Riders have praised organisers of the Royal Norfolk Show for their actions after up to three inches of rain fell in 24 hours before the first day of the show.

Competitors had to be towed on to as well as off the parking field yesterday (28 June), when pictures and video of bogged-down lorries were widely shared on social media.

Others faced long waits to get on to or off the showground but as well as providing tractors for those who needed a tow, the show committee put its contingency plans in place, opening other parts of the estate so as many lorries as possible were parked on hard surfaces.

Showing producer Allister Hood’s lorry was one of those that was stuck in the mud yesterday.

“There was no damage done; we got pulled out and we were fine,” he told H&H. “I feel very sorry for [the organisers], they couldn’t have done anything about it; if they’d had the show a week ago, the ground would have been solid.

“They’ve managed to accommodate everyone today [29 June] by parking them by roads and other flat places and the going on the showground itself was amazing.

“They’ve done very well, it was just unfortunate.”

Sally Bushby

Sally Bushby added a new photo.

 

Fellow producer Natalie Reynolds was towed on and off the showground yesterday also praised the committee for coping with the conditions, and running the show as she had feared it would be cancelled.

“It was bizarre; the weather’s been so dry, then it just went mad,” she told H&H. “I don’t understand where it all came from!”

Natalie said she saw some lorries being towed by two tractors and that although she thought some may have been damaged, “you go on at your own risk, you can see the conditions”.

H&H reporter Penny Richardson said she had heard a rider describe the going as “as perfect as it could have been” in the rings, adding: “The show’s done an incredible job”.

A spokesman for the show said the conditions overnight on Tuesday were “challenging” but despite this, the number of people visiting over the two days was likely to be near last year’s total.

“There were some difficulties with horseboxes because of the volume of water,” he added. “We’re not aware of any specific damage to any vehicles but if there was, we’d work very hard with the individuals concerned.

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“We managed to run a full programme of events on both days, it hasn’t prevented us putting on a spectacle. It did cause some issues in the car park but with lorries, the ground will be cut up.

“It was a challenge but I think the hard work of our volunteers and stewards, and our contingency plans, have worked.”

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