WITH Kington Show’s usual site ruled out of action just weeks before the big day, organisers were forced to pull out all the stops to keep this long-running show on the road.

There were rumours locally that this year’s event might not even happen. The site hosted two national autograss championship weekends in late August, and it was later decided the ground was too rough for the show.

Anxious officials and supporters worked round the clock to prepare an adjoining site in time for the big day, and with bright autumn sunshine and a jaw-dropping panorama across to the Black Mountains, Saturday’s large crowds were not disappointed.

Some exhibitors even delayed entering competitions, but any doubts were swiftly dispelled once Lyonshall marquee business, Burgoynes, began erecting ‘show city’ at Penrhos. In the horticultural section, more than 200 entries flooded in after the competitions’ closing date.

Show chairman Richard Williams said that despite earlier concerns about the site, the 2017 show was a record-breaker. “The ground was cut up from the autograss events and with two weeks to go we had to make a decision whether to risk it or go somewhere else,” he said.

Mr Williams thanked landowner David Hutton for suggesting using an adjacent field, and he paid tribute to surveyor Les Thomas who put in enormous effort to measure up the alternative site. On the day, many expressed a definite preference for the new-style ‘show with a view’.

“Entries have been up 50 per cent, and we’ve had over 100 trade stands,” said the chairman. This year’s new equestrian event – team showjumping –also proved a winner, and the main ring events drew large crowds .

Show president, Philip Thomas, whose family has had a long involvement in this 136-year-old event, said he was proud to be elected to the top office, and thanked show-goers who supported it. “It’s not easy running a one-day show compared to other big shows,” he said. Mr Thomas felt it provided a “snapshot of the knowledge and wealth of talent” in this corner of the county.

Rumours that this year’s event could be cancelled did have an effect on early entries. In the horticultural tent, secretary Angeline Preece said only 30 entries were received a week prior to the show

“More than 220 people entered after the closing date!” she said. Chairman, Karen Peachey said the entries and standard had been excellent.

“It’s been an absolutely splendid year,” she said. Classes in the children’s section received an “enormous” number of entries she explained. Children from Kington County Primary School entered every class, she added.