From international showjumping to the display by the JCB 'Dancing
Diggers', and marching bands to hands-on fun for kids - there really
is something for everyone at this year's Great Yorkshire Show.
Cattle parade at the 2005 Great Yorkshire show.
The Great Yorkshire Show is the region's largest annual rural
and farming event with thousands of animals. Cattle, ponies, rabbits,
goats, horses.. the list is extensive, to say the least!
Held on the edge of the spa town of Harrogate, last year the show
attracted a record breaking crowd of 134,810 visitors. Dates for
the 2006 event are Tuesday 11 - Thursday 13 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. 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."
Plans are well underway with the JCB Dancing Diggers will head
the programme of events. The demonstration - rather like ballet
for heavy plant machinery - takes place in the Main Ring each day,
and never fails to enthrall the crowds.
All around the showground there is 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 of course 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 & Moorland
ponies. In the main ring, show jumping runs over the whole three
days, culminating on the Thursday with the Hornbeam Park Cock O'
The North Championship.
Dazzling floral displays can be seen in the Flower Hall, while
the very best produce from our dairies is presented in the Great
Yorkshire Cheese and Dairy Show. This also houses the ever-popular
cookery theatre, which this year follows the theme of recipes with
'Beer and Cheese'. 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. Visitors
can also learn more about the important work of Pets As Therapy
Dogs who can be seen on the final day.
The work of up-and-coming Yorkshire fashion designers can be seen
in the culmination of the Yorkshire Fashion Idol competition. The
panel of judges will choose a "Designer of the Day" and
the winning outfit will be selected on the final day. Whilst in
the Art Show, work by leading Yorkshire artists on the themes of
agriculture and Yorkshire can be seen.
Music has a strong presence at the Great Yorkshire Show, with the
Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas in the Main Ring sure to prove a
major attraction. 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, while the
jazz and swing band, Casablanca Steps will perform in the President's
For the most tempting array of the finest local produce, there's
the fabulous food hall. A vast range of the region's food and drink
will be on display with plenty of samples and the chance to chat
to the producers.
Especially for children, the Discovery Zone provides activities
and demonstrations relating to rural life, highlighting the importance
of food, farming and the environment under the headings Healthy
Living, the Environment and the Countryside. Enabling youngsters
to get 'hands-on' as they learn, it's an area not to be missed.
The Forestry area always draws the crowds, thanks to popular events
such as the McCormicks Solicitors Great British Pole Climbing Championships,
chainsaw carving and tree-felling competitions, as well as a Race
the Chainsaw contest, pitting Forest Harvester machines against
the might of man.
Visitors to the Country Pursuits area will find falconry displays
by the North Yorkshire based Sion Hill Birds of Prey and Conservation
Centre, Mount Grace Gundogs and a display of hounds, as well as
demonstrations of fly-casting and Pakefield Ferrets.
Making a welcome return is the team from Royal Armouries. Following
on from last year's success, their exhibition will include a foot
combat ring and medieval-style tents housing demonstrations of
armour handling and armour displays.
Great Yorkshire Show Supports Operation Bumblebee
Great Yorkshire Cheese & Dairy Show
Great Yorkshire Show: The Art of Woodcraft
A Record Breaking Great Yorkshire Show