Show pulls in thousands

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Owl stroking
Owl stroking

The annual Rye Country Show was so big this year (and got bigger with a new Country Living tent with a variety of stalls) that it attracted around 3,000 visitors and raised thousands of pounds for St Michael’s Hospice, in its first year as the charity that benefited from the show and which is still recovering from the recent arson attack at the hospice.

The show’s organising committee, headed by Jenny Yeo MBE, had three rings for the horses, two for the dogs, a huge display area for the classic cars, and a display ring (nearly as large) for anything and everything including judging the cars, fancy dress on horseback, and the dog Grand National.

The dog racing featured in last week’s Rye News was therefore just one small part of a very large and very obvious “showing off” of many countryside activities – as Rye itself is very much a country town (with tractors thundering through) as well as an ancient Cinque Port.

Ferrets may look cuddly, but beware their teeth
Ferrets may look cuddly, but beware their teeth

Photographer Seana Lanigan therefore also caught some ferrets being fondled, an owl being stroked, and one of those very heavy horses which most farms had until tractors arrived. Some tractors also sneaked into the classic cars display which featured around 150 vehicles, the oldest of which seemed to be a 1915 Hudson. Most owners only “showed” one vehicle, though one showed four – ranging from a Rolls to a Ford Cortina.

The horse show was equally wide ranging from working hunters, who have regularly been ridden out with the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt, to the “Prettiest Mare” and the “Horse and Hound” – where the horse and jockey first completed the course before the jockey dismounted to lead the dog over the same course.

[Editor’s note: Next year we’ll have to send more volunteers or keep them out of the Pimms tent]

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