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Countryside Live – Fun and Farming on the Timetable

Entries are flooding in for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s autumn event, Countryside Live. Regarded as the “little sister” of the Great Yorkshire Show, it includes a broad range of classes, including sections for cattle and sheep and horses, as well as for poultry, pigeons, honey products, plus fruit and vegetables.

The dates are Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 October, and the venue is the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. This will be the 12th show, with last year’s event attracting a recording breaking 12,689 visitors.

 The 2013 Countryside Live Champion Pair of Butchers Lambs owned by Joe Burnett of Leominster. L-R: Claire Dent, judge Malcolm Stewart, Joe Burnett and Aled Groucott.

The 2013 Countryside Live Champion Pair of Butchers Lambs owned by Joe Burnett of Leominster. L-R: Claire Dent, judge Malcolm Stewart, Joe Burnett and Aled Groucott.

The closing date for submitting entries for the beef cattle, sheep and equine sections is Friday 5th September, and for pigeons, poultry and honey, it is Friday 12 September. The fruit and vegetable classes are again organised through the Knaresborough Horticultural Society with entries being taken until the Thursday before the event (16th October).

Bill Cowling, Show Director said: “Countryside Live has forged its own place in the rural calendar and although it is very different to the Great Yorkshire Show, the core ethos is the same – to showcase the importance of British farming and to provide a fun and educational day out, particularly for those with younger families.”

In the livestock sections, the beef and sheep classes are judged on Saturday with the championships, including young handler sections, taking place the following day. Mr James Alexander of County Antrim has the task of deciding the cattle with Mr Alex Brown of Darwen, Lancashire in charge of the sheep.

In the equine section there are classes for Mountain and Moorland ponies, lead rein and first ridden as well as working hunter ponies. The event is a qualifier for the Blue Chip BSPS Heritage Mountain and Moorland Ridden Championship in December at Olympia. In addition, there are classes for coloured horses and ponies, working hunter ponies as well as the popular fancy dress competition for youngsters (under 16yrs). All the equine classes include a special prize for the highest placed Yorkshire based pony and rider.

This will be the third year that the finals for the Northern Show Cross Series have featured; their popularity has grown to the extent that this year the classes take place over both days in the showground’s Main Ring. The competition comprises a round of showjumping and a round of cross country, all against the clock. For the first time an inter-team relay will also take place.

The Search for a Talented Showjumper contest has become a “must enter” for budding John or Ellen Whitakers! Over the weekend Olympic equestrian experts Graham and Tina Fletcher will give guidance and encouragement as they whittle down the entries to the final winner. Last year Ellie Meldrum from Jedburgh, Scotland took the honours and enjoyed a weekend at the Fletcher’s yard as part of her prize.

Elsewhere around the event there will be pony rides – featured for the first time, mountain bike displays, archery, falconry, dog agility demonstrations, Diggerland, farriery competitions and tug of war contests.

There are savings on tickets booked in advance. Adult tickets - £9, £5 for children’s, and a family ticket, admitting two adults and three children, priced at £24. Tickets will also be available on the gate. Parking is free and extensive. Please note dogs, other than assistance dogs, are not allowed on the showground. Gates open at 9am – 5.30pm each day.

Countryside Live

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