THE finest farm animals were shown off at a popular agricultural event near Ringwoodyesterday.

Held in the grounds of the Somerley Estate, the Ellingham and Ringwood Agricultural Show attracted thousands of visitors.

Horse displays featured heavily at the show, with majestic shire horses proving a popular attraction, as well as impressive show jumping, dressage, and working hunter classes.

A variety of breeds took part in the light horse classes, including New Forest ponies, Arabs, and coloured cobs.

Meanwhile, keepers of cattle, sheep, donkeys, and alpacas were competing for rosettes and sashes. The crowds gathered around pens to watch handlers groom their animals prior to their appearances before the judges.

Many visitors brought their dogs along for the day, with some entering their pets into dog agility competitions. Classes ranged from ‘Most Handsome Pedigree’ to ‘Waggiest Tail’.

Youngsters enjoyed petting some smaller animals, including piglets, ducklings, rabbits, and guinea pigs.

Only a few brief showers this morning and afternoon dampened proceedings. Fortunately, there was plenty to see under the shelter of the horticultural and craft marquees, where exhibitors were showcasing their homemade produce and other products.

And the light rain did not deter visitors from browsing the many trade stands and stalls and admiring the rows of vintage farm machinery.

The show culminated in a grand parade of champions in the main ring.

Chairman Steve Thompson said: “As ever we had a fantastic atmosphere and lots of laughter all around the showground. The rain showers that the countryside so needs did send some people home a bit early.

"Overall I am so proud of all our volunteers and helpers – plus, of course, our sponsors and trade partners – that we have put on another great show.”

The majority of proceeds from the event, minus running costs, are donated to local charities. Last year, around £20,000 was given to good causes.