A Royal visit, two national cattle championships, two new sheep breeds and a brand new Sheep to Chic fashion show were among the highlights when the sell-out Great Yorkshire Show opened to visitors (11 July 2023).
HRH The Duke of Gloucester was taken on a tour of the Show by the Show Director Charles Mills and HM Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Mrs Jo Ropner, seeing horses, cattle and the latest in farming technology.
The day also brought top level industry leaders to the Great Yorkshire Showground with MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, led by the Chair of the cross-party committee, Sir Robert Goodwill MP, launching a new report on the merits and risks involved in species reintroductions in England. Sir Robert said it was vital that politicians listed to scientists and stakeholders on any potential issues.
TV presenter Adam Henson chaired a discussion on the challenges and opportunities for the farming sector with Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers Union; Mark Spencer, Minister of State in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Sir Robert Goodwill, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.
Roger Burnett of the Society said:
It is a privilege and a pleasure to be at the Great Yorkshire Show and the standard is very high this year. We were delighted to receive the Doncaster Cup.
The President’s Award, of the Curzon-Howe Rosebowl went to Horticap, while there was also an award for best nursery for first-time exhibitor Cliff Bank Nursery.
The day also saw the ribbons presented in two of the three national cattle championships being held at the Show, with breed champion in the Beef Shorthorns going to Miss L Trueman’s Roundhill Millie, while the Longhorn title went to Mrs PA Stanley’s Blackbrook Bluebell.
The Ridden Hunter title, the first of the major equine prizes, went to Mrs Jill Day’s middleweight seven-year-old gelding, Greenhall Treasure Island, ridden by Robert Walker. Reserve went to Mrs R Bailey’s heavyweight gelding, Twinshock Warrior, ridden by Jane Ross.
Down in the sheep rings, two new breeds, the Badgerface Texel and Castlemilk Moorits, were competing, while next door the shearing stage saw the new Sheep to Chic Fashion Show, featuring the best of British wool garments worn by professional models and volunteers from the rural community.
There were celebrations for the winner of the RABI/YAS Outstanding Contribution to Yorkshire Agriculture Award, Paul Russell, Managing Director of Russells. The Russell family has been serving the Yorkshire farming community since 1849 and currently represents more than 30 industry leading machinery manufacturers in the agricultural, ground care and construction sectors, employing more than 225 people. The business operates from twelve depots and is also heavily involved in community and charity work.
Adam Henson, who was appearing on the GYS Stage, also visited the Show’s new Innovation Zone which explores the future of farming, and the newest developments in the agricultural sector were recognised with the GYS Innovation Award, sponsored by the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET).
The award, formerly known as the White Rose What’s Next Award, recognises new and innovative products that offer significant improvement and innovative solutions to the farming industry, chosen from agricultural, machinery and farming exhibitors at the Great Yorkshire Show.
Taking the honour this year was Neil Fell of NR Fell of County Durham, who has invented a mobile, hydraulic sheep dipper that is delivering massive productivity gains whilst improving animal and farmer welfare and reducing the environmental impact of dipping.
Charles Mills, Show Director, said:
We have had a wonderful start to the show, with a visit by HRH the Duke of Gloucester. Some of the top industry leaders have here been looking at a variety of issues for both agriculture and the wider the rural sector and we have seen the first awards for some amazing winners in the show rings.
The Great Yorkshire Show has become a four-day event after a raft of changes were implemented at the 2021 show due to Covid 19 regulations.
Tickets for the show have now sold out. Tickets will not be available on the gate. The opening times are 8am to 6pm on all four days. To see what is happening on which day, go to: https://greatyorkshireshow.co.uk/whats-on/