Record numbers of visitors poured through the gates and enjoyed two action-packed days at this year’s Countryside Live.
Organisers the Yorkshire Agricultural Society announced a final gate figure of 10,700 beating last year’s previous record of 10,221.
Now in its ninth year, Countryside Live is held at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate and includes the best of British livestock along with rural activities and demonstrations which appeal to all the family.
Bill Cowling, Show Director, said:
We’re absolutely delighted to have another record attendance – our third in four years. It’s clear that Countryside Live appeals to both the farming community and the general public. The many, many families who have been here over the weekend, have had a great time learning about rural life, enjoying locally produced food and having fun. We’re the first of the winter livestock shows, and I’m sure our champions, particularly the Supreme Beef Champion will go on to win further top prizes.
Polly Douglas, aged 15, of Marwood, Barnard Castle rode off with a smile on her face after winning the X Factor-style showjumping competition, riding Treasa’s Girl, a 7 year old Connemara cross. Judged by equestrian experts Graham and Tina Fletcher over the weekend, Polly won a day at the Fletchers’ yard and £250 in prize money, beating 50 other competitors to do so. Runner up was Olivia Robinson of Harrogate.
Graham Fletcher said:
It was a very difficult decision – any of the top six horses could have taken top place, it was so close. The standard this year has been extremely high.
In the cattle section, it was the Welsh who headed home with the silverware taking both the Supreme and Reserve championships. Tecwyn Jones’s Limousin X bullock, Jager Bomb, collected the Supreme award which he will take back to his home in Conwy. Whilst Glyn Howatson’s homebred heifer, Minni M had to be content with Reserve.
In the sheep section, it was the Beltex X who took the top honours. Messrs R Hall & Son of Dalston, Carlisle, won the Supreme Champion Pair of Butcher’s Lambs for the second year running, and also took the Champion Single Butcher’s Lamb title.
The Reserve Supreme Champion was shown by George Cropper, also with Beltex Xs, owned by the CW Showteam, from Preston. The Reserve Champion Single Lamb went to Martin Brown of Newton le Willows, Bedale.
Competing at Countryside Live for the first time, Michaela Wood of Birstwith, Harrogate, was the Supreme Champion in the Ridden Coloured Horse or Pony Championship, riding The Pied Piper, an eight-year-old piebald gelding owned by her father Martin.
For the first time the Ridden Mountain and Moorland Section at Countryside Live was a qualifier for the Olympia Horse Show in December. Double celebrations were in order for Victoria Edwards-Sonnex, 22, of Belper, Derbyshire, who took both the Reserve and Championship title.
In the pigeon show, Supreme Champion honours in the Fancy Pigeon section went to Keith and Gillian Robson, of Hurworth, Darlington, with a three-year-old Chinese Owl. The pair also took the Best Fancy Flyer title with a Light Print Exhibition Tippler. Fourteen-year-old Tom Braithwaite, of Blackpool, took the Supreme Champion title in the Show Racer Class.
Best young bird was a white Jacobin belonging to Richard Rennison, of Northallerton, with seven-year-old Kian Mallinson, of Bradford, taking the Best Juvenile class with a Modena.
The Supreme Show Champion in the Poultry Section was awarded to Angela Dupont of Loughborough, Leicestershire, with a Mottled Pekin Hen while David Wilkinson of Clitheroe, Lancashire, took the Reserve title with a white Leghorn Cock.
Bee keeper Alan Woodward of Rossington, Doncaster, swept the board in the Honey Show, taking the Yorkshire Herald Cup for the most points. He also took the Horsman Cup for the Best Light Honey, the Yorkshire Post Cup, the Yorkshire Bee Keepers’ Association Challenge Cup and the Blue Ribbon Award for the Best Exhibit in the Show, and the Reserve title too.
Eight different varieties of apple came under the spotlight when a team of judges, including the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Chief Executive Nigel Pulling and Christopher Smith, chairman of the North of England Horticultural Society, picked Britain’s Tastiest Apple. The runaway winner was the Kanzi – a cross between a Braeburn and Gala apple, originally grown in New Zealand but introduced to the UK five years ago.
The Pateley Porker, shown by H Weatherhead & Sons of Pateley Bridge, Harrogate, was voted Countryside Live visitors’ favourite sausage. Made from Saddleback X pork and fresh sage, it pipped a Pork and Marmalade entry from George Middlemass & Son of Otley who had to be content with Reserve.
Dates for next year’s event are Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st October.