After a day of hosing the mares down, topping up water and checking the sheep and cattle, the old house provides a welcome, cooling respite.
The heat has been all encompassing, almost debilitating, but thankfully it came after our favourite show was done and dusted. The Great Yorkshire Show didn’t disappoint and yet again proved why it is great and so incredibly popular.
I arrived early, set up camp and bedded the pens down while Paul finished off last minute jobs at home. It had not been an easy task, persuading John-William to go to school that day, but he did, begrudgingly. I can only imagine how slowly his classroom clock went that day, I expect his teacher and classmates were sick and tired of hearing about the Great Yorkshire Show by the time the bell went for home time!
When it did, he was out like a flash, straight into the awaiting cattle wagon and to Harrogate they headed.
There was enough cloud cover and breeze to ensure we didn’t all fry under the glaring sun, a huge relief for both exhibitors and livestock.
On the morning of our classes, the sheep were washed, faces and legs whitened and every last piece of hay and straw plucked from their fleeces. The little guy was on form, frantically making sure his sheep were ready before finally donning his white show smock and flat cap and heading into the ring with his aged tup.
I’ve never seen him work so hard, constantly checking they would stand up square while keeping an eye on the judge. The Channel 5 cameras filmed away at the side of the ring and as the rosettes started coming, his beaming smile grew and his little chest swelled with pride. He ended up with four firsts, female champion and reserve overall breed champion.
There were plenty of celebrations that afternoon and late into the night, as well as quite a bit of playful banter between John-William and his Uncle who had eventually taken overall breed champion.
We were interviewed for Channel 5’s Live at the Great Yorkshire Show programme, a culmination of several interviews leading up to the show. Being at the show, we didn’t get to see the programme but we certainly heard about it the following day.
Our sheep pens were surrounded by people keen to meet the little star and hear about life living in the middle of the motorway. I stood back and watched him enthuse passionately about his sheep and farm and love of the show.
I couldn’t have been more proud to see the next generation of farmer, custodian of our beautiful countryside in his element at the greatest agricultural show on earth.