Animal magic grips crowds at Herts County Show: with gallery

Emelia Walker and Jessica Priestley have some fun with arts and crafts

Emelia Walker and Jessica Priestley have some fun with arts and crafts - Credit: Archant

MONTHS of preparation paid off as the 127th Herts County Show kicked off on Saturday with a little help from some long-due sunshine.

Over 35,000 people attended the sprawling Bank Holiday event in Redbourn – with highlights including livestock displays, horse and trap races, daredevil motorcyclists and even a singing robot.

Guests young and old were wowed by the Devil’s Horsemen in the Jubilee Arena, whose recent film credits include War Horse, Les Miserables and Game of Thrones. The terrific troupe gave two performances with a Wild West and a Cossack theme.

A surprise hit at the show was Titan the Robot, who has appeared with Rihanna, JLS and Basement Jaxx, and was constantly surrounded by children and adults.

The 8ft tall machine had a penchant for singing Michael Bublé songs and stunned show-goers with his tricks and jokes.

But the true stars of the show were the animals, which included llamas, pygmy goats, talented canines, and of course the winning bulls.

Hedges Herefords farm in St Albans struck lucky with their 15-month old 700-kilo prized Pedigree Hereford bull which won a first in the best in show.

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Fiona Woollatt was extremely happy her family’s farm won the accolade and said: “It was a lovely day, especially with the weather. The trade stands were also much better this year.”

When asked why the show stands out compared to the many others at which her family shows, she said: “Mainly because it’s our local and everyone’s there. We can see the customers and show them what we do, also all the local farmers are there.”

The 21 year old also spoke of this year’s parade which all the farmers have to walk in and then talk to the public.

To her knowledge it is the only show that makes entrants do this and she said it was “very good”, adding the whole event was very people focused.

President for the county show this year Stuart Wykes gave a rousing speech on the future of farming and the importance of educating children in such matters, which is also something a member of the St Albans Beekeepers’ Association thought to be important about the show.

Anne Wingate, who produced the live bees on show in the horticultural tent, said: “It’s very good for children because they take a really close-up look and really start looking at nature.”

She said: “We’ve had an excellent day and had lots of interest.

“We have in the past recruited a few members at this type of show and it’s a very useful place to introduce people to bees.

Speaking after the bumper weekend, show secretary Mike Harman said feedback had been “positive and complimentary” from both visitors and exhibitors.

He added: “We are particularly delighted that yet again our family ticket sales hit a new record, a clear signal that our unique package of attractions and demonstrations combined with all-inclusive entertainment policy, is valued by our show supporters.

“As always, we will be reviewing all aspects of the show in the coming weeks with a view to making further improvements for next year.

“In the meantime, we are delighted that both our reputations as the best value for money community event in the county, and a leading UK county show, have been enhanced.”