Horses bring equine excitement back to Norfolk Showground
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY
A much-missed buzz of competitive excitement returned to the Norfolk Showground as it hosted equestrian contests for the first time in two years.
Horses and riders from across the country competed at the Norfolk Equestrian Show, which featured many of the classes usually held at the Royal Norfolk Show.
And, fittingly, there was some royal involvement with five of the Queen's horses in action.
In all, there were nine competition rings, and more than 800 entries in around 150 classes in the light horse, heavy horse, private driving and scurry sections.
Maria Skitmore, equine coordinator for the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, said organisers were overjoyed to see such activity at the venue again after two consecutive Norfolk Shows were cancelled due to the Covid lockdown.
"It is just great to be enjoying events again, everyone is so pleased to be back doing what they love doing," she said.
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"It has been like a mini Royal Norfolk Show, we have got the vibe and lots of activity and it feels really busy.
"The quality of entries has been superb, including five of Her Majesty the Queen's horses here today. It shows the level of competition here.
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"We have competitors from Norfolk, and from all across the country, so this really is a UK-wide event."
The show also saw elite riders competing in qualifiers for the Horse of the Year Show, and two new classes for rare native horses and ponies on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) Watchlist.
Organisers decide to hold the event behind closed doors with no public spectators, in light of the continuing risks of coronavirus.
But it is part of their renewed drive to bring the showground "back to life" after lockdown, as the RNAA works toward the planned return of a full Royal Norfolk Show in summer 2022.