The very best of agriculture and farming will meet fashion and celebrity at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.
With just three weeks to go, organisers are gearing up for a jam packed three day show which will see a host of special guests and new events.
Agriculture remains firmly at the heart of the show, and this year, as well as the thousands of cattle, sheep, pigs, pigeons and ponies, the Charolais Cattle Society is holding its Summer National Show with around 75 cattle expected.
The Ford and Fordson Association is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of tractor production with a display of tractors and machinery on the President’s Lawn. This includes early Fordson and Ford tractors spanning through to the current New Holland range supplied by Russells.
Atkinson Action Horses from East Yorkshire whose TV stunt horses have appeared in Poldark, Victoria and Peaky Blinders, will make their debut and perform stunts and tricks in the Main Ring every afternoon.
They will be among the first users of the newly revamped Collecting Ring, which has seen the Yorkshire Agricultural Society invest £70,000 to improve conditions under the direction of Olympic showjumping legend Graham Fletcher.
Also in the main ring, military parachute display team RAF Falcons, based at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, will jump from the skies in their Great Yorkshire Show debut on Tuesday at 12.35.
Over at the fashion pavilion, there’s everything from John Lewis to James Steward to fashion students to Brook Taverner who is behind Yorkshire Agricultural Society tweed jackets. For the first time ever, the fashion show will raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Centre in Leeds as a thank you for its support for a team member.
Tuesday will see famous faces from the world of sport and TV will take to the stage in a very special one-off fashion show at 2.30pm. There will be four fashion shows a day at 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4pm and all the action will be on Twitter, join in the conversation using #GYScatwalk.
There will be more famous guests across the showground including Rosemary Shrager who will cook up a storm in the Food Theatre (Hall 1) and the VetSpec Game Cookery Theatre every day. BBC gardening expert Carol Klein will give talks in the Garden Show on Thursday.
There will be film crews at the show following the lives of some of the guests including the Yorkshire Vets who are filming a Great Yorkshire Show special with Julian Norton and Peter Wright. The public can meet their heroes at a special meet and greet stand at the entrance to the Home and Gift Hall and the hour-long Yorkshire Vet at the Great Yorkshire Show will be broadcast early October.
Documentary “From Skye With Love” will see a crew follow competitor Donald Rankin from North Skye, Scotland, as he enters his Aberdeen Angus cattle who have achieved success at shows throughout Scotland. Rugby AM and Leeds Rhinos TV will bring rugby stars to the show for the first time ever, many of whom are from farming families.
International shearers will go head to head in a thrilling England v New Zealand Sheep Shearing “Test Match” which will take place on Wednesday. Adam Berry, Dean Nelmes and Anthony Rook will represent England and go up against current world champion Johnny Kirkpatrick and Rowland Smith who have flown in from New Zealand to compete.
Visitors can take a virtual pig tour every day (11am and 2pm) with sisters Vicky Scott and Kate Moore who run a family pig farm in East Yorkshire. Their indoor breeding unit at Pockthorpe Hall, near Driffield, houses 1,700 sows while their outdoor unit at East Knapton is home to 1,200 outdoor sows.
Live milking will be happening once again at the Lely stand where visitors will see calves being trained to feed on an automated calf feeder. This is the first year that calves on an automated feeding system has featured at the show and is important to show how calves can be reared away from their mother. A revolutionary robot designed for solid floor cleaning called Discovery 120 Collector will also be showcased.
Beef Shorthorn breeders are scheduled to turn out an entry to match their 2016 record as it stages its annual UK championships once again this year.
The Great Yorkshire Show is also a family affair for many including the Prest family who have clocked up more than 150 years stewarding the sheep section. There’s also a family of pole climbers heading for the show this year when Great British Champion Daniel Whelan competes with girlfriend Emma Cakebread and grandad, 84-year-old George Tipping who has been the oldest competitor for many years.
Charles Mills, Show Director said: “We have such an exciting and eclectic mix of displays and demonstrations, seminars and shows, we can’t wait to welcome visitors again this year. Agriculture remains at the very heart of the Great Yorkshire Show and while we endeavor to showcase the very best of rural life, we try to do this in an interesting, fun and memorable way. We look forward to seeing you in three weeks’ time!
This will be the 159th Great Yorkshire Show, held on Tuesday 11 – Thursday 13 July 2017 on the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk
A seminar programme will run throughout the show, go to http://greatyorkshireshow.co.uk/visitors/agriculture-at-the-show/agricultural-seminars-2017