Young entrants help set records at county show

Four-year-old Jovi Wood shows her pet lamb at the North Yorkshire County Show.  Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Four-year-old Jovi Wood shows her pet lamb at the North Yorkshire County Show. Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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The growing involvement of young people helped secure more record numbers at one of the county’s biggest one-day agricultural shows near Northallerton.

Thousands visited the grounds of Otterington Hall for today’s North Yorkshire County Show which was hailed as a success by show veteran Len Cragg.

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Mr Cragg, who was the show’s joint president this year alongside his wife Vivien, said: “It’s a very successful show and one where we have record entries - more heavy horses than there has been, well over 600 sheep, over 200 cattle, the poultry and rabbits are level which shows they are still going strong. The light horse show ponies are very much on par with previous years.

“It’s a big site, picturesque and ideal - and we’re proving it with the numbers of people coming along in the crowd.”

And he said the long-running event had particularly been buoyed by younger generations.

Mr Cragg said: “There is a resurgence in the numbers of people who are showing. The younger generations are starting to become a lot more involved. The countryside is alive and kicking.

Fourteen-month-year-old Seth Whitelaw from Northallerton has a ride on a tractor.

Fourteen-month-year-old Seth Whitelaw from Northallerton has a ride on a tractor.

“There are also a lot of youngsters stewarding this year and I hope it will kindle more than a passing interest.”

Among the young exhibitors at the show was Martha Day, aged 11, of Ingleby Greenhow on the edge of the North York Moors.

The schoolgirl was the youngest competitor in the ring when she paraded a calf from his father Mark Day’s herd in the under-16s young handlers cattle class.

Martha, who stood at about the same height as the calf, said she took part because she really likes animals. Mr Day said she wanted to be a vet when she grows up.

Five-year-old Ruby Grimston meets an alpaca.

Five-year-old Ruby Grimston meets an alpaca.

In the main ring there were performances by Katy Cropper, the first woman to win the BBC’s One Man and His Dog, and her daughter Henrietta who herded sheep on horse back using trained trials sheepdogs.

And for the first time this year, there was a demonstration of baling using thousands of pounds worth of modern farming machinery. Local baling contractors were involved including Adamson of Northallerton.

The show’s bulging livestock classes are seen as dress rehearsals for the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate next month and the quality of animals did not disappoint.

Mick Rodney, of Leighton Grange, Masham, won the beef interbreed competition with a 12-month-old Belgian Blue heifer bought with its mother from a sale in Carlisle and born out of the Tweeddale herd.

Mr Rodney, whose winner was shown in the ring by Ben Hardcastle, said: “She is the first pedigree beast in our herd. We always have smaller cattle for the Christmas shows so she was the baby in the class - so to win is beyond my expectations.”

The best dairy animal in the show was a Holstein second calver shown by James Pratt of J Pratt & Son, Bellerby near Leyburn. Their herd extends to 120 cattle and their milk is supplied to the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes.

Their winner, three-year-old Studdah Bradnick Dream milks 45 litres a day and was being shown for the first time.

Mr Pratt said: “This is what we do it (showing) for, brighter moments like this because the situation in the dairy industry is not good at the moment. It is a brilliant feeling to win, considering dairy entries were up as well.”

Kenton Foster, of Leyburn won the sheep interbreed championship. His winner, a British Charollais from his 120-strong flock was shown by his nephew, 13-year-old Sam Ward.

The county show hosts the largest poultry show in the North of England and featured some 830 exhibits this year, plus another 360 egg entries. The best in show award went to Peter Corkhill of Cumbria for his gold Dutch bantam and Steve Hodge of Preston coming second for his black orpington bantam.

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