1. ITV Report

Day One of Devon County Show looks like a record-breaker

Livestock remain at the heart of the Devon County Show Photo: ITV Westcountry

Day one at Devon County Show brought huge crowds who were happy to dodge the odd shower and enjoy a great day out.

Record advance sales already indicate the show is on target to smash last year's recordattendance of over 90,000. Already the signs are that it could be biggest first dayattendance in the show's history.

Organisers say the showground has been "buzzing" Credit: ITV Westcountry

Crowds started arriving early with traffic queues building on all the approach roads to the Westpoint showground. But there were no major hold-ups or problems on the roads.

The atmosphere has been amazing. From the moment we opened the gates, the showground has been buzzing. Our early indication from the number of cars in the car parks is that we are having an exceptionally busy first day. We won't have precise numbers until after we close the gates on Saturday but it's looking good.

– Ollie Allen, Show Secretary
Food minister Caroline Spelman samples some of the drink on offer at the show Credit: ITV Westcountry

This year's Show was opened by Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, followed by the first appearance of the stars of this year's show, the Mounties. Performing at only two venues in the UK, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant and Devon County Show, the world famous Canadian Mounted Police will be performing their musical ride twice a day in the Mole Valley Farmers Main Arena. It is awelcome return for the Mounties who were last at Westpoint 12 years ago.

It seemed some of the animals were conscious of their moment in the limelight Credit: ITV Westcountry

BBC Countryfile's Adam Henson has been making a guest appearance at the show, judging rare breed sheep. He then went on to adjudicate a sheep shearing competition organised by Devon Young Farmers. To mark their 80th year, they sheared 80 sheep in 80 minutes. Former show president and chairman of Devon Young Farmers in 1955, 87-year-old Albert Cooke, launched the attempt and showed he was stlll a dabhand with the shears.

The show which runs until Saturday, offers traditional entertainment in six arenas as well as livestock, food and drink, flower and garden displays, crafts, a huge country life area and trade stands.

There is plenty of food on offer as well as entertainment Credit: ITV Westcountry

The Show has also been the talk of social media networks. It has been inspiring Twitter users with more than 1,200 tweets in just twelve hours. The Devon County Show website received more than 8,000 hits yesterday, of which 7,000 were from new visitors.

The West Country Tonight has been at the show in force, including our reporter Jacquie Bird. You can follow her on Twitter

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