May 2015: The Suffolk Show
Like most agricultural shows, the Suffolk Show, held annually at Trinity Park, Ipswich, is a mixture of competition, commerce and entertainment, equally enjoyable for the farming community and a family day out. The grounds open at 7 a.m. Events take place throughout the day, some starting as early as 7.15 a.m. It is worthwhile arriving as early as possible to see competitors’ preparations in progress.
Horses, cattle, goats, sheep and pigs are judged in the rings. Elsewhere, marquees host competitions for rabbits and poultry, as well as beekeeping demonstrations and a flower show. Horse events include a comprehensive programme of show jumping and in-hand competitions for many classes of hunters, regional ponies and splendidly attractive heavy horses.
Many of the sheep are dyed for the show. At the early hour I was walking around, I could find no-one to confirm the reason for this. Could they be genetically-modified to save dyeing the wool? Subsequent enquiries identified two possible motives: to make the animals more attractive for sale and to make them sufficiently distinctive as to deter thieves. Does any reader know?
In contrast, there are displays and a parade of vintage tractors which I would imagine to be a useful resource for filmmakers.