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Great Yorkshire Show tribute to legendary Craven Heifer given permanent home

Emma Stothard's scuplture of the Craven Heifer is unveiled in its new permanent home at the entrance to the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. Picture (left to right) Emma Stothard, Margaret Chapman and Charles Mills.
Emma Stothard's scuplture of the Craven Heifer is unveiled in its new permanent home at the entrance to the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. Picture (left to right) Emma Stothard, Margaret Chapman and Charles Mills.
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A life-sized steel sculpture of the legendary Craven Heifer has taken up permanent residence at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

Weighing more than half a tonne and standing at 6ft tall, the galvanised steel artwork was made by Whitby sculptor Emma Stothard and toured the county in the run up to the 160th Great Yorkshire Show in the summer.

The sculpture took prime position on the President’s Lawn during the show in Harrogate, where it was seen by the 134,421 visitors who attended over the event’s three days, including Royal guest Princess Anne.

Charles Mills, show director at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, said: “We loved every minute of our tour with the Craven Heifer and it was a proud moment to present our iconic sculpture to The Princess Royal during her visit.”

The real Craven Heifer was born on the Bolton Abbey Estate in the 19th century and lived in the same era as the first Great Yorkshire Show. It became a national phenomenon for its sheer scale, with records suggesting the animal measured 11ft long, 6ft tall and 4ft wide.

People would pay to see the heifer which was put on show on its way to London’s Smithfield Market and it remains the largest heifer ever shown in England.

Margaret Chapman, chief cattle steward at the Great Yorkshire Show, helped Ms Stothard carry out research to ensure the sculpture of the heifer was as lifelike as possible.

Ms Stothard said: “I am so proud to have created a lasting legacy for the 160th Great Yorkshire Show.”

After being created in the sculptor’s studio, it was galvanised in Bradford and powder coated in Middlesbrough before being toured around Yorkshire on a specially designed truck.

Visitors to Countryside Live on October 20 and October 21 can see the sculpture in place at the entrance to the showground, next to Fodder.

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