Show season set to launch with Otley leading the way

Picture: Gerard Binks.
Picture: Gerard Binks.
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Everything from hamsters to heavy horses are expected to draw up to 15,000 people to Otley this weekend as the agricultural show season begins.

The 207th Otley Show takes place tomorrow at the Wharfedale Agricultural Society’s showground off Bridge End.

Top billing as the show’s main attraction is Bob Hogg’s Sheepdog and Duck Display, along with his ‘Lamb National’ sheep race. He travels the country with his working sheepdogs to give educational and entertaining displays.

His sheep race comprises of five or six Herdwick sheep. Dressed in brightly-coloured coats and with jockeys on board, they race down a trace and over jumps.

Other attractions include The Sheep Show with four performances throughout the day with music provided by Otley Brass Band.

Show secretary Janet Raw said: “I hope everyone comes and enjoys it because we have all the usual attractions, plenty of different breeds of cattle, all the horse classes are going ahead and we have the return of the rabbits this year which is always a crowd-pleaser here for the children.”

Entries are healthy, with 260 cattle and just under 350 sheep set to be judged.

There will be bird of prey demonstrations by Ben Potter, a demonstration by Otley Rugby Club’s junior team and a tug-of-war competition.

The show has a new president for 2016, Nicholas Houseman, of Lindley, near Otley, whose family has been involved with the show since the 1920s.

Mr Houseman is a former show chairman and has been heavily involved in the show’s sheep section over the years.

A traffic management company has been drafted in to operate temporary traffic lights on Bridge Street, by the entrance to the Bridge End showground this year after West Yorkshire Police ruled that it can not spare officers to handle road closures for community events as a consequence of austerity cuts.

Admission prices on the day are: £3 children, £6 seniors and students, £8 adults and carers and the person they care for enter free.

A family ticket valid for two adults and up to three children is £20.

See Monday’s The Yorkshire Post for our report from the show.