tent. Bridie O’Hanlon, from Market Harborough was selling her ‘Bridie Grace’ patterns and prints on fabrics and stationery. She also has a shop at The Manor, Tur Langton.
“The business has been going about two years,” she said. “I started out manufacturing everything myself...”
Some of the attractions were local. Andrew Blake’s Bird on the Hand Falconry Displays were in the arena on both Saturday and Sunday.
He keeps 20-plus birds of prey - hawks, falcons, buzzards, owls and an eagle - at his base in Church Langton, near Market Harborough, “One falcon is a bit stroppy “ he said. “He’s bullying me into giving him extra food.”
Some attractions had come from further afield. The Rockwood Dog Display Team - also on both days - were from Caerphilly south Wales.
Team founder Martin Winfield said his business supplied animals for film and TV, including Game of Thrones, Dr Who and Sherlock Holmes.
“The key is to keep the dog happy and alert through what can be a 12-hour filming day” he said.