Bright sunshine and top-class competitive entries have been credited for near record figures at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.
A total of 135,026 visitors attended the country’s premier agricultural event over the past three days, a figure just 85 shy of the all-time record reached in 2006 with 135,111, and one of the highest of the last decade. Last year’s figure was 132,131.
Organisers, clearing up the showground at the close of the countryside extravaganza, say this year’s event showcased the best of British farming and rural life.
“It’s been a wonderful three days and a superb showcase for the farming industry in what has been a significant week in terms of the new Government,” said Charles Mills who made his debut as show director this year.
“It’s very clear that both farmers and the public love the Great Yorkshire Show and plans are already underway for the show in 2017.”
The hallmark of this year’s show, the 158th, was “innovation coupled with tradition” organisers have said.
There were a number of firsts at this year’s show, from live robotic milking demonstrations to seminars focusing on the future of agriculture post-Brexit.
As Prime Minister Theresa May was busy announcing her new Cabinet on Wednesday, the Great Yorkshire Show welcomed Environment Minister Liz Truss, just 24 hours before she was promoted to the Justice Department.
During a hectic morning touring the Great Yorkshire Show, Ms Truss visited the showground’s recently opened £11.5m exhibition hall, which was turned into a virtual food emporium for the three days.
Covering an area of three and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools, it was a shop window of British food, and played host to the Great Yorkshire Cheese and Dairy Show, one of the UK’s most prestigious events with close to 800 entries across a wide range of classes.
In another first, the Great Yorkshire limited edition tweed jacket, created in partnership with the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and Brook Taverner, made its debut on the catwalk at the event. The jacket, in the society’s colours of green and gold, proved a resounding success with visitors as almost all sold out.
Elsewhere, the new-look garden show received the official seal of approval from celebrity TV gardener Carol Klein, while visitors were entertained throughout the three days with a host of gardening experts, including former gardener to the Royal household, Jim Buttress.
And BBC weatherman and a Yorkshireman, Alex Deakin delighted the crowds and presented one of the main show jumping prizes in the Main Ring.
Many of the county’s leading chefs entertained with cookery demonstrations in two cookery theatres this year – Great Yorkshire Show favourite Rosemary Shrager led the line-up, along with famous faces from Michelin-starred restaurants across Yorkshire.
Dates for the 159th Great Yorkshire Show are Tuesday July 11 to 13, 2017, and preparations are already underway for next year.
Great Yorkshire Show 2016 Results included:
Supreme Beef Champion: Brockhurst Heavenly owned by W J and M Mash of Stirling, Scotland.
Blythewood Champion Native Beef Pair: Aberdeen Angus, Logie Limited Edition owned by Glenrinnes Farms Ltd of Dufftown with Alloa-based Mr D Rankin’s Retties Lady Ruth with calf at foot.
Blythewood Champion Continental Beef Pair: Simmentals owned by Jimmy Wood of Ribchester, with Popes Fearless and Popes Princess Cleo with calf at foot.
Blythewood Champion Dairy Pair: Holsteins, Ingleview Dempsey Dandy and Newbirks Jazz owned by Robert Butterfield of High Bentham.
Supreme Dairy Champion: a Dairy Shorthorn, Churchroyd Peggy 19 owned by I R G Collins and Partners from Dewsbury.
Supreme Sheep Champion: a Texel gimmer owned by Andrew Clark of Lanarkshire.
Supreme Pig Champion: a Berkshire sow owned by Suzi Westron from Sussex.
Cuddy Supreme Championship: A Welsh Section A mare, Idyllic Perdita, owned by Liz Kilby of Essex.
Ridden Hunter Champion: Clitheroe-based Mrs J Cornthwaite’s Bowland Lucky Slipper, a heavyweight grey gelding.
Ripon Select Foods Cock o’ The North Showjumping Championship: Laura Renwick riding Heliodor Hybris, owned by husband John Renwick
Supreme Champion Dairy Product: Lancashire Farm Dairies from Rochdale, Lancashire, with its Lancashire Farm Sour Cream
Supreme Champion Cheese title went to Cropwell Bishop Creamery at Nottingham for its Blue Stilton.
Yorkshire Agricultural Society Cup for the Best Soldier in the Yorkshire Regiment: Pte Shaun Blythe of Sheffield
Doncaster Cup for Best Floral Exhibit: Fred and Jenny Hirst of Swillington, Leeds.
The Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Young Growers of the Year Children’s Vegetable Box Competition: Thirsk Community Primary School