THE GREAT Yorkshire Show is used to attracting exhibitors and visitors from across the country but this year three competitors are making the trip to Harrogate from the edge of the Arctic Circle.
Three Icelanders are preparing to compete in the sheep shearing classes at next month’s premier agricultural show.
The contingent from the Nordic island comprises 37-year-old female sheep farmer Heiða Guðný Ásgeirsdóttir, who has been a professional shearer for six years, and male competitors Hafliði Sævarsson, 49, and Uruguayan-born Julio Cesar Gutierrez, 51.
Mr Sævarsson began shearing in 1985, has shorn more than 3,000 sheep a year for the last 25 years and is a two-time champion shearer in his homeland. Last year, he was a member of the Icelandic team at the World Championship shearing competition in Ireland.
A father-of-two, he also works as a postman and competes as a mountain runner and in triathlons.
Mr Gutierrez began shearing in South America at the age of 19 and has been a sheep shearer in his adopted country since moving there in 1994.
He estimates he has shorn close to 300,000 sheep over the years. The father-of-three is also a former Iceland shearing champion, having won the prize in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Richard Schofield, the Great Yorkshire Show’s chief shearing steward, said: “They will be coming over a few days before the show and will be taking a shearing course in the south of Scotland. This will allow us to determine their classifications for the show – in all likelihood they will be in either the intermediate or senior sections.
“We get a lot of people coming and watching and this year’s shearing will be very competitive. Across the classes, we usually have between 120 and 150 entries.”
For tickets to the show, taking place on July 14-16, see www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk