Final preparations underway in Harrogate for 160th Great Yorkshire Show

A glorious stage is set for cattle of supreme stature, immaculately groomed horses and perfectly clipped sheep to hog the spotlight.

Singer Lizze Jones, who will be making history as the first singer to perform in the Main Ring at the Great Yorkshire Show, holding Camus Harold, a Simmental from Popes Simmentals based near Preston. Pictures by James Hardisty.

Teams of farmers from all corners of Yorkshire and the UK, have preened, plucked and hosed down their prized farmyard animals for England’s premier agricultural show which gets underway tomorrow for a landmark 160th year.

The Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate is expected to attract more than 130,000 people over the next three days and before the crowds descended our photographers dropped in for a special preview of what visitors can expect - including the sight of catwalk models turned out in clothing that replicates what would have been worn by visitors to the very first show in 1838.

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Charles Mills, honorary director of the Great Yorkshire Show, said: “The showground looks pretty magnificent. I’m very pleased.

Judith Cowie washes down her Red Belted Galloway called Copelaw Ruby.

“Every year we try to improve what we have done in previous years and try to do things a little bit differently.

“We have a record number of livestock entries and they all look extremely well. We have three national cattle shows this year and those entries in particular look good.”

As well as some of the country’s finest livestock being paraded in the show rings, this year’s countryside celebration features a Royal visit on Wednesday from Princess Anne, twice daily performances in the main ring by Yorkshire soprano Lizzie Jones and Yorkshire Film Archive footage shown on a big screen.

Mr Mills said: “This will be a magical show and we can’t wait to welcome visitors over the next three days.”

Models Ronan Carter and Isabelle Mason wearing period costumes that would have been worn at the very first Great Yorkshire Show in 1838. The pair are pictured with a Clydesdale, Camalter Poppy, from Sledmere House Stables.

The country has enjoyed a long spell of dry, warm weather ahead of this year’s show and the conditions have taken their toll on farmers’ fields. While the showground has not been immune to the effects of the heatwave, Mr Mills declared himself satisfied with the state of the 250-acre site.

“We have one or two small issues in the main ring but it has been watered to make it as perfect as possible,” the show director said.

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society, which organises the show, has announced a late contingency plan for disabled visitors affected by Mobility Hire 4 U going into administration.

About 70 visitors had used the company to hire wheelchairs or scooters on each of the show and they will now be offered manual wheelchairs as a replacement thanks to the late intervention of the Red Cross and Physionet.

The wheelchairs will be available at the showground’s Orange Gate as usual and there will be no extra charge.