Sunshine show that did Yorkshire proud

When people look back on the 2013 Great Yorkshire Show they will remember a glorious three-day event that did the rural and farming heritage of Yorkshire proud.

British Limousin cattle in the main ring at the Great Yorkshire Show during the cattle parade.

The weather, the source of so much heartbreak in 2012, was glorious from start to finish, with blazing sunshine and soaring temperatures burning away the memory of last year’s downpours.

The bustling avenues, show rings and fields were full to bursting across all three days – with more than 100,000 people having arrived on the showground in Harrogate over the period.

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And a first class display of livestock, horses and rural life greeted the thousands who streamed through the gates.

The final visitor figure will not be known until later today but bosses appeared confident it would be a strong turnout.

Bill Cowling, honorary show director, said: “I think the show looks like it’s a success. The gate is certainly good, the weather’s good, what more can you ask?

“I don’t know whether it’s a record but it’s good.

“A lot of it’s about the weather. There’s such a contrast (to last year). The weather is so contributory for an outdoor event of any sort, ours in particular.”

It is also unclear exactly how many people with unused tickets from last year exercised the offer to use them at this year’s event.

Asked if people decided whether to attend at the last minute, Mr Cowling said: “I think quite a few, maybe more than we think.

“I think they look at the weather forecast in the morning, they look out the window in the morning...if people were planning a long way ahead we would sell more advanced tickets because why would you not save £2 or £3 on a ticket?”

However, the show is not quite over for organisers, with a big clear up operation starting at the showground.

Hundreds of volunteers and stewards will work to put away the remainder of the non-permanent show buildings and structures.

Meanwhile, the heritage and history of the show was well-illustrated when two show visitors, Reverend Ken Evans and his wife Carol, from Mirfield, provided organisers with a huge talking point by arriving at the show with a medal dating back to the Great Yorkshire Show of 1859.

Rev Evans found the medal, awarded in the ‘Extra Stock Horses’ section, while clearing out the house of his recently deceased uncle, Llewellyn.

“I was aware it would be of interest so I brought it along today. It is in great condition.”

This year’s event was not without its controversies.

Acknowledging the suspected case of livestock tampering regarding two dairy cattle, he said: “It’s a rare event and still under investigation in truth.

“There is always some things that turn up at the show. Generally speaking it’s been a nice show, an easy show.”

There was a brief scare when one of the White Cap motorcycle stunt drivers was hospitalised following a crash.

Signaller Joshua Cound was released the next day and returned to the showground to loud cheers from spectators.

Put date in diary for next year

The Great Yorkshire Show will take place next year in early July.

The dates have now been confirmed as Tuesday July 8, Wednesday July 9 and Thursday July 10 at the Harrogate showground.

In the meantime, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society will stage Countryside Live over the weekend of October 19 and 20.

Tickets for the show go on sale in the New Year while tickets for Countryside Live, which is mostly indoors, will be placed on sale in the next few weeks.