MORE than 20,000 people descended on Monmouthshire over the weekend to sample the rural delights of the Usk Show.

The agricultural show, held on Saturday, September 8, at the showground near the village of Gwernesney, just outside Usk, was made up of 11 different sections, each playing host to their own competitions on the day.

Hundreds of local people volunteered as stewards, ensuring the show’s popularity and success.

The annual one-day show, run by the voluntary committee of the Usk Famers’ Club since 1984, attracts in excess of 20,000 visitors every year. and this year tickets have even been bought by people as far away as Australia and the Netherlands.

Speaking to the South Wales Argus on Saturday, show secretary Nia Osborne explained this was her first year organising the show after volunteering as a steward for many years.

“It’s gone brilliantly so far.

“But we have been busy, I haven’t had a chance to step outside the secretary’s tent yet and enjoy anything for myself.

“Last year we had over 20,000 people throughout the day, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger every year, so we’re expecting to top last year’s figures again this year.

“The biggest draw for people is probably the Cavalry of Heroes medieval jousting team.

“Everyone just loves them, especially the children. They can cheer on your favourite knight of the realm when they put on two displays on the day.

“Another big draw is the Countryside ring. At that end of the showground we have vintage tractor displays, military vehicles, alpacas and of course all of the farm animals you can imagine.

“With the extra land this year, the show has grown a little bit to offer more space for people to enjoy.

“It’s just a really good family day out, with the emphasis on fun.”

As well as the jousting, farm animals and vintage tractors, visitors to the show enjoyed show jumping displays, dog shows and perusing the stalls of over 300 businesses spread through the showground.

Mouthwatering food was also on offer from numerous vendors, while children had their pick of fun-fair style activities to choose from.

There was even a Prosecco bar and a host of different live music acts for parents to relax in while their children enjoyed themselves.

Alan Pickford, of Abergavenny, was at the show with his wife Jane and two daughters Eliza, 8, and Lauren, 6.

“This is our third show I think,” he explained.

“It’s become a bit of a tradition.We’re not farmers ourselves but it’s just such a great day out we and we enjoyed so much the first time we came, we just keep coming back.”

“The best part was the knights,” added Eliza.

“But they did scare my sister a bit.”

Kathryn Davies, 24, of Cwmbran told the South Wales Argus she was enjoying show for the first time.

“I’ve recently moved to the area and have made friends at the stables where I keep my horses,” she said.

“They brought me along. You can’t really beat it. My favourite part is definitely the dogs and horses, and all the other animals really.”

Other visitors enthused about the ease of free parking at the showground, and the nearness of the M4 which made the show easy to get to and from.

“Even though there are so many people here, you don’t feel too crowded out,” said David Hall, 65, of Monmouth.

“I wouldn’t have believed there were 20,000 people here, it’s clearly been very well organised. I come every year with my wife Barbara and our two whippets Evie and Dolly. They’re all off stretching their legs and I’m enjoying the vintage tractors.”