THOUSANDS of people descended on the Bolesworth Estate at the weekend as the 2011 Classic and Country Fair pulled in its biggest crowds yet.

Visitors from far and wide turned out in full force for the prestigious equestrian event, which saw showjumping legend John Whitaker win £6,000 in the classic Grand Prix on athletic stallion Argento.

Almost 1,000 competitors jumped 2,065 first rounds over the four day weekend, which also saw performances from 2011 Badminton champion Mark Todd and former Badminton and Burghley winner, Oliver Townend.

Entertainment was provided by the Jive Pony display team, and there were also trade stands, a Fine Food marquee, fun fair and WOW balls on the lake to keep the family occupied.

And it didn't stop there. On Saturday evening, X Factor star Ruth Lorenzo made a grand appearance at the Big Night Out, which also featured celebrity chef Brian Mellor and a fashion demonstration by leading shoe designer Cleo B.

One onlooker said the fair was “absolutely fantastic.”

“I had an amazing day, despite the rain there was so much going on and the showjumpers were incredible. It was a really good day.”

Organiser Nina Barbour said: “This year’s show was the result of a lot of hard work by a small army of people here at Bolesworth and we were thrilled that the ground conditions were so good for competitors.

“There have been so many positive comments about the competitions this year and the Big Night Out was a fabulous affair. I know the show is building towards what we want it to be.”