There were smiles as far as the eye could see as thousands descended on the Ribble Valley’s glorious countryside for the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Show 2022.

From giant tortoises to tiny Shetland ponies, pygmy goats to prize pigs dozing in the afternoon sun – Salesbury Hall in Ribchester welcomed scores of animals and visitors through their gates this weekend – in the second show since the pandemic halted mass gatherings across the country.

And despite typically unpredictable British weather over Friday and Saturday, crowds still poured into the showground to make the most of what the annual event had to offer.

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Among them was Joanna Slater, who told the Lancashire Telegraph she was visiting the event for the first time. She said: “We’ve had such an amazing day and will be returning next year. There really is something for everyone to enjoy, from the kids to us and the grandparents. I can’t believe we’ve waited so long to visit.”

Among other highlights on Sunday afternoon was the Royal Lancashire Show's Grand Prix, a showjumping class entered by some of the best riders in the country.

Guy Williams, one of Britain's premier competitors, claimed first place following a tight jump-off against the clock.

Watching the action unfold was Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans who said: “There is no doubt in my mind that this show can rival some of the best agricultural events in the country.

“Even when the weather is not at its best – and it has been a bit pokey at times during the weekend – the crowds have turned out.

“For those who haven’t been I’d urge them to book tickets for next year’s event, you really are missing out on what is an incredible experience for the whole family otherwise.”

He added: “My favourite thing to watch has been the showjumping, but of course there is so much more to see - the falconry; youngsters on ponies who are of course the future generation; the incredible agriculture - the whole thing.”

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Nigel Evans MP attended the Royal Lancashire Show, picture here with Chairman Colin Mustoe and his family.

Also at the show were the Accrington Pipe Band, who entertained the masses as they walked around the showground browsing all the stands and stalls.

Elsewhere cows, pigs, goats, rabbits, chickens, horses and dogs were groomed before being taken into the parade ring and judged by some of the agricultural industry’s keenest eyes.

A sausage catching competition in the family dog show also captivated the masses as did the majestic shire horses from Thwaites, who attend the show every year with the brewery’s draymen.

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Lancashire Telegraph journalist Amy Farnworth, who also teaches yoga, attended the show on Saturday where she gave a demonstration in the lifestyle tent representing Tessa Clemson’s Yoga studio in Great Harwood.

Speaking before the show, Chairman Colin Mustoe was confident this year would be a record-breaking success for the event.