THOUSANDS of people flocked to the beginning of the New Forest and Hampshire County Show today.

Queues built up on the A337 between Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst as families from across the South converged on the Forest for the three-day spectacular.

Daily Echo:

Almost 100,000 spectators are expected to visit the huge show ground at New Park, Brockenhurst, for Hampshire's annual celebration of rural life.

Daily Echo: STUNNING SPECTACLE: a member of the Jamie Squibb   Freestyle Stunt Team in action at Stokesley Show

Stunt rider Jamie Squibb will perform at the show again

This year's event has attracted a record number of livestock entries, including more than 900 sheep, 300 cattle and a large number of pigs.

Daily Echo:

Many of the first people to arrive watched some of the equine classes while others opted to tour the shops or visit some of the 600 trade stands.

The theme of this year's show is 'Hands On'. Spectators are being given the chance to try their hand at 50 different activities including milking a cow, driving a 4x4 or being a television newsreader.

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Sparsholt College principal Tim Jackson

This year's president is Tim Jackson, principal of Sparsholt College, near Winchester.

He said: "The show is a fabulous opportunity to look at the immense range of rural based activities in this area with lots of opportunities to get "hands on.""

Daily Echo:

Today's line up includes the first two performances by motorcycle stunt ace Jamie Squibb who is making his third visit to the show.

With "perfect" show weather forecast for the next three days, organisers are confident that the Daily Echo-backed event will be a huge success.