Rural skills are centre stage at Newby Hall

bank holidays are well suited to such leisurely pursuits as dog walking but the canines collected at Newby Hall are gathered for somewhat more energetic purposes this May.

Lurcher racing at the Yorkshire Game Fair at Newby Hall near Ripon (GL100338a)

Dog shows are a highlight of the Yorkshire Game Fair which continues for its second and final day in the grounds of the 17th century house near Ripon today. More than 2,000 dog entries had been received for the show ahead of the event which is taking place at the grand hall for the first time in its seven-year history.

Dogs are competing across over a dozen classes and one four-legged friend will be picked out as the supreme dog of the show in the Super Dog Championship. As well as contests for seasoned competitors, there are have-a-go events for beginners.

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Top billed entertainment in the central arena this year are Yorkshire Dales couple Phillip and Carol Mellin and their sheepdog Jess. The former dairy farmers will be familiar faces to some visitors having starred in the ITV television show ‘The Dales’. The Mellins are at Newby Hall to catch the eye with their sheep and duck herding skills.

The overarching aim of the region’s game fair is to give its thousands of visitors a rounded insight into country life and rural pursuits, a feat the show hopes to deliver with a varied programme for all ages.

There is a shooting line manned by enthusiasts from around the county, including the Yorkshire Powder Burners and Pontefract Air Rifle Club, as well as a schedule of equestrian contests and a gamekeepers green featuring recipe demonstrations by forager and wild cook David Ally. Winged beasts also make the line-up with several bird of prey displays which are repeated today. While new additions to the fair this year, include competitions in showjumping, photography and game recipes.

Gates open at 9am and last admission is 5pm ahead of a 6pm finish. Tickets are £10.50 for adults, £5 for eight to 16-year-olds and free for under sevens.