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Kilnsey Show Promises Non-Stop Action

A substantial increase in prize money in the cattle classes and enhanced activities for younger visitors are just some of the many highlights on a day of non-stop action at this year’s 117th Kilnsey Show & Sports, on Tuesday, August 26th 2014.

The annual Yorkshire Dales showpiece, Kilnsey Show traditionally the climax to the local agricultural show season, is again being staged by Upper Wharfedale Agricultural Society in the shadow of famous Kilnsey Crag, north of Skipton.

Kilnsey Showfield

Kilnsey Showfield

It represents an in-depth focus on farming and rural life and crafts, attracting thousands of people from both town and country.

Some 430 individual show classes catering for all skills, tastes and ages are again on the agenda, offering total prize money worth £17,000, with more than 80 trophies up for grabs.

The livestock section, always central to Kilnsey Show, itself offers prize money of around £7,000, with the added-value cattle classes for pedigree, commercial beef and dairy animals, supplemented by 124 individual sheep classes featuring 14 different breeds and a show class for prime lambs. Kilnsey remains one of the leading sheep shows in the UK and many experts reckon it even tops the Great Yorkshire. Supreme champions will emerge in both the cattle and sheep sections.

Horses also play a key role at the show, with action in main central arena virtually continuous throughout the day. There are Shires, working hunters, mountain and moorland, and ridden horse classes, along with local riding competitions, including an ever-popular fancy dress riding class for the under-14s.

Last year’s early evening harness racing programme attracted a record entry of 44 runners and organisers are hoping for another big turnout of trotters and riders at this year’s renewal. Bookmakers will again be in attendance for punters who want to chance their arm in the heats and final.

With so much going on throughout the day, there are few gaps to fill, though where these do occur they are plugged with some fascinating displays and demonstrations.

John Close, who runs Langstrothdale Gun Dogs and has had multiple successes in the field trial arena, will be putting his famous hounds through their paces, while Thirsk’s Ben Potter is returning with his birds of prey, among them eagles and vultures. His flying displays are described as both stunning and unique. There are also sheep shearing and angling demonstrations.

Competition tents will again be a hive of activity, as judges cast their eyes over hundreds of entries in the produce, handicrafts, horticulture, art and photography sections. There are also children’s baking and handicrafts classes.

Outside, there are further competition classes for dry stone walling, working sheep dogs, walking sticks, young farmers’ sheep judging, farm crops and vintage tractors.

Kilnsey Show is also renowned for both showcasing and promoting local food and will once more be staging its ever-popular cookery theatre, where leading local chefs will cook up some delicious dishes and provide expert culinary commentary and advice along the way.

This year, they again include Dales farmer’s daughter and Craven College-trained Stephanie Moon, chef consultant for All Things Food, Bruce Elsworth, of The Angel Hetton, Grassington House Hotel’s John Rudden, Chris Oakden, of Coniston Hall Hotel, and Phil Bolton, from The George in Cullingworth.

Phil will also be the guest chef all day in the show’s Grid Iron canteen, which runs alongside the cookery theatre offering visitors the chance to try, among other dishes, chilli made with locally grown beef and venison.

Kilnsey is also seeking to improve on the success of last year's local food village with the introduction of some more interesting street food vendors offering a variety of imaginative food created with local produce. Some of the delights on offer will include home-made crumpets with a variety of toppings, Japanese food, Texas brisket, vegetarian food, chilli and a hog roast.

In addition, there will be plenty of food-related activity during the day, including BBQ demonstrations, supplemented by the annual Northern Dales Farmers Market and the children's area.

Kilnsey Show is fêted for its all-round family appeal and has its own children’s marquee offering a host of educationally-led activities.

These include bread making with York University’s Andrew Wood, crafts by Skipton Children's Centre, story telling by Reverend Peter Thomas, from the Craven branch of the Northern Inter-Schools Christian Union, and, for the first time this year, Aly Gill, of Upper Wharfedale Children's Centre.

Youngsters will be able to pet pets from Hesketh Farm Park in Bolton Abbey, while also on the agenda are Kumon activities, face painting by the Principle Trust and circus tricks by Ribbon in the Sky Arts, who are also new this year. This is small local organisation bringing arts to the community, running imaginative workshops in circus arts, drama and dance, and offering theatrical-themed birthday parties for youngsters.

The PEEL Entertainment Group, of Broughton Hall, is again the main sponsor of the children’s tent, while Taylors of Harrogate, Wellocks, Tesco and Morrisons have all chipped in with product donations. Embsay with Eastby Pre-school Playgroup will again be providing home-made cakes and also overseeing a nappy changing and baby feeding area.

During the afternoon, the show moves into its annual sports programme, most notably the celebrated fell races taking in the punishing climb and descent of Kilnsey Crag.

The senior race in particular is keenly anticipated. Simon Bailey won it last year in 08:05, followed by former winners Ted Mason on 08:09 and Rob Hope in third with 08:17. Both Ted and Rob, a three times British Fell Running champion, have entered again this year and will be hoping to regain the crown.

The now established hard roads network will again accommodate all those requiring vehicular access to the showground – competitors, exhibitors, officials, members of the public and the 100-plus food, craft and trade stands that will be in attendance as usual.

Gates opens to visitors at 9.00am and the show continues until 7.00pm. The cost of admission remains unchanged - £10 for adults, £2 for children 16 and below, with under 5s free. There are additional charges for on-field parking, though the off-field car parks remain free.

Kilnsey Show

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