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Record livestock entries

PUBLISHED: 10:37 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:56 22 October 2010

Suffolk's economy can look forward to a £20m bonanza thanks to the county's biggest annual event. As the first day of the 175th Suffolk Show got underway yesterday, organisers were already predicting success on the scale of previous years.

Suffolk's economy can look forward to a £20m bonanza thanks to the county's biggest annual event.

As the first day of the 175th Suffolk Show got underway yesterday, organisers were already predicting success on the scale of previous years.

Early ticket sales have indicated a crowd similar or larger than last year's 94,000 over the two days, according to the Suffolk Agricultural Association, which runs the event.

The association also revealed that Suffolk could look forward to a £20m boost from income generated by the show, which costs £1.1m to stage.

David Nunn, deputy show director, said last night: "The aisles look equally as full as they did this time last year. We are well on target for making something close on last year - despite the weather.

"People have decided to come to the Suffolk Show anyway. It's half-term week and it's the first dry day we have had for two weeks and they are supporting us very well.

"Entries of livestock are a record. We have more cattle than we have ever had at this show - even before foot and mouth.

"We have diversified. There is something for everybody now and that's what draws people here. This is the biggest show in Suffolk."

Rain clouds threatened for most of the day and there was a rather unseasonal chill in the air, but luckily the only thing pouring into this year's show were the crowds of visitors.

The dress code appeared to be more fleece and raincoats than summer dresses and shorts, but the picnic areas were surprisingly packed with families and tartan blankets.

The weather, which did see the occasional burst of sunshine, particularly late afternoon, clearly had no negative impact on the appeal of ice cream.

Jane Hadley, of Hadley's Dairy Products Ltd, in Colne Engaine, near Colchester, sold her first ice cream at 9am - minutes after the show opened.

This year's show features a record 800-plus trade stands, 147 goats, 470 cattle, 93 pigs, 57 donkeys and 1,700 horses - the largest number ever.

The event would not be the same without the royalty, and this year was no exception.

The Duke of Gloucester arrived at Trinity Park, the new name for county showground, in the late morning for a packed itinerary. He might not have been able to get around as quickly as he wished because of a broken foot, believed to have been the result of a car accident, but he honoured all of his engagements.

Top of the royal guest's duties was officially opening the new £3.2m Trinity Park Conference and Events Centre, which was created to host private and business functions at the site all year round.

The duke was also given a glimpse of farriery, heavy horse lines and cattle lines.

As in previous years, the flower show proved popular with the crowds.

One of the exhibits gaining interest was a beautifully landscaped garden featuring unusual metal sculptures of trees, topiary cones and hemlocks.

The brains behind the creation are Nigel Kaines, of Designs on Metal, and Benjamin Wincott, landscape and garden design consultant.

The pair actually run separate businesses but came together for last year's Channel 4 programme The Great Garden Challenge, in which they got to the final, and for events such as the Suffolk Show.

After lunch, a significant proportion of the crowd headed for the President's Ring for a special side-saddle display featuring women's traditional dress down the decades.

The spectacle was beautiful, as women dressed in rich red and green velvet with matching hats rode around the ring.

The food hall remained busy before, during and after lunch, with visitors taking advantage of free tasting sessions of fruit pies, wine, cider and Belgium chocolate fondue.

But if you missed the culinary delights yesterday, don't be disappointed as there will be plenty more on offer today.


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