Bakewell Show driven by horse power

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A PICTURE-POSTCARD perfect market town in the heart of the Peak District may be best known for its famous puddings, but aside from the usual tourist hordes it is proving a particular draw for equestrians this week.

The 185th Bakewell Show opened today and was a horse lover’s paradise, with equestrian action unfolding in three competitive rings from 8am.

Janet Houghton and Alan Cargo give their rabbits a hair wash and blow dry in preperation for judging.

Janet Houghton and Alan Cargo give their rabbits a hair wash and blow dry in preperation for judging.

Show manager Janet Bailey said: “On the equestrian side we are expecting record entries of just short of 1,500 horses. It is a horse lover’s paradise for all three days.”

Entries had been boosted by the addition of Horse of the Year Show qualifiers and high numbers in the cob and shire horses classes, Mrs Bailey said.

The show continues tomorrow and Thursday and sees livestock judging take place, including cattle and goats.

Among tomorrow’s highlights are the showjumping classes. International showjumper Tim Stockdale is due to take part and horses belonging to British Olympian Michael Whitaker are also lined up to jump.

Action from ring 1 in class 63 training stakes class.

Action from ring 1 in class 63 training stakes class.

Added prestige comes with the event’s dog show which is accredited by The Kennel Club and sees breed winners qualify to compete at Crufts, while The Duchess of Devonshire is helping to judge the cheese classes.

Entertainment includes medieval jousting by Knights of the Damned, and up to 60,000 visitors are expected over the three days.

Mrs Bailey added: “Bakewell Show a good value family day out with something for everybody.”

Members of the Hope Valley Country Market with a selection of cakes. Pictured are Cheryl Mulvey, Dorothy Vernon, Claire Shaw, and William Bramhall-Shaw.

Members of the Hope Valley Country Market with a selection of cakes. Pictured are Cheryl Mulvey, Dorothy Vernon, Claire Shaw, and William Bramhall-Shaw.

Judges in the horticultural tent at the Bakewell Show 2015.

Judges in the horticultural tent at the Bakewell Show 2015.

Jo Billings is pictured giving her cattle a bath ready for showing later in the day.

Jo Billings is pictured giving her cattle a bath ready for showing later in the day.