A MASSIVE roar ripped through the Ribble Valley as eight miniature ponies zoomed their way around the main arena at this year’s Royal Lancashire Show.

But the annual Shetland Grand National, won by Zak Kent onboard his pony Briar Smokey Joe, was just one of hundreds of activities taking place over the long weekend at the annual event, which was held at Salesbury Hall.

Among other highlights, the dancing sheep show was a firm favourite for many, with parents and children watching on in awe as eight different breeds of sheep bopped and shimmied to pop music.

Emma Jackson, who attended the show with her three children Joe, Jessica and Nellie, said she had never seen her children so gripped.

She said: “We love coming to the Royal Lancs show, and as we were walking around this year it was the entertaining sheep that caught our eye - one of them even does the moonwalk!

“I’ve never seen the children so quiet in my life, they are memorised by the dancing sheep.”

Elsewhere in the showground were a group of daring stunt artists who put on a thrilling show in front of large crowds.

Some, unable to watch the hair-raising performance, could be seen glancing on in horror from behind their hands.

The Vander Wheel of death stood tall in the middle of the showground, and was the place where a group of stunt artists performed complex acrobatic sequences in a show described as ‘not for the faint hearted’.

Over in the Lifestyle Marquee there were cooking demonstrations from a host of celebrity guests including local Michelinstarred chef Tom Parker from the White Swan at Fence.

There were countless showjumping classes with some of the country’s most famous equestrians in East Lancashire for the weekend to compete.

Shannon James, who attended the show with her best friend Gemma, said the best thing was being able to watch legendary show jumper John Whitaker, someone she had only previously seen on the television.

She said: “It is crazy to see them here in the flesh, so many of these riders you can usually see at the really big events like Olympia, but here they are in the Ribble Valley.

“I’ve grown up following them and have always had my own horses and ponies, so it is really incredible to be able to watch them.”

Children’s entertainment included several free games inside the children’s village, where facepainting, treasure hunts and sand art classes were all taking place.

Another popular attraction was the birds of prey exhibition, which took place in the main show arena.

Thousands looked on in awe as the birds swooped and dived around the showground, disappearing out of sight before popping up from behind the trees.

Mark Ellison travelled to the show on Saturday afternoon with 14 members of his family, all of who had travelled over from West Yorkshire.

He said: “When I was a kid my parents would bring me and my brothers, now we all meet up here every year with our children.

“It is always a great day out and it is something that the children look forward to ever year.”

Show chairman Colin Mustoe said he was extremely pleased with they way the event had passed.

He said: “Friday was very wet and Saturday morning was a bit wild, but the skies cleared by the afternoon and the conditions didn’t seem to deter those set on coming.

“Every year we look to improve on the last and we feel it is clear to see that the show is expanding. We have worked hard to better the livestock section over the past two years and we’re really starting to see a difference with the number of entries coming in.

"The farming community has really got behind us. We’ve had another very successful year and preparations are already in place for the next."