Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Thousands expected at 2013 Royal Manx Agricultural Show

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Media captionThe Royal Manx Agricultural Show attracts thousands of people.

The annual Royal Manx Agricultural Show has opened, with thousands expected to attend across the next two days.

More than 20,000 people attended the farming celebration in 2012, which was first held on the island in 1858.

Secretary Christine Pain said the show had seen "huge crowds last year and we have lots planned for visitors".

The show at Knockaloe Farm in Patrick, near Peel will see traditional livestock competitions and over 140 stands on a 19 acre (7 hectare) site.

Last year, the show celebrated the 60th year of its Royal Charter and the best animal in show or "supreme champion" was Sulby farmer Derek Griffin's Hereford bull.

This year's show has a display of photographs from March's heavy snowfall, during which 16,000 animals died.

Image caption Derek Griffin's Hereford bull was named 'Supreme Champion' in 2012

Belinda Leach, of the Manx National Farmers' Union, said the show was being held in a "particularly poignant year for the farming community".

She added that despite the losses, the show represented a "fantastic chance for the community and the public to share their stories and catch up".

It is estimated that 12% of the national breeding flock and 18% of this year's lambs were lost during the snow.

The show will also include vintage and modern agricultural machinery displays, craft displays, food and trade stands, and stunt shows, and, for the first time, there will also be displays of jousting and mountain biking.

With dry weather forecast, police are advising people to share cars or take public transport.

In July, a record 10,000 people visited the 99th Southern Agricultural Show held at Great Meadow, near Castletown.

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