Yorkshire’s traditional agricultural show season drew to a close in conditions which perhaps exemplified a summer of challenge for farmers in the fields.
Inconsistent weather has disrupted work on farms but there was joy amid the mist and mud at Nidderdale Show in Pateley Bridge on Monday.
Rural crafts such as wood carving and dry stone walling complemented competitive livestock, equestrian and produce classes, among other elements of the show, while camel racing was a novelty in the main ring.
Trevor Stoney, the show’s honorary director, was delighted with the public’s support given the drizzly conditions that persisted throughout the morning.
“What an amazing amount of folk that have turned up today,” he said.
“They will go home with dirty feet but I just hope they do so having enjoyed their day.
“The weather has mirrored that of the summer. We haven’t really had one and that’s a difficulty round here because July is when we are caught up in harvesting for silage and hay, and when the sheep are sheared.”
Stewards reported sheep entries were up by as much as 25 per cent and it was JM Wilson and Sons, represented by partner David Wilson of Beckwithshaw who took the supreme sheep title for a four-shear Dalesbred ewe. Mr Wilson is chairman of the Dalesbred Sheep Breeders Association and was celebrating his first supreme championship win at Nidderdale.
In reserve was Horton in Ribblesdale farmer and show newcomer Barrie Thomas with a Swaledale gimmer lamb.
A new trophy was presented by estate agents Dacre, Son & Hartley to the winner in the junior shepherd/shepherdess class, and it was Amelie Rogers, 12, of Skipton, who lifted it for her smart handling of homebred Hampshire Down gimmer, Pepper.
The supreme beef animal was judged by former Yorkshire Agricultural Society show director, Bill Cowling and he chose Mark and Tracy Severn’s Beef Shorthorn, Millerston Jester, as the victor – a beast with fine pedigree. The couple from High Lee Farm, Halifax have enjoyed great success with their now two-year-old, winning breed championships at all seven shows it has featured at and claiming its third interbreed title here.
Taking reserve was Pendle Knock ‘Em Out, shown by the Hartley family of Pendle, Lancashire – the same result with the same animal from last year’s show.
It was an emotional day for Gavin Clarke and his family. The Brimham Lodge dairy farmer took both the local dairy championship and the supreme dairy honour with homebred Holstein, Startover Spectrum Apple.
He also picked up The Hartwith Plate, presented in memory of his great grandfather, Tom Gratton, and awarded to the champion exhibitor bred animal in the Holstein classes.
Mr Clarke said: “I could cry right now. I almost did in the ring.”
Reserve supreme dairy champion was a Dairy Shorthorn presented by IRG Collins & Partners of Dewsbury.