As president for the South of England Agricultural 2017, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall toured the spectacular annual showcase of British agriculture and the countryside.

Charlie Burgoyne, chairman of the Society said: “It’s an extremely special year for the Society and we were delighted that Her Royal Highness enjoyed some of the spectacular displays across the showground.”

During her visit she met some of the farmers and their livestock, talked to local school children and students from the region’s land-based colleges, as well as officially unveiling an exciting permanent record of the Society’s achievements during the last 50 years.

She also planted a vine to officially represent the ‘millionth vine’ planted in the UK this year with United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA), the UK wine industry’s central organisation.

This was The Duchess of Cornwall’s first official visit to the show and the 25th Royal visit the Society has hosted during the last 50 years. Her Majesty The Queen has been Patron to the charity since her first visit to the show in 1974.

The Duchess of Cornwall is committed to supporting local food producers and encouraging children to learn more about where food comes from and to eat healthily. She grew up in the countryside in the village of Plumpton, East Sussex and, at a young age, learned to ride a pony by joining her local Pony Club camps. She continues to have an enduring affection for horses and ponies and has chosen the international animal welfare charity Brooke to be the Society’s chosen charity for the year.

Over 1,500 horses and ponies will took part in the equestrian showcase that formed an enormous part of the three-day extravaganza, featuring dozens of classes from impressive heavy horse turnouts to the fast paced inter-hunt relay, spectacular show jumping to beautiful hackneys.

The South of England Show has welcomed over 3.5 million visitors over the last decade and across the three days they enjoyed a unique introduction to agriculture and the British countryside as well as entertainment, music, crafts, shopping galore and one of the most impressive food halls in the South East featuring many delicious local and regional foods.

Photo: ©Scott Ramsey