Anniversary year for Suffolk Show organisers

Organisers of the Suffolk Show are planning celebrations and attractions to mark the 175th anniversary at the two-day event.

Organisers of the Suffolk Show are planning celebrations and attractions at the two-day event to mark 175 years of promoting local farming.

The Suffolk Agricultural Association has invested £3.2m in an expanded exhibition, conference and event centre and also renamed its showground Trinity Park.

The show, to be staged on the permanent showground near Ipswich, on Wednesday, May 31 and Thursday, June 1, has record support from trade stand exhibitors.

There are Grand Ring displays including parades of prize-winning livestock and heavy horses and the coaching marathon featuring four-horse teams.

More than 800 trade stands, 600 livestock classes with more than £70,000 in prize money, improved themed areas, ring displays and traditional favourites will also feature.

The conference centre represents a significant investment by the association, which marks its 175th anniversary year, in the promotion of the region's food, education and agriculture.

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The Grand Ring will be the focal point for some noisy displays including the return of the UKFMX Freestyle Motocross Team.

The X-Treme Trials Team, featuring two of the world's best stunt riders, also return. Their display features 15ft jumps up vertical walls and freestyle tricks, usually attempted by just a handful of riders throughout the world.

Show jumping remains as popular as ever. Top class riders will compete in five big competitions including Fences and Footballs, in which riders complete a round of jumps before dismounting and trying to score a goal.

There is also the Ride and Drive competition, where riders pit both riding and driving skills against one another.

The programme in the President's Ring includes the return of Cyril the Squirrel and his Racing Terriers, as well as Suffolk gundogs, ladies' sidesaddle competitions and sheepdogs at work.

Robot Wars also return to the combat arena featuring live battles that involve the star robots.

The interactive sports area will also feature all past favourites including Ipswich Town Football Club and the Horse Racing Museum.

The strong emphasis on farming and countryside remains a core feature with the Farminanglia arena. This year it will centre on alternative crop uses with the collaboration of Renewables East. The demonstration will include renewable energy and alternative fuels, Lincoln bio-project, energy crops, municipal mass, business and community links.

The evening entertainment on Wednesday will feature the Queen tribute band, Mercury, who will entertain the crowds from 6.30pm in the President's Lawn area.

The show will also celebrate with a display of reports and photographs drawn from the last 175 years.

Visitors may be surprised to see a tribe of Zulu warriors singing and dancing around the showground.

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