THRILLING sights, both in the air and on the ground, made Romsey Show 2007 one to remember for all the right reasons.
While the cattle and sheep may have been missed by some visitors, there were more than enough attractions to make up for their absence, chief among those being the new food show (see page 6), which was pronounced a great success, and the army's Blue Eagles helicopter display team from Middle Wallop.
Saturday dawned cool and overcast, but this did not deter the crowds heading for Broadlands and the weather forecasts came good after midday as the sky cleared and temperatures rose.
In the main ring, horsepower was the order of the day, whether provided by the diminutive ponies in the scurry-racing or the huge traction engines.
This year's show president, ex-Saints manager, Lawrie McMenemy, was given a higher profile than some of his predecessors as he and his granddaughter, Chloe, waved to the crowds as they rode round the main ring in a trailer towed by "Little Lady, a traction engine owned by Gary Richards.
A less sedate ride was enjoyed by motorcycle stunt ace, Jason Smythe, who brought his Adrenaline Tour to the ring.
After a number of wheelies and doughnuts - spins on the spot, which sent up showers of dust and grass clippings - he performed a series of huge jumps between two enormous ramps. Suspended above the landing ramp were T-shirts and baseball hats, aptly bearing the legend, "No Fear", which Jason grabbed in mid-air and then threw to young spectators.
Jason was "miked-up "throughout and was able to carry on a running commentary of his feats.
Almost as fast, but not as noisy, were the scurry-racing events in which tiny buggies, drawn by pairs of fleet-footed ponies, raced against the clock around a twisting course marked out with bollards. Each bollard knocked over cost time faults.
The scurry-racing brought the one sad moment of the day when "Tumble", a pony driven by Chris Orchard, had to be put down after breaking a hind leg.
The show vet was soon on the scene and an area of the arena was screened off.
This was an unfortunate incident, but one which the show organisers dealt with swiftly and sensitively.
In contrast to the frenzy of the scurry-racing, the private-driving classes were a picture of grace and refinement. Immaculately turned-out horses and carriages were matched by their drivers and passengers, the men mostly in toppers and the ladies in an array of eye-catching hats, looking for the all the world as though they were just off to Royal Ascot.
Following the judging, steward, Simon North, told the Advertiser: "The judge said That was as a good class as you'll get anywhere," which is good for Romsey Show."
Lawrie McMenemy's wife, Anne, was called into the centre of the ring and given the difficult task of choosing the winner of the Concours d'Elegance, which was won by Keith Rudge and his hackney, pulled by "Paddy".
The parade of hounds, which all managed to stay within the confines of the ring this year, gave young spectators the chance to make a fuss of the dogs.
The commentator warned the children climbing over the barriers not to bring their ice-creams or burgers with them as the friendly hounds would lick anything in sight.
The show came to a climax with a military flavour as the Blue Eagles hovered into view in the western sky. Four Gazelles and a Lynx produced some breathtaking close formation flying and manoeuvres, including loop-the-loops and barrel rolls.
Made up of both instructors at Middle Wallop and operational pilots, most of the team, including the ground crew, has seen recent operational experience in the Balkans and Iraq. But, as no formal instruction in formation and aerobatic flying techniques is included on the army pilot's course, they have spent many hours of their own time preparing the display.
As the helicopter headed home, the band of the Royal Logistic Corps, who had entertained the crowds earlier, performed the sunset ceremony.
A bowler-hatted Lawrie McMenemy, an ex-guardsman, looked very at home standing ramrod-straight before the band as it played and the flags were lowered.
One final moment of aerial excitement was provided by two fixed-wing members of the Army Historic Flight, a De Havilland Beaver and an Auster AOP Mk 9, made a flypast to mark the end of the show.