Throughout the three days, the South of England Agricultural Society will celebrate all aspects of British country life, promoting and supporting farming, country living and the rural community. The show has welcomed more than 3.5 million visitors over the last five decades.
The society will be showcasing its charitable work and continued support for the next generation with hundreds of students from schools and colleges from across the region involved in competitions, exhibits and demonstrations including Young Farmers Clubs competitions and the young craftsman of the year exhibition. A wild flower meadow has also been planted to mark the fiftieth anniversary and a permanent record of the society’s achievements will be unveiled in the Norfolk Pavilion.
The NFU will be exploring how farming has changed over the last 50 years as well as what the future holds and in the main ring visitors can see a special display of farm machinery led by society mascot Bill the tractor – the first tractor that was bought 50 years ago and still in use today on the showground.
Visitors can take a ride in the Ardingly eye, a spectacular 32 metre high giant wheel, for a bird’s eye view of the 150 acre showground. Below will be food and drink, livestock, discover the countryside, agricultural machinery, garden plants and flowers (incorporating Bees & Honey), equestrian (including the Heavy Horse Village), skills and craftsmanship, country sports (incorporating the hound show) and the market place retail area.
There will be new entertainment in the main ring this year with The Devil’s Horsemen, an equestrian stunt and trick team who will be performing to music, dressed as Cossacks. Traditional precision marching and musical arrangements will be performed by the City of Coventry corps of drums and other highlights include the Shetland pony Grand National; show jumping; hound parades; and the livestock display where hundreds of beef and dairy cattle, sheep, pigs and goats take centre stage.
Family and friends can take full advantage of the ticket prices again this year with under 16s going free (accompanied by a paying adult £21) and senior citizens and students over 16, £19. There is also free parking and a regular bus shuttle service from Haywards Heath train station to the showground. Buy online at www.seas.org.uk and save 15% off the gate entry price: the offer ends midnight 7 June.