The first wave of visitors were hot to trot to Bakewell Show as an equestrian celebration kicked off the annual spectacular.
Organisers added a dedicated day of horsing around to this year’s event after London 2012 prompted a rise in demand for dressage competitions.
And the sporting action ensured the fun got off to a storming start, with some 60,000 visitors expected to pass through the showground gates today and tomorrow.
Along with the usual mix of stalls showcasing the finest produce from Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, horticultural attractions and dog show, there are plenty of new additions for 2013.
Every year families flock to the centre ring to enjoy top-class entertainment and this year they will be dazzled by Stampede Stunt Company’s brand new show – Gulliver’s Carnival Spectacular.
Overseen by the eccentric travelling showman Gulliver, there will be trick riding, sword-fighting and jaw-dropping stunts.
A cheese-tasting contest, emergency services area promoting the work of ambulance and mountain rescue services and new classes in animal competitions have also been introduced.
Linda Robbins, Bakewell Show spokeswoman, said: “We’re trying to get as many families here this year as possible, so there are lots of events designed to keep children happy.”
The Equestrian Show was given an added boost by the arrival of Yorkshirewoman Deb Eastwood who will complete the Pennine Bridleway – to raise money for Sheffield’s Weston Park Hospital – at the show.
Deb organised the trek to show her thanks for the hospital’s treatment of her son Tom, 27, who has battled Hodgkins Lymphoma twice.
Linda added: “Deb wanted to finish in the Centre Ring because Tom competes here every year. The first thing he did when he finished treatment was come and ride in the mounted games, so it’s close to both their hearts.”