Local hero gets set for warm reception

AS an extremely talented show-jumper, Harvey Smith enjoyed two particular highs at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Ryan Mania celebrating on Auroras Encore

In the Harrogate showground’s Main Ring, the popular Yorkshireman won the prestigious Cock O’The North Trophy in 1977 and again in 1982.

Extremely fitting then that, 31 years on, Smith will be back in the Main Ring in 2013 with his now world-famous Grand National winner Auroras Encore.

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The 2013 Great Yorkshire show begins next Tuesday with this year’s event carrying extra gusto in light of last year’s cancellation due to flooding.

And an already eagerly-awaited event has been made even more exciting by the news that Auroras Encore will appear in a parade around the Main Ring on Thursday, July 11.

The 11-year-old – trained in Bingley by Smith and his wife Sue – was the toast of Yorkshire back in April when winning the world’s greatest steeplechase at massive odds of 66-1.

And now a huge Yorkshire crowd will greet the racehorse with show director Bill Cowling feeling the equine star’s appearance and connections with loyal supporter Smith to be particularly fitting.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have Auroras Encore and indeed our friends the Smiths with us,” said Cowling.

“I can’t think of a more fitting setting than our Main Ring to celebrate the success of this amazing horse.

“I’m sure there will be a phenomenal reception from the grandstand crowds.”

The showjumping action at The Great Yorkshire Show begins on Tuesday with the Barber Titleys William Hanson Stakes followed by The Badsworth Stakes Accumulator.

On Wednesday there is the International Stairway competition and the Rudding Park Great Yorkshire Championship.

The final day sees the Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream Mini Major Whip Round followed by the climax – the Ripon Select Foods Cock O’the North.

Elsewhere on the showground, highlights include a mock battle being staged by the Yorkshire Regiment each day in the Main Ring as well as spectacular displays by the White Helmets, the Royal Signals’ Motor Cycle Display Team.

Around 5,000 animals will compete for the championship prizes while there is also an extensive food hall, and around 1,200 stands selling everything from combine harvesters to designer clothes and demonstrations of country skills.

Tickets bought on the gate are priced at £24 for adults, £23 for concessions and £11 for children.

Parking is free and extensive while free buses will run from Harrogate railway station. Dogs, other than assistance dogs, are not allowed on the showground.

For the latest information log on at www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk