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Three Counties Show best for more than a decade

The Three Counties Show (18 20 June) was hailed the best for more than a decade today as organizer, the Three Counties Agricultural Society, revealed a final visitor footfall of 98,000 6,000 up on 2009.

The Show had around 3,500 head of livestock this year 460 animals more than last year increased horse entries, a waiting list for agricultural trade stands and an upturn in advance ticket sales.

The spectacular Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery returned to the Main Arena for the first time since 1998 and the new Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, chose the Show as a platform to make an announcement about Gloucester Old Spot pig meat.

The Society reported a very definite buzz in all show sections, attributing  the success partly to the disappearance of The Royal Show, but also to the many improvements in facilities, features, zoning and layout over the past few years.

It said it was thrilled to welcome new exhibitors and visitors to Malvern, and planned to build on the strengths of this years Show in 2011.

Winner of the 2010 Inter-Breed Beef Championship was Hackleton Vixen a British Blonde, owned by Hackleton Farms Ltd, New Hackleton. Reserve Champion was awarded to Fleethill Sal a Limousin, shown by P.R. Dawes of Hereford.

The Inter-Breed Dairy Champion was Hawksomoor Abbess 36, a Holstein, shown by R. J. Clare of Market Drayton, with Reserve Champion going to a Jersey, Hareplain Zik Gertrude, shown by S & S Murray (Farms) Ltd of Wolverhampton.

A Red Poll, Warren Polka, owned by Mrs. C. Moody of Ringswood, was Supreme Champion in the Inter-Dual Purpose Breed Championship, and Holberrow Lorna a Dexter, shown by Mr. G. Godber of Redditch, was Reserve Supreme Champion.

Mr. Richard Powell of Welshpool had the Supreme Champion, a Kerry Hill, in the Inter-Breed Sheep Championship, while a Charollais, shown by Mr. Amphlett of Brecon, took the Reserve Champion.

In the Pig section, Supreme Champion was Pantysgawen Dinah 10 a Saddleback, shown by Messrs Edwards & Thomas of Newbridge, and the Reserve was Landrace Prestcombe Vega 12, shown by Alice Newth of Castle Cary.

On Sunday, National Rare & Minority Breeds Day, Champion in the cattle was a Beef Shorthorn Stonmour Thunder Cloud, shown by Mrs Blake of Clevedon, while Mrs. Moodys Red Poll Warren Polka took the Reserve.

Miss Davina Stanhope of Shrewsbury won Supreme Champion in the Inter-Breed Sheep section with her Teeswater and Mr. D Winkfield of Southam, took Reserve Supreme Champion with his Leicester Longwool.

In the horse section, The Cuddy Supreme In Hand Qualifier Champion was Timpany King, an Irish Sport Horse owned by Mrs. Smith of Newmarket.

Away from the livestock and equine lines, Blacksmiths won Champion Trade Stand, with JJ Farm Services of Cheltenham in Reserve, and there were three Gold medals in the Flower Show, awarded to Bonsai World of Cheltenham, Wessex Nurseries and British Fuchsia.

Carol Powell of Re-jigged Ltd, an ethical childrens clothing company, won the prestigious Bear Pit Competition, sponsored by Parkinson Wright.

Other VIP guests this year included Harriet Baldwin MP, and BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson of the Cotswold Farm Park. Speakers at the CLAs Big Breakfast were Dr. Stuart Burgess CBE and CLA President and Chairman of the Board, William Worsley.

TCAS President, James Hervey-Bathurst CBE DL gave the opening address on Friday, and described the Show as an outstanding display and celebration of the current robustness of much of the rural economy and the richness of rural life.

He said: The Common Agricultural Policy, which has helped to underwrite our rural prosperity, is soon due for review. Many of us involved in farming have benefited from useful levels of CAP payments in recent years, even if commodity prices and input costs have sometimes been against us. We have been relatively sheltered from the financial crisis. So much of what we will see at the main show today will remind us of the window of opportunity we have-before the 2013 review-to improve quality or to diversify into other areas of rural activity.

The Kings Troop headed up an exciting line-up of Main Arena attractions this year, including the Parachute Regiments Red Devils display team, The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas, fast pacing harness racing, show jumping, dog agility and the Parade of Foxhounds.

Other attractions included the Archers Ambridge Village, sheep shearing, farriery and blacksmithing, forestry, vintage tractors, bees and honey, poultry, antiques, a flower show, a Cookery Theatre, a Cheese & Cider Show, rugby, scuba diving, a World Cup village, demonstrations by the emergency services and a local arts, crafts and food market.

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