DESPITE heavy rain it was business as usual for traders and exhibitors as the New Forest Show got underway this morning (Tuesday).
Visitors defied the unseasonal weather, with a queue waiting to get into the New Park showground at Brockenhurst as the gates opened.
Show spokesperson Sophie Stannett told the A&T: “Our traders and exhibitors came prepared for the rain and wind which was forecast today and so far we haven’t had any problems.
“All our tickets are now usable on any show day so anyone that wants to avoid the rain will be able to visit tomorrow or Thursday when the forecast is looking much better.”
She added: “Unfortunately the weather is the one thing we just cannot control – and after very hot weather last year this time it has gone to the other extreme.”
In the main ring the ridden hunter pony classes were the main attraction with judging also taking place in the sheep and cattle rings.
Meanwhile, the flower tent was hosting the National Vegetable Championships for the first time.
Sophie said: “It a really coup for us to have the National Vegetable Championships as it is only hosted in the south of England every five years. There has been lots of interest from amateur growers and allotment associations to visit us this year.”
New attractions for 2019 include a canine arena and fun dog show, along with a live music stage in the food court close to the main public entrance.
Sophie added: “We put out an appeal on social media inviting local singers and bands to apply for a slot – which received a really good reaction. We think it will be very popular.”
Education will be high on the agenda this year with dozens of exhibits and attractions designed to give youngsters a taste of the countryside.
In the Heart of the Forest area families will be able to enjoy a new wild play zone with an opportunity to try out activities such as den building and bug hunting.