One of the most important sections at the Great Yorkshire Show
has a new leader. Peter Brier, who has been involved in helping
to run the pig classes for many years, is the new Chief Steward
of the section.
Peter Brier & Saddlebacks
Mr Brier, who comes from two generations of butchers and has lived
at Burley in Wharfedale near Otley for more than half a century,
takes over the role after around 20 years' involvement in the Great
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's show attracted a record-breaking crowd of 134,810 visitors.
Dates for this year are Tuesday 11 - Thursday 13 July. The 2006
event sees the highest number of entries in the section for five
years. There are a total of 324 pigs entered compared with 300
last year and 277 in 2004.
Mr Brier said: "I've been working with pigs all my life. The
first one I owned was a Middle White when I was15 years old, preparing
it and helping to show; ultimately I won my first championship
with an Essex and together with my father Matthew, I founded our
pedigree Essex herd in 1948."
After returning from military service in 1954, Mr Brier returned
to pig farming and has won most awards at national level with the
Landrace breed, including Champion Landrace at the Great Yorkshire
Show for four years in succession.
He is currently vice-chairman of the British Pig Association and
chairman of the Landrace Breed and Modern Breeds committees, as
well as holding various other offices within the industry and is
a founder member of the Consortium of Independent Breeders. Married
to June since 1956 and with five children and 12 grandchildren,
Mr Brier is still involved in the redevelopment of the BPA at national
At this year's Great Yorkshire Show, he says, the classes will
be as hotly contested as ever and there is a new class for young
pig handlers. Youngsters aged from eight to 12 and from 13 to 17
years of age will battle it out for the honours in two categories
of the British Pig Association's Young Handlers' Competition, a
qualifier for the national final of the contest held later this
He says the Young Handlers' classes will be a great showcase for
new talent coming up through the ranks: "I have felt for some
time that the ring skills and quality of some of the handlers between
eight and 18 years of age were so much improved due to Young Handler
classes at shows up and down the country. After all, they are the
future of the classes, and it's great that the Great Yorkshire
Show is supporting this."
Once again the show will host the prestigious BPA Pig of the Year
Final. Mr Brier explained: "This is one of our Supreme Pig
Championships. It is for the winners of heats at 12 shows around
the country, including the Great Yorkshire, and has been running
and growing for several years. The judge of the final is not allowed
to judge at any other show that season and is selected more than
a year in advance - this time it is Mr J Millard of Caxton."
He added: "The Housewives' Choice is always a popular class - this is where
six ladies from the audience are invited to judge the pigs in pairs, under the
guidance of an expert. They will get a special rosette as a memento, and the
class aims not just to entertain the public but also highlight the importance
of welfare standards and pride in stockmanship."
Yorkshire Show 2006 - Tomorrow’s Agriculture Exhibition
The Great Yorkshire Show - Something for
Great Yorkshire Show Supports Operation Bumblebee
Great Yorkshire Cheese & Dairy Show
Great Yorkshire Show: The Art of Woodcraft