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    Countryside Live Attracts Record Crowds
28/10/08

The return of the cattle and sheep classes proved a huge attraction for visitors to Countryside Live, at the weekend (Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th October) with a record breaking 10,127 people through the gates.

Phil Sellers with the Supreme Beef
Champion, “Limited Edition”
at the 2008 Countryside Live.

Phil Sellers

Now in its sixth year, the two-day event at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate offered the perfect mix of a showcase for superb livestock and the chance for general visitors to learn more about the industry. Bill Cowling, Honorary Show Director said he was delighted with the record breaking figure and said the event was “the best yet”.

“It’s had a real buzz with the crowds pouring in from early morning on both days and livestock lines have been extremely busy. The judges have all commented on the exceptional quality of our cattle and sheep and we are already looking forward to next year’s event,” said Mr Cowling.

Countryside Live is organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and is the little sister event of the annual Great Yorkshire Show.

The Supreme Beef Championship went to Phil Sellers of Belper, Derbyshire with a British Blue sired heifer, ‘Limited Edition’. Weighing in at 580kg, she has won on all seven occasions in the show ring with judge Kevin Ludgate describing her on Sunday (26 Oct) as “fantastic, showy and full of meat”. The overall steer champion, Black Jack from Tecwyn Jones of Conwy stood Reserve. The British Blue was shown by son 14 year old Dylan.

Commenting on the standard across the beef section Mr Ludgate said: “The quality here has been outstanding, not just in the 1st – 3rds, but down to 6th place too.”

North Yorkshire exhibitors swept the board in the sheep section with the Brown family from near Bedale taking home armfuls of silverware with their Beltex. Martin Brown won four of the five championship awards, and daughter Hannah won the Young Handlers section. The Brown’s pair of Beltex lambs from their 600 ewe flock took the Supreme Championship title. The trophy for the Champion Native was taken by Mike Allen of Staithes, near Whitby, North Yorkshire with a pair of Suffolk X Texel lambs.

Lincolnshire took the honours in the Royal Smithfield Club National Festival of Meat, with Michael Read of Hemingby, Horncastle, winning the Ribs of Beef section, with R E Needham & Son of Gayton le Wold, Louth, taking Best Sired by British Native Breed. In the Saddle of Lamb section, the Supreme Championship was taken by W Evans of Bordorgan, Anglesey, with a Beltex x Texel male.

The new sausage tasting competition was won by Hinchcliffes Butchers of Huddersfield with Ellisons Butchers of Cullingworth, Bradford as runners up.

Around the event, the new equine section proved hugely popular with masterclasses by former Olympic showjumper Graham Fletcher. In addition, hundreds of children enjoyed a range of activities including bread making, face painting and learning how to recycle waste. Amongst them were members of local Brownie and Cub packs who completed a number of set tasks around the event to gain their special Countryside Live badges.

Doncaster beekeeper Dave Shannon took the champion’s trophy in the Honey Show, winning the Yorkshire Herald Cup by just one point.

In the Poultry Section, the Champion, a rare breed black Sumatra, was shown by Geoff Tinson and Louise Hidden of Glossop, Derbyshire, while the Supreme Champion honours in the Fancy Pigeon section going to Andy Hopkins of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, with his Old German Owl. Keith and Gillian Robson of Darlington, Co Durham, won Best Fancy Flying Pigeon with a Flying Tippler and Best Fancy Homer with a Grizzler, and Best Show Racer went to Paul Yates of Harrogate.

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