As the Royal Cornwall Show ended its third and final day on Saturday, organisers were confident of at least matching or hopefully exceeding their previous years’ attendance.
Visitors came through the gates in their thousands to the three-day agricultural show, held at the purpose-built Wadebridge showground.
Numbers on the third day were boosted by glorious sunshine and warm temperatures, defying the previous forecasts of hail and thundery showers and hardly dented by the strong winds which gusted through the avenues on the show’s second day.
Show secretary Christopher Riddle said: “We’ve had a wonderful time. The forecast was a little iffy at times but we’ve been very lucky. It seems to have been a really good show for lots of people. Livestock entries were good before we started which was encouraging and the trade stands seem to be that more buoyant than they were.
“We had a huge first day. Friday was a little quieter which the second day can be and today [Saturday] has been packed,” he added.
Mr Riddle also praised the strength of this year’s agricultural content, in particular the displays of farm machinery: “There is so much machinery here, which is something we are very proud of and it’s what the show is known for. It’s not what everyone is interested in but it’s our key barometer of how things are going.”
The next generation of farmers took to the livestock rings on the final day, as the young handler judging attracted rows of spectators. Charisse Rowe, from Menheniot, impressed the judges and claimed the 7 – 10 years beef calf class with her three-month-old South Devon bull Tregondale Hector. The 10-year-old was cheered on from the ringside by her father Richard and mother Helen. Mr Rowe, also enjoyed success on the second day, winning reserve of breed, best group of three and female champion with their pedigree South Devon cows.
He said: “I’m really proud of my family, and also the cows back in the shed.” Mr Rowe added that Charisse has been showing cattle since the age of four. “We’ve never forced her to do it, she has always wanted to. She’s looked around the ring and seen other people doing, and she looks up to them.”
The sheep young handler classes were equally packed with budding enthusiasts showing off their skills. After much consideration from the judges, 15-year-old Henry Eddy, from Tehidy, Camborne, came forward to take home the championship title with his Poll Dorset ram.
In the native and rare breeds’ classes, one of the youngest handlers in competition was Rebecca Stacey. Aged just two-and-a-half, Rebecca charmed both the judges and spectators to take second place with her father Chris Stacey’s Teeswater ewe.
The rumble of hungry stomachs was eased on entry to the food pavilion, as local companies enjoyed a roaring trade on the final day of the show. A number of new exhibitors were in attendance, including St Ives Cider, who enjoyed a tremendous first year – taking second place in the best new exhibitor category. “We’re over the moon,” said owner David Berwick. “It took us a while to put the stand together and to get the recognition for it is just fantastic.”
The Cornish company was greeted with keen interest from visitors and received a healthy trade. “It has been fantastic. Trade has been really steady and the weather fortunately held off”, said David Berwick, who started the company alongside his wife Kate at the start of 2012 after moving to Cornwall in 1997. Making 6,000 litres in their first year, demand has since escalated, with over 50,000 litres being made this year. “We had to get more stock sent up for the show so you can’t beat that. The growth is there and we’re selling everything we can make,” he added.