Returning champions steal the headlines at 143rd Driffield Show

East Yorkshire farmers enjoyed their big day out in the sun as Driffield Show attracted around 25,000 visitors to its showfield in Kelleythorpe for its 143rd installment.

Driffield Show was held for the 143rd time today. Pictures by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Free entry for under 12s was introduced in response to calls from the community to make the show more affordable and a new countryside arena featuring gun dogs, fly fishing and pond dipping, along with a reworked horticulture section featuring a floral art and gardens theatre, added to the depth of content as organisers tweaked this latest edition.

Events in the countryside arena did not go quite to plan as a serious medical emergency required an air ambulance to use the plot as a makeshift landing zone.

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Staff were scrambled to the arena to clear the area after a man suffered a cardiac arrest.

The Kangaroo Kid in action at Driffield Show.

David Tite, chief executive of Driffield Agricultural Society, later reported that the man had been responsive to treatment.

“We wish him all the very best and hope he makes a speedy recovery,” Mr Tite said.

Bar the incident, the rest of the show went according to plan, helped by hot weather in the morning that then mercifully cooled from around lunchtime onwards.

Heavy horses, a hunting scurry display and a quad bike stunt show by The Kangaroo Kid brought entertainment to the main ring while a food hall showcased some of the best local produce, from Wolds-made wine and crisps to pork pies and organic bread.

Neil and Jess Barrett from Everingham with their British Blonde winner of the beef interbreed title at Driffield Show.

Standards were high in the livestock classes where cattle numbers were slightly up, with around 150 entries presented before the judges and sheep entries numbered over 400.

A flux of newcomers helped boost the numbers in the cattle classes, with entries particularly up in the British Blue, Beef Shorthorn, Lincolnshire Red and Dexter classes.

As well as from across Yorkshire, exhibitors attended from Lincolnshire, County Durham and even Oxfordshire.

To help exhibitors look after their animals in the heat, extra water lines had been installed in the cattle lines.

Many of the cattle paraded at Driffield were fresh from winning classes at other shows held earlier in the season and the quality put before the judges was high.

An example of the high pedigree of competitors was the Waring family from Field House Farm in Cherry Burton who repeated the double sweep they achieved at last year’s Driffield Show as they picked up both the Holstein breed championship title and the overall interbreed champion in the dairy section with the same specimen, Wintersell Mincio Mila.

She only calved her third calve three weeks ago.

“I’m really pleased, in this lovely weather too, it’s what we show for,” said farmer James Waring, 40, whose farm he runs with wife Becky diversified last summer into providing fresh, pasteurised bottled milk from a vending machine.

The reserve dairy champion was a Holstein heifer in milk, Huntholme Galaxy Mistress, shown by M Southwell & Partners of nearby Hempholme.

It was a British Blonde, Everingham Judy, shown with its first calf, Everingham Oscar, by Neil and Jess Barrett of Everingham, York who took the show’s overall beef championship trophy.

The pair won its breed championship at the Great Yorkshire Show last week as well as at this year’s Lincolnshire, Malton and Honley shows.

Mr and Mrs Barrett took on Mr Barrett’s parents’ farm upon their retirement 18 months ago and trade as Everingham Blondes.

On their latest victory in the show rings, Mrs Barrett said: “It’s fantastic. This is a show involving the farming community and it means that if we have bulls for sale, potential buyers can see what we breed.

The reserve beef champion was a Limousin heifer, Garrowby Nymph, from nearby Garrowby Estate Farms.

It was a triumphant return to Driffield Show for sheep exhibitor Charles Marwood of Whenby.

Mr Marwood had won the sheep interbreed title for three years in a row before missing the last three shows, but he picked up where he had left off, taking the champion sheep title with a homebred shearling ram Charollais sired by Hyde Radio 5 Live.

Reserve champion sheep went to a two-year-old, homebred Texel being shown for the first time by Christopher Riby of Fraisthorpe, which also clinched the Riby family their fifth ever Texel class championship win at Driffield.

Mr Tite declared himself pleased with how the show unfolded, bar the medical incident.

“It’s gone very well. The weather has been really good, we’ve had lots of people who I hope have really enjoyed themselves and I think the new features of the show have worked well.”