SUNSHINE and smiles rather than sogginess and scowls were the order of the day as the North Yorkshire County Show bounced back from last year’s cancellation in fine fashion.
There was no sign of the torrential rain which scuppered the show last time round and such was the popularity of yesterday’s one-day event, latecomers were directed to park in a third car park for the first time in the show’s history.
Early birds saw smartly attired young show jumpers putting ponies through their paces as vintage machinery and traction engines coughed and spluttered into life, and ice cream sellers began their day’s swift trade.
Livestock judging got under way and the crowds thickened before a bmx stunt display and then hunting horses and dogs from the Hurworth Hounds and Claro Beagles circled the main arena, with children and their parents invited into the ring to see the excitable pack of hounds at close quarters.
The event is known for having the largest one-day show of poultry in England and the tent where chickens and hens were on display was filled by a cacophony of clucking from all sizes of birds bearing a colourful array of distinctive feathers in every shade of white, brown and black.
As well as traditional classes of cattle, sheep, poultry and horses, there were alpacas, ferrets, pet rats, hamsters and rabbits for visitors to peruse and judges in white coats to run the rule over.
Sarah Mousely, 21, of Dalton Gates, was an early victor in the 1-10 open show jumping event with her horse Wildcat, stable name Hippo because of her healthy appetite.
She said: “I started show jumping at 15 and I’m out every weekend. It feels really good to win. I think she has a really good attitude and has a really good head on her. Next up is Ingliston in Scotland at the end of the month.”
In the fiercely competitive cattle stakes, Alasdair and Janeen Smith’s six calver Holstein took the Supreme Dairy Champion crown.
Mrs Smith, of Carkin Moor Farm, Richmond, said: “We showed her a bit last year and she won a championship in the Northumberland Show. She’s seven years old and gives 50 litres a day.”
Daughter and father team Melissa and Stephen Donaldson, with the help of Mr Donaldson’s stepson Mark Preston, claimed the Supreme Beef title with their immaculately blonde cow.
Miss Donaldson, 15, whose family farms in Little Langton near Northallerton, said: “It was a strong category so we didn’t think we would win. This is our third year showing.”
Winners in 17 breed categories of sheep fought for the Interbreed Champion rosette which was awarded to a delighted Stephen Hodgson of Patrick Brompton near Bedale for his Charollais shearling gimmer.
A herdsman with a flock of 35 sheep, Mr Hodgson, who was showing with wife Nicola and son Sam, 17, said: “It’s last year’s lamb so it’s one year old and it’s the first time I’ve shown it. I’m showing at the Royal Highland and the Great Yorkshire Show and some that are more local. It’s always good to see what you have got here. They looked good at home but until you get in front of others you don’t know for sure.”
Meanwhile the future looks bright for Under 7s Young Handler winner William Hall, four, of Hutton Rugby.
His father, Russell, said: “It’s his own lamb. He washes it and bottle feeds it himself. He’s a born farmer.”
Supreme champion: M Donaldson
Aberdeen Angus: T A & P Johnson
Beef shorthorn: G Turton
Other continental breeds: M Donaldson
Commercial beef: JW & RM Wilkinson
Interbreed: A & J E Smith
Holstein: A & J E Smith
Jersey: J Pratt & S Clapham
Red & White: J Pratt & Son
Supreme Champion: S Hodgson
Masham: M & B Allen
Teeswaters: Dr & Mrs Horner
Mule: N Peacock
Blue-faced Leicester: N Peacock
Swaledale: A & L Fawbert
Ryeland: A Burton
Texel: R Newby
Charollais: S Hodgson
Beltex: T Hunter
Bleu-de-Maine: TS Goldie
Suffolk: L Peel
Butcher’s Lamb: R Porteous
Commercial Sheep: Ivanhoe Livestock
Hampshire Down: J Galbraith
White-faced Woodland: JA Hawkhead
Primitive: J Preston
Interbreed: S Hodgson
Native: D Couplan