Bakewell proves to be the best in show - SLIDESHOW

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THE sun shone brightly on the Bakewell Show as crowds turned out to enjoy the best the region’s countryside has to offer.

Visitors came from far and wide to sample traditional foods, browse hundreds of stalls and watch animal displays on the Bakewell Showground.

Highlights included horsewoman Amanda Saville’s daring Chariots of Fire show, which saw her steer a team of stunt ponies, a sheep and a bullock across a challenging course.

There was also the grand parade - the customary procession of all the livestock and heavy horse competition winners.

Zoe McBurnie, from Mosborough, Sheffield, who runs The Bakewell Tart Shop and Coffee House, was manning a stall with her daughter Amy, aged 23. The pair were doing a roaring trade selling the town’s signature treat.

Zoe, 54, said they had stockpiled around 3,000 tarts to sell during the two-day show, and had already sold around a quarter of their supply by yesterday lunchtime.

“Most of our business is in the afternoon, people buy when they’re on their way out,” said Zoe, who has owned the shop on Matlock Street for 10 years.

“Bakewell tarts are more popular than ever,” she added. “I think everyone’s going back to traditional food - everybody wants a bit of what they used to have.

“My business is still growing - my shop does really well, even though there’s the recession. When times are hard people will always find time for a nice treat.”

Butcher Johnny Pusztai was also deluged with customers despite the heat, with visitors eagerly snapping up his award-winning sausages. Johnny said there was a friendly atmosphere on the site among fellow butchers, despite the rivalry between them. “Whenever we do these shows we all have the utmost respect for each other because of the effort we put into it,” said the Nottingham-based butcher.

Meanwhile photographer David Beavis, 70, and his wife Joan, 61, were relaxing by the horse ring, watching young riders cantering around on their ponies.

“We’re having fun,” said David, from Allestree, Derby.

“The weather makes it nice as well, it’s excellent. We’ve been here when it’s raining.

“We used to go to the Ashbourne Show quite a bit but this is the one we tend to come to - it’s close by, it’s big and it’s interesting.”

David said country shows are important: “If you’re going to look after livestock it’s nice to show off what you’re taking an interest in and if you get an award that’s a bonus.

“It’s rewarding for the farmers, it’s nice to see people coming out and appreciating them. It’s not all about horses and cattle either - there’s a lot of goods on sale. The show gives you everything you need.”

Joan added: “I was born in the country, there’s lots of farm people round here and it’s good for them to get together.

“They’re having a bad time at the moment.”

A variety of interests are catered for at the show, which continues today.

Motor enthusiasts were out in force for the display of vintage vehicles, including a green Austin Clifton dating from 1936, and a 1937 Rolls-Royce touring saloon.

Visitors also peered with curiosity at stands filled with enormous vegetables, including a huge cabbage which bagged first prize.

The judging standards were stringent, though - with two beetroot entries disqualified for being ‘too long’.