Be the birthday star of Countryside Live

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Organisers of the Great Yorkshire Show are looking to put the disappointment of the cancellation of the event behind them by promising that its autumnal sister event will be bigger and better than ever.

Countryside Live takes place on the weekend of October 20 and 21 at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.

This year will see the farming showcase celebrate its 10th anniversary and organisers have promised a weekend that has a packed programme of events.

And, with the vast majority of the attractions due to take place inside, the weather will not be able to threaten the show.

Several new attractions are promised as well as the popular competitive classes for cattle, sheep, and horses. Schedules are now available.

Show director Bill Cowling said: “Our aim was to have an autumn event to really enthuse people about how great farming and the countryside is and we’ve certainly done that with attendance numbers growing each year.”

Last year’s figure was a record-breaking 10,700.

And to mark the special year, youngsters who share a birthday with Countryside Live are invited to get in touch and be part of the event.

“Anyone who celebrates their tenth birthday in October should contact us saying why they should be chosen as the ‘Birthday Star of Countryside Live’, said Mr Cowling.

“The winner and ten friends will have free entry to the event and be involved in the celebrations which will include a party, a special cake and goodie bags,” he said.

See for more details and the entry form.

Elsewhere, the equine section has grown substantially since it was introduced in 2008 and this year sees a new competition encompassing show jumping and cross country.

Entitled The Northern Show Cross Series Final, it is sponsored by Bishop Burton College and takes place in the main ring. Making a welcome return is the contest to find Britain’s most talented new show jumper, with equestrian experts Graham and Tina Fletcher in the judges’ hot seat. There will also be a new class for ridden heavy horses.

Also making its debut is the hilarious ‘One Man and His Pig’ competition which will see pigs being put through their paces around an obstacle course, plus there’s mountain biking for the first time and ferret racing.

Back by popular demand are Carol and Philip Mellin, stars of TV’s The Dales programme with their sheepdog demonstrations, the popular Diggerland Experience is returning whilst would-be Robin Hoods will have the chance to put their archery skills to the test. For youngsters there is the Country Crafts Experience with a host of hands-on activities for children of all ages.

Another popular aspect of Countryside Live is the fruit, vegetable and flower show. There are dog agility competitions, tug of war contests and Richard Savoury’s fun-filled sheep show.