THE GREAT YORKSHIRE SHOW

Written by: Elmtree Press

The Great Yorkshire Show, one of the country’s largest agricultural show takes place this year on the  14th, 15th and 16th July at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.

Competitors and spectators come from far and wide to visit the show.  This year they will be joined by Prince Charles, the Patron of the show, and the Duchess of Cornwall who are visiting on the 14th.

At its foundation in 1837, the primary aim of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society was described as intending"... to hold an Annual Meeting for the Exhibition of Farming Stock, Implements etc, and for the General Promotion of Agriculture."

The first YAS Show was held in 1838 in the Barrack Yard at Fulford, near York. Though the numbers attending were not recorded the event was counted a success.  Police had to use their batons to restore order among the large numbers of visitors when they began to force their way in without paying.

The Show originally moved to Leeds, Northallerton and Hull in subsequent years, before returning to York in 1842 which is the first year for which attendance figures are available —a paid attendance of 6,044.

 By 1843 the YAS Show had become known as the "Great Yorkshire Show", apparently by popular acclaim rather than the name being officially changed.

The GYS continued to be held in various places around Yorkshire until 1950, when the last peripatetic show was held in  Malton. The YAS bought a site at Hook Oval in Harrogate for £16,500 as it had been decided that it proved too expensive to hold when it was constantly moving.

The show has only been cancelled on three occasions, the first twice during the years covering the First and Second World Wars.  The third time took place in 2012 when the show was cancelled on the Tuesday  after only one day, due to exceptional rain which had made the showground car parks unsafe.

In 2008, the show was attended by the Queen to celebrate the 150th occasion on which the Show had been held.

The farming and countryside showcase is expected to welcome around 130,000 visitors over the three days. The competitive classes are at the heart of the event and this year there are almost 13,000 entries, ranging from prize winning bulls to poultry to international show jumpers. In addition the timetable includes demonstrations of country skills such as dry stone walling, an extensive Food Hall showcasing regional produce, fashion shows and more than 1,200 stands.

There will be equine classes and show jumping on all three days of the Show as well as livestock judging, which predominantly takes place on the Tuesday and Wednesday of the Show.  Young Handlers and the audience participation Housewives' Choice classes take place on the Thursday.  The cattle parade should not be missed and takes place on Wednesday and Thursday at 2pm.

The Cheese and Dairy Show not only has the competitive elements but also gives the public a chance to learn and ask questions.  There will be a variety of stage talks with demonstrations and the opportunity to try tasters as well as the ever popular grand cheese auction on Thursday afternoon.