CountrysideCountryside Live in Harrogate, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s flagship autumn event, was a record breaker – and twice over.
The farming show case and family day out attracted 12,061 visitors over the weekend, an increase of more than a thousand on the previous best of 10,700. And competitive entry figures smashed the records too, with more than 3,000 entries for the first time.
The little sister of the Great Yorkshire Show also celebrated its 10th anniversary this weekend (20 and 21 October).
Bill Cowling, Show Director said:
Countryside Live and the Great Yorkshire Show are very much separate events but we have had an absolutely superb weekend which has helped make up for the disappointment of the summer.
Financially it won’t make a difference in the greater schemes of things but it is just lovely to be back hosting a successful and happy show.
We have improved little by little over the ten years and will aim to continue doing so in the years to come.
The event was already a record breaker before the gates open, with more entries than ever – a total of 3,184 across the classes for cattle, sheep, horses, poultry, honey and pigeons. Around the event, visitors enjoyed a host of activities including mountain biking, children’s activities, archery, and watching demonstrations of ferret racing, sheepdog and duck displays, the Sheep Show and the “One Man and His Pig” competition.
Winners in the beef section were Tecwyn Jones of Conwyn who took the Supreme Championship with Black Beauty, a Limousin X heifer. It was her first big ticket but the second year running of success for the Jones family. Last year they also went away with championship silverware – with Jaeger Bomb, a Limousin X steer. The Alford family from Devon had to be content with Reserve, with “No Likey No Lighty,” a 20 month three quarter Limousin steer. And closer to home, Heather Stoney of Pateley Bridge near Harrogate had success with a homebred Blonde X, “Mr Muscle” who took the red rosette for the Champion Any Other Breed.
In the sheep, David Wadland of Daventry, won the championship for the Supreme Pair of Butchers’ Lambs with his Beltex. Whilst for Stephen Pepper, of Oxenhope, Keighley, it was a case of third time lucky when his Beltex was awarded the Champion Single Butchers Lamb title.
There was success for County Durham farmers Mark and Jane Gray who farm at Witton Gilbert. They were awarded the Tye Trophy for the best farm in the North of England, with judges describing their enterprise as “exceptional”.
In the equine section, the six-hour road trip to Harrogate from her home in Southampton was worth it for Kerry Humble. Kerry won The Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship with her 10-year-old grey stallion Connemara, Walstead Cartier, thus taking the last place for Olympia in December.
Ten year old Megan Stanley of Northallerton has been tipped as a ‘rising star” after winning Countryside Live’s Search for a Talented Show Jumper competition. Riding her 20 year old pony Cappagh Misty, Megan beat off stiff competition to win a day with Graham and Tina Fletcher at their Oxfordshire yard in the popular ‘X’ Factor-style event.
The new Northern Show Cross Final proved a hit with competitors and visitors alike with 14 year-old Lucy Gilsenan of Stainton Dale, Scarborough, taking the Junior Novice title with her horse “Maddy” whilst 74 year old Alan Evans, of Monk Fryston, near York, took the Senior Novice after beating riders more than half his age! In the Junior Open section, 14-year-old Jess Birkbeck, of Darlington, was the winner, whilst Holly Stevenson of Northallerton, won the Senior Open title riding her horse ‘Billy’.
Sunderland pigeon breeder, Tony Braid, went home a happy man after winning the Supreme Champion Fancy Pigeon with his Exhibition Fantail. Tommy Gardner, of Coxoe, Co. Durham, took the Championship in the Best Fancy Flyer section with a West of England Tumbler. Clive Edson and John Wheatcroft of Alfreton, Derbyshire, won the Supreme Champion title in the Show Racer section.
The tables were turned for two poultry breeders, after last year’s Reserve moved into the Champion’s position. David Wilkinson of Clitheroe, Lancashire, was celebrating after his bird scooped the Supreme Poultry Championship with a female white Leghorn Bantam. Last year’s champion, shown by Angela Dupont of Loughborough, had to be content with the Reserve ticket.