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The Great Yorkshire Show prepares to welcome visitors

[Monday 10 July 2006]

FROM international show jumping to a display by the JCB 'Dancing Diggers', and marching bands, the region's premier agricultural event is all set to welcome thousands of visitors over the next few days.

cattle parade
Cattle parade - a highlight of the show
Photo: Great Yorkshire Show

The Great Yorkshire Show is the region's largest annual rural and farming event. Held on the edge of the spa town of Harrogate, last year the show attracted a record breaking crowd of 134,810 visitors and this year's show will open to the public tomorrow (Tuesday 11th) and run until Thursday (13th July).

For Bill Cowling, the Honorary Show Director it is his first year in the "top job" having been Chief Cattle Steward for the past 11 years. He commented: "The 2006 Show is on course to be one of our best ever. We have introduced several new elements, for example the Great Yorkshire Beer Trail and Family Pet Area, but the heart of the show remains the same."

The JCB Dancing Diggers will head the programme of events. The demonstration - described as being rather like ballet for heavy plant machinery - takes place in the Main Ring each day, and never fails to enthral the crowds.

All around the showground there will be much to interest and entertain from mouth-watering arrays of the region's finest food to top class show jumping, from fashion shows to the pole climbing, plus dozens of demonstrations of country skills and the chance to see British agriculture at its best.

There are more than 8,000 competitive entries held over the three days, with competitors from around the country battling it out to take the honours in everything from honey-making to wood-turning, as well as the more traditional livestock classes and favourites such as sheep-shearing and horse-shoeing.

The equestrian section is always popular and this year will be no exception, with the new Ridings Ring hosting most of the in-hand classes such as the Shetlands, Shire horses and Mountain and Moorland ponies.

We are the premier show case for agriculture and country life in the North of England, indeed many of our livestock classes can be counted amongst the finest in the country

Bill Cowling - Honorary Show Director

New this year is the Great Yorkshire Beer Trail where breweries large and small from around the area will present the background to the industry as well as opportunities to sample.

Also new is the Family Pet Area where the best way of handling some of our favourite pets, including rabbits from rescue centre, Bunny Burrows in Richmond and guinea pigs, are featured.

The work of up-and-coming Yorkshire fashion designers can be seen in the culmination of the Yorkshire Fashion Idol competition. Whilst in the Art Show, work by leading Yorkshire artists on the themes of agriculture and Yorkshire can be seen.

Local music has a strong presence at the Show and the region's young musicians will be represented by pupils from a number of Yorkshire schools including Leeds Grammar School, Bedale High School and Ripon Grammar School.

Bill Cowling continued: "We are the premier show case for agriculture and country life in the North of England, indeed many of our livestock classes can be counted amongst the finest in the country.

"We are looking forward to a great three days when we can present the best of the best both to the industry and to general visitors."

More information is available at www.greatyorkshireshow.org

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