Cattle are a class act at Great Yorkshire

POPULARITY STAKES: Cattle classes at this year's Great Yorkshire Show are already full.

POPULARITY STAKES: Cattle classes at this year's Great Yorkshire Show are already full.

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The strong interest in exhibiting cattle at this year’s event has led to all classes being filled, with more than 100 farmers now on a waiting list for potential openings.

This year’s event takes place between Tuesday, July 12, and Thursday, July 14, and will feature a new £300,000 goat facility, a round of the English sheep-shearing competition and mark the first time that the prestigious Burke Trophy, usually presented at the Royal Show until its demise, is contested on the Harrogate showground.

Despite the fact that a large waiting list is now in operation, honorary show director Bill Cowling said that farmers hoping to enter the cattle classes should not be deterred.

“Realistically, most of these people on the waiting list will get in,” he said. “There will bound to be people who, as the show approaches, find that the animal has not progressed quite as well as they had hoped.

“It is unprecedented to be full up so soon, and we’re delighted with the interest.”

The presentation of the Burke Trophy also marks a first for the Great Yorkshire Show. Organised by the Royal Agricultural Society, the trophy awards the supreme interbreed animal.

It will replace the old interbreed trophy which will now be presented to the reserve.

Mr Cowling said: “Everyone here is delighted that we have got it and, of course, it is of great credit to the Royal Agricultural Society for getting such an important trophy out on the road.”

A new goat section will also take place at this year’s event, with a new £300,000 structure being used to house the animals, doing away with the old canvas covering used in recent years.

“It will be the first year this is used,” said Mr Cowling. “We like to just keep nibbling away at improving the infrastructure. I think one of the show’s great attractions is its diversity.”

The showground will also host one of the rounds in this year’s English sheep-shearing competition, with the overall winner going on to compete in the world championship finals, in New Zealand.

As has become customary for the Great Yorkshire Show since it became the country’s largest agricultural event, a raft of farming and rural leaders are also expected to attend this year.

“We have had very encouraging noises from both the Defra Minister and the shadow Defra Minister.

“We also expect the president of the NFU, CLA and leaders of these types of organisations to attend.”

Mr Cowling and his team at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society will also be hoping for a strong attendance over the three days, with the show president particularly keen to bolster numbers from the non-farming sections of society.

He added that despite the current economic problems of the country, interest in trade stands remained very strong.

For tickets, log on to www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk or call 01423 541222.

INVITATION TO DAIRY FARMERS

DAIRY farmers are invited to a farm walk with the theme, Milking Grass for Profit, on Thursday, April 28, from 10.30am, at Carr House Farm, Allerston, Pickering, organised by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers, British Grassland Society and DairyCo.

Host farmer Chris Stockdale, who manages 155 cows, plus followers, will explain how a paddock system, combined with buffer feeding, is enabling him to average 9,300 litres a cow.

Call 0845 458 2711.

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