Yorkshire Game and Country Fair 2024: The Yorkshire Vet star Peter Wright guest of honour at Scampston Hall

Stepping in animal’s poo is pretty much a natural occurrence for livestock farmers, but it’s still something the public will avoid at all costs, but television’s The Yorkshire Vet, Peter Wright will be bringing lots of it, via his new children’s book, to the Yorkshire Game & Country Fair in the grounds of beautiful Scampston Park next Saturday.

The annual event attracts over 20,000 visitors and is organised by North York Moors farmer’s son Richard Ashworth under his Outdoor Shows banner which sees him with several summer events in Yorkshire including steam fairs. It is held over two days, Saturday and Sunday 18-19 May at the home of the Legard family.

“We are all excited to have Peter join us this year on the opening day with his new children’s book Peter, Sue and a Lot of Poo,” says Richard.

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“Peter has been with us when he has launched previous books and I’m certain this one is going to be just as popular.

Yorkshire Vet Peter Wright.Yorkshire Vet Peter Wright.
Yorkshire Vet Peter Wright.

Peter says he’s delighted to have been invited to be a part of Yorkshire Game & Country Fair and to be able to introduce his new book to children, parents and grandparents and tells of how the move into being a children’s book author came about.

“I always enjoy meeting children wherever I go and they put a different slant on life. They say it as it is and bring a smile to my face wherever I see them. I see a lot of budding young vets from 5 years of age. It’s just a pleasure to meet them. They say exactly what they’re thinking.

“We made a television programme called Milkshake where you take three or four children and put them into various locations. One was at Grace Lane Vets, Kirkbymoorside, the practice I’m working in now, one Saturday morning. We showed the children various animals and what we were doing but the number one thing that caught their attention was that one of the guinea pigs had a poo and a wee on the table.

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“That was the highlight for these kids. I mentioned that to my wife Lynne and she said that’s what kids love. I thought about it and realised that children love stories about poo, because it makes them laugh, and that’s where I thought it was a lovely idea to have a story about it.

Scampston Hall hosts Yorkshire Game and Country FairScampston Hall hosts Yorkshire Game and Country Fair
Scampston Hall hosts Yorkshire Game and Country Fair

“As I don’t take myself too seriously, I came up with this children’s book based on myself, a cow and poo. It’s about the cow that the farmer’s concerned about because she’s getting bigger and bigger and he hasn’t seen her pass anything recently and Peter the vet is called in to have a look at this cow. He goes to examine her and she runs off. She has a run around the farm. She goes passed the sheep, the pigs and eventually makes her way back to the barn.

“By the time the farmer and I catch up with her again she’s lying there and it wasn’t poo she was full of, she was pregnant and had a baby calf, but she hadn’t been to the toilet. When I examine her she has a poo and I get covered in it, and just to prove it’s based on a true story there’s a picture of me at the back of the book, at the back end of a cow when she coughed at an inopportune time, and as she coughed I got absolutely covered in it. The farmer’s granddaughter who I know quite well just happened to be standing next to me with a phone in her hand and she captured the moment.

“I’ve written other books about my life as a vet but this is totally different as it is all in rhyming verse. It’s not too difficult when you put your mind to it, once you start juggling with words. I’m saying to parents and grandparents buying the book for their children, tongue in cheek, ‘you do know you’re buying a literary masterpiece don’t you’.

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Peter reads a rhyme from Peter, Sue & a Lot of Poo, with the farmer talking:

“We have a cow who we call Sue

She’s having trouble going to the loo

All she does is eats and trumps

What a smell with all those pumps.

Peter says he has more children’s books to come and that he has no plans to retire any time soon from either his role as a vet or as a writer.

“I once came home and said to Lynne I was thinking of retiring and she said, ‘I don’t want you under my feet all day long’ but truly I thoroughly enjoy everything I do. I’d admired the Grace Lane practice in Kirkbymoorside for some time. It’s a truly mixed practice doing all species with four operating theatres and all the latest cutting edge stuff, and they do farm work as well as everything else. I enjoy it all. It would be quite alien to me not to be out on farms and I need the variety I’ve had all my career, and we make The Yorkshire Vet from there as well.

When Peter first saw the illustration depicting him in the book he admitted being chuffed.

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“On the first page where I’m in the practice with a pair of gloves on and a stethoscope around my neck I’ve got lovely brown hair. That cheers me up no end.

Yorkshire Game & Country Fair’s other highlights next weekend are the British Scurry and Trials Driving with the ‘Arena Driving Challenge’ - a fast-paced carriage driving sport. The Mounted Games Association of Great Britain competing against the clock. Leopold Liberty Pony Display, Shetland ponies demonstrating a circus-style performance and The Heavy Horse Show (Sunday only).

“We have so much going on,” says Richard. “From ferrets to gundog demos, and you can bring your pet and join in the fun dog show classes or try the dog agility and flyball courses available for novices, plus terriers and lurchers will compete in fast-paced racing and competitions. Clay pigeon shooting and funfair rides too.

“We’ve birds of prey including vultures, owls, falcons, hawks and eagles, and a reptile display where you can handle snakes and lizards.

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“One of our other main features is the tractor pulling area. This is an amazing sport that is big in Europe and the United States where highly modified and standard tractors pull to the limits of converting power into traction.

“Our vintage vehicles are always a major attraction too including cars, commercials, fire engines and tractors. And we’ve a chainsaw carver who will be demonstrating throughout each day.

Peter will be signing copies of his new book Peter, Sue & a Lot of Poo at Yorkshire Game & Country Fair at Scampston Park from 11.30am on Saturday 18 May. Books are also available from White Rose Books, Thirsk or on Amazon.

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