THIS year’s South Downs Show has been hailed a record breaker after thousands of visitors enjoyed the lively, entertaining and informative event.

Held on the slopes of Butser Hill in Queen Elizabeth Country Park in the heart of the South Downs National Park, it is the brainchild of shepherd and sheep dog trainer Terena Plowright.

Terena, formerly of Petersfield, but now living in East Meon, said: “We think more than 7,000 visitors came to the show over the weekend, which is a clear record.

“And I can’t thank the visitors enough, their enjoyment and have a go spirit, meant there was a fantastic atmosphere, it was really buzzing.”

Among the arena acts, Jonathan Marshalls display of falconry while riding a highly trained horse was outstanding.

In warm sunshine, on a horse that clearly enjoyed its complex dressage routine set to music, Jonathan demonstrated his skill at falconry.

At more than 100mph, his falcon swooped on a lure whirled above Jonathan’s head as he guided his horse through its routine – at times the falcon swept down to almost ground level and flew under the horse, between its legs, in time to the music.

And his parting comment to spectators that money wasn’t important, but loving your family was, was the message of the weekend, said Terena, who added that Jonathan was already booked for next year’s show.

And the Little Nipper Terrier Racing was an unexpected smash.

The terriers chase a fast moving electric lure around a course, hurdling jumps in pursuit – a show that was well received in itself.

But then the compere invited spectators to let their dogs try the course, and chaos, and hilarity, ensued, as a basset hound and a Labrador, among others, attempted the course.

Terena said: “Petersfield dog owners are always up for a laugh, and it was hilarious, a real show stopper, absolutely brilliant.”

The racing terriers are another act booked on the spot for next year by Terena, who says the fast growing show wouldn’t happen without the sponsors and the 50-strong all female event ‘crew,’ most of whom live within ten miles of Petersfield.

She said: “I can’t stress how important to the show the sponsors and crew are, it wouldn’t happen without them.

“Especial thanks must go to Beaver Tool Hire of Petersfield, LML Self Drive, Rafferty Newman groundworks, TJ Waste, and Winchester Caravans.

“And without the women who put the show up, and take it down after, the only man on the site is the crew chef who feeds them, we would be really stuck, they do a fantastic job.”