Sunshine lifts spirits for visitors at shows

The Otley Show. Pictures by Tony Johnson

The Otley Show. Pictures by Tony Johnson

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Contrary to recent tradition, there was not enough water at the first show in the agricultural calendar this weekend.

Last summer Otley Show was swept by rain, but more water than usual was transported on to the showground on Saturday to keep livestock watered on what was the warmest day of the year so far. The lake next to the show fields has always made for a pleasant backdrop, but this year it became a feature of the show itself, with Otley Sailing Club offering dinghies for visitors.

The Otley Show. Pictures by Tony Johnson

The Otley Show. Pictures by Tony Johnson

The sun also shone on another event, the Pickering Game and Country Fair, incorporating the UK Tractor Show, with visitors enjoying a range of attractions.

At Otley, in the sheep pens, Ernie Sherwin of The Grange, Nosterfield, was showing Wensleydales, a breed his grandfather Len Fawell specialised in. From his small flock run over 20 acres, the chartered surveyor and auctioneer produced last year’s breed champion and reserve champion overall at the Great Yorkshire Show, and at Otley this weekend he added another Wensleydale breed win.

He said: “It’s great to show here at Otley and support the people that have helped me before.”

The show’s supreme sheep was a Teeswater hog in full wool presented by Andrew Fisher, of Pateley Bridge, who said: “I’m chuffed to bits.”

The Otley Show. Pictures by Tony Johnson

The Otley Show. Pictures by Tony Johnson

John and Pat Varley ,of Queensbury, Bradford, showed two home-bred Limousin heifers – the first time the animals had left their farm and they scooped an array of rosettes, including the supreme beef interbreed champion. Robert and Elaine Butterfield, of Bentham, repeated their success of last year, taking a successive crown as supreme dairy champions.

Otley Show chairman Jeff Crabtree was hopeful that attendance at the show’s 205th incarnation would challenge recent highs of about 20,000 people.

The Otley Show. Pictures by Tony Johnson

The Otley Show. Pictures by Tony Johnson

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