2004 Supreme Beef Champion, Mistique, a 14 month old
Limousin Cross heifer, shown by Sharon Sellers
Countryside Live, the “little sister” of the Great Yorkshire Show, looks all set to have well filled livestock classes building on last year's success.
The 2005 event, which takes place at the Great Yorkshire Showground on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October, has several new classes and prize money of £6,590 for the beef and sheep sections. Last year was a “sell out” for livestock entries and early replies from farmers wanting to exhibit, indicate that this will be the case for 2005. The event is organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.
Honorary Show Director Bill Cowling said: “This will be our third Countryside Live, and from the very beginning we have been fortunate to have the support of the farming industry. We attract both quality and quantity which enables us to be a platform for the industry, both to farmers and to the general public.
“Our support comes from Yorkshire farmers and indeed from much further afield. Exhibitors travel from as far away as Cornwall and the West Country, and many from Scotland and clearly, they would not be willing to do so unless they felt the show merited that investment of time and cost.”
Last year saw 163 cattle and 306 sheep forward with all stalls taken. The 2004 Cattle Championship was won by Phil Sellers of Belper, Derbys. with his 14 month old Limousin Cross heifer, Mistique and in the sheep, the honours went to Simon and Audrey Taylor of Cumberworth, Huddersfield with their Texel cross entries.
This year in the live beef section there are classes for Limousin, Belgian Blue, Charolais, Blonde and Native breeds, as well as Baby Beef Classes. For the first time there is a Pedigree Championship and also an award for the Champion Beast bred, owned and shown by a Yorkshire exhibitor. The majority of the judging takes place on Saturday with the Baby Beef Section on Sunday. Barry Allsop of Harby Leicestershire has the difficult task of selecting the winners.
In the sheep, there are some 10 live and live/dead classes with judging of the live classes by Andrew Bishop of Malvern taking place on the Saturday afternoon. Mr Bishop keeps 2000 breeding ewes and 100 cattle farming some 700 acres. There are championships for pairs of Native and Continental lambs, single butchers' lamb, and the Supreme Championship awarded to the Best Pair of Butchers Lambs. For the first time there is also a championship award for a Pair of Lambs bred, owned and shown by a Yorkshire Exhibitor. Ian Weatherhead of Pateley Bridge, Harrogate is the judge for the live/dead class.
In addition the Beef Ribs Competition organised by The Royal Smithfield Club will take place and for the first time there is also a Saddle of Lamb Competition. The judge is Alec Traves of Escrick, York. The competition is part of the National Festival of Meat organised by the Club.
Elsewhere there are classes for poultry on Sunday, which made an extremely successful debut last year and new for 2005 are classes for pigeons on Saturday. The bi-annual Yorkshire Woodfair makes a welcome return, plus there are classes for Young Farmers, the Tug of War, exciting displays from the Xtreme Motorcyclists, the cookery theatre showcasing the best of the region's food and dozens of stands selling everything from cheese to crafts to clothing to jewellery to sculptures….
The event is kindly supported by Yorkshire Forward.
Countryside Live developed from the Northern Counties Livestock Society whose earliest shows involving cattle were held in Leeds in the 1960s and Mr Cowling was then Secretary of the Livestock Section. The Countess of Halifax is Patron of Countryside Live and will present the Awards at the event.
Tickets are on sale now and cost £7 for Adults and £6 for concessions, with savings for tickets booked in advance. There is free admission for children. The show opens at 9.30am each day and closes at 5pm on Saturday and 4.30pm on Sunday.
For further information please check out the website www.countrysidelive.co.uk or call on 01423 541000.