Expect a nail-biting experience at this year’s South of England Show on 7, 8 & 9 June when daredevil motorcycle stunt riders and a high flying sway pole artist bothpromise awe-inspiring thrills.
The mid-summer South of England Show is an annual date in the diary of countryside lovers with 80,000-plus flocking to the South of England Centre at Ardingly, near Haywards Heath, every year. Two brand new performers have been booked this year in the shape of the daredevil motorcycle riders of the Bolddog Lings Freestyle Team, and the international ‘sky walker’ Jean Monti, who will be standing on his hands 58 metres (185ft) in the air on the end of a vertical sway pole. The motorcyclist stunt team use the world’s largest landing ramp enabling them to jump gaps of more than 75 feet and reach heights of 35-feet plus. While airborne with their bikes, the riders release their holds on the handle bars to do death-defying tricks including the so-called “kiss of death”, “dead body” and “cliff hanger”.
Deborah Barber, Director of the South of England Agricultural Society, said: “From what we know about both these performance acts, our visitors can expect really breathtaking entertainment. In addition, we have many of our regular performers returning and all the features that make this a much-loved event every summer for tens of thousands of people across the south east region.”
Undoubtedly one of the biggest draws of the show is the huge variety of animals that congregate on the showground. Thousands of horses, cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry are brought by their owners to be shown in the arenas and to compete for top prizes.
Equestrian events including hackney carriage driving and show jumping are always crowd-pullers, with some of the best horsemen and women in the country bringing their prize-winning mounts to the Show. A highlight for the farming community is the Cattle and Livestock Parade, a ritual every afternoon over the Show’s three days when the prize-winners of each breed perform their lap of honour around the Ardingly Ring.
The 2012 South of England Show precedes the London Olympics by only a few weeks and its theme of Food for Sport will be reflected when the opening ceremony takes place outside the Regional Food & Wine Pavilion. Present to perform the honours will be stars of Britain’s sporting future and past including former Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth gold medallist Sally Gunnell.
The future is represented at another level in the 25th anniversary Young Craftsman of the Year competition with the stunning work of this year’s entrants on show in their own marquee. Exhibitors aged between 14 and 21 from schools and colleges across the region will display their outstanding pieces in categories including jewellery, ceramics, metalwork, textiles, design and technology.
With the Farming & Wildlife Area, Horticultural Section, Rural Crafts and dozens of trade stands also part of the huge Show’s enduring attractions, this celebratory year promises to be another winner for its organisers, the South of England Agricultural Society.
Published 17th May 2012
All news stories