RECORD ENTRIES FOR ANNIVERSARY YEAR
Record competitive entries have been announced by the organisers of Countryside Live for what will be the event’s 10th birthday.
More than 3,000 entries have already been received for the classes which take place at the farming showcase at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October. There are sections for cattle, sheep and horses as well as for pigeons, poultry and honey. A record breaking total of 3,033 has been announced, compared with last year’s previous best of 2,843.
Bill Cowling, Honorary Show Director said: “I am absolutely delighted that in our anniversary year we have such super figures, and we’re still taking entries for the Talented Show Jumper competition as that doesn’t close until early October.”
He added: “Countryside Live has its roots firmly in the rural community and is a prestigious fatstock show – many prize winners go on to take red rosettes at other top shows, but it has also grown to become a great family day out. Hopefully we’ll have a good crowd to come and enjoy the fun and see all that’s best about British farming.” Judging begins at 9am on Saturday with the championships taking place the following day.
Cattle entries stand at 205 (compared with last year’s 191) and will be judged by Hugh Dunlop of Cummnock, Ayrshire. His wife Lynn will have the task of selecting the best young handlers in the beef section. The Supreme Beef Championship and cattle rings are sponsored by Ripon Select Foods.
The sheep numbers are 274, equalling last year’s figure and they will come in front of Andrew Atkinson of Harrogate, with Mrs Alison North of Doncaster judging the young handler classes. The Yorkshire Agricultural Society is delighted to announce that The Coniston Hotel, Skipton will sponsor the Sheep Marquee for the first time.
Equine numbers are at an all-time high – totalling 302 compared with last year’s 225. “This section has grown tremendously since it was introduced in 2008,” said Mr Cowling, “And this year for the first time we have the finals of the Northern Show Cross Series which will add a new fast-paced element, and our Main Ring will be the perfect backdrop.” The Series is sponsored by Bishop Burton College. Another new addition are classes for ridden heavy horses.
Elsewhere for the first time the event will feature “One Man and His Pig”, with handlers showing how difficult it can be to navigate a pig around an obstacle course, plus there will be a number of different breeds on show. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust will make its debut at the event with Irish Moiled and British White cattle, a Dartmoor Pony and ten sheep breeds to view.
Also new will be a mountain biking course, ferret racing as well as the ever popular Sheep Show, archery, the Diggerland Experience and regional food and drink to taste and buy.
25 September 2012
YORKSHIRE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY:
The Yorkshire Agricultural Society was formed in 1837 and is a charity dedicated to supporting the farming industry and rural life. The value of the support it provides to regional farming and countryside initiatives has risen year on year to almost £1m. It is based at the Regional Agricultural Centre, Harrogate; the RAC includes Fodder, the Society’s regional food shop and café which opened in June 2009. Both the RAC and Fodder has won a number of awards, including in 2010, being named as the Observer Monthly Best Independent Local Retailer, and most recently it has been chosen as a finalist in the Taste of England category of the 2012 Visit England Awards for Excellence.
The Society is the organiser of England’s premier agricultural show, the Great Yorkshire Show and its sister event, Countryside Live. Dates for Countryside Live 2012 are Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October. The 2013 Great Yorkshire Show dates are Tuesday 9 – Thursday 11 July which will be the 155th show.