THE rain failed to dampen the spirits of man and beast as an estimated 90,000 people enjoyed the Royal Three Counties Show over the weekend.

Bosses at the showground said a massive programme of investment had paid off as one of the venue’s main events survived the downpours which have brought chaos across the country.

Chief executive of Three Counties Showground, Ken Nottage, praised his team who have led a five-year programme to weather-proof the venue at the foot of the Malvern Hills which proved useful during torrential downpours.

Mr Nottage drafted in the lead groundskeeper from Gloucester Rugby Club, Graeme Balmer, who had introduced a number of measures including planting superior grass with greater density and absorption to counteract boggy conditions caused by flooding.

“Sitting at the foot of the Malvern Hills it was a significant project to counteract where the water would naturally flow within the showground but that was part of our targeted approach to be ready for any conditions the British weather might throw at us,” he added.

More than 6,000 animals were expected to be on the showground over the weekend in one of Britain’s biggest celebrations of rural life.

Highlights included the Young Farmers providing entertainment with a soapbox race on Saturday and a Santa Race on Sunday.

The Main Arena was at the heart of Royal Three Counties Show with family entertainment mixed with livestock and equine competitions.

Dog agility and parachute displays also featured courtesy of The Red Devils Parachute Regiment Freefall Team.

The Grand Parade of Livestock took place each day with Sunday bringing together rare and minority breeds.

Royal Three Counties Show Ambassador and ‘Britain’s favourite farmer’, Adam Henson also made a return.

There were a number of National Shows taking place this year, including the first ever dairy goat show with the Toggenburg Breeders Society National Show. New this year was the introduction of a People’s Choice competition on Saturday.