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One of the most famous racehorses in the world – Auroras Encore, the 2013 Grand National winner – will be a star guest at next month’s Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate.
It costs around £3m each year to stage England’s premier agricultural event which celebrates the best of British farming and provides an insight into rural life. Dates for this year are Tuesday 9 – Thursday 11 July when around 130,000 people are expected to attend.
The 11 year old Yorkshire-trained superstar will make his debut in a parade around the Main Ring on Thursday 11 July. The parade comes immediately before the event’s top show jumping competition, the Ripon Select Foods Cock o’the North championships.
In April, Auroras Encore ran a brilliant race to take first place in The John Smiths Grand National, delighting his equally famous Yorkshire based trainers, Sue and Harvey Smith.
The Main Ring is very familiar to Harvey. To the delight of the crowds, the Yorkshireman took the Cock o’ the North trophy in 1977 and again in 1982, and he’s been a frequent and loyal supporter of the event over many years. Auroras Encore is currently taking a well earned break before coming back into training later in the year, and is a familiar sight hacking around Baildon Moor as part of his training regime.
Bill Cowling, Show Director said:
We’re absolutely delighted to have Auroras Encore and indeed our friends the Smiths with us.
I can’t think of a more fitting setting than our Main Ring to celebrate the success of this amazing horse. I’m sure there will be a phenomenal reception from the grandstand crowds.
Each year the event attracts some of country’s finest show jumpers to the classes which run over the three days. Members of the Whitaker family including Michael – the current British number one, John and Steven are competing, as is Guy Williams, William Funnell and one of the world’s top lady show jumpers, Tina Fletcher. The action begins on Tuesday with the Barber Titleys William Hanson Stakes followed by The Badsworth Stakes Accumulator.
On Wednesday there’s the International Stairway competition and The Rudding Park Great Yorkshire Championship. The final day sees The Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream Mini Major Whip Round followed by the climax – The Ripon Select Foods Cock O’the North.
Elsewhere on the showground highlights include a mock battle staged by The Yorkshire Regiment each day in the Main Ring and displays by The White Helmets, The Royal Signals’ Motor Cycle Display Team. Around 5,000 animals will compete for the championship prizes, there is also an extensive food hall, and around 1,200 stands selling everything from combine harvesters to designer clothes and demonstrations of country skills.