WITH balmy weather and record numbers of people attending, it was officially declared the best Findon Sheep Fair ever.
It is estimated 7,000 visitors enjoyed the fair on Nepcote Green on Saturday (September 8), which featured sheep from 34 different farms across Sussex and further afield.
Chairman of the organising committee, Simon Stace, said: “It was absolutely fantastic. What I couldn’t believe was that we just managed to get everything put away on Sunday, and the heavens opened. Somebody was looking out for us.
“Apart from a minor problem just due to the sheer volume of traffic, everything was amazing.
“I think it was just the biggest and best yet. We had sheep from 18 farms last year, but thanks to the hard work of committee members Graham Langford, we had 34 farms in attendance this year.”
The fair featured events in the arena, including sheep dog demonstrations, information about sheep breeding and even dancing sheep.
There was also morris dancing, choirs, almost 200 stalls and a sheep petting area.
This is the 12th year there has been a fair on Nepcote Green. Prior to that there had been a sheep auction on the site on the second weekend in September since 1370.
Simon said the auction was cancelled in 2000 because of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, but members of the community wanted to keep an event happening.
For the first few years, they held a fair with no sheep, because the foot and mouth outbreak meant they could not be moved around the country.
They returned in 2003 or 2004, and the event has been growing since then.
Simon said: “I think it’s now the fact that we’re getting to be known, and we get some top-quality judges, that means we’re so popular.
“The judges said it’s the best event they’ve been to this year.”
On Friday and Saturday nights, there was also live entertainment, including a barn dance and a performance by Murdoch’s Crazy Eyes.