‘Live’ fun for the family

PRIZE PAIR: the 2013 Countryside Live champion pair of butchers lambs, owned by Joe Burnett, of Leominster. From left, Claire Dent, judge Malcolm Stewart, Joe Burnett and Aled Groucott

PRIZE PAIR: the 2013 Countryside Live champion pair of butchers lambs, owned by Joe Burnett, of Leominster. From left, Claire Dent, judge Malcolm Stewart, Joe Burnett and Aled Groucott

First published in Farming Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

ENTRIES are flooding in for next month’s Countryside Live event in Harrogate.

Organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, it takes place at the Great Yorkshire Showground on Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19. Aimed at all the family, the event features top-class beef, sheep and equestrian classes, along with poultry, pigeons, honey, fruit and vegetables.

This will be the 12th show, and last year’s event attracted a record-breaking 12,689 visitors.

The closing date for entries for the beef cattle, sheep and equine sections is Friday, September 5, and for pigeons, poultry and honey, Friday, September 12.

Bill Cowling, show director, said: “Countryside Live has forged its own place in the rural calendar and, although it is very different to the Great Yorkshire Show, the core ethos is the same – to showcase the importance of British farming and to provide a fun and educational day out, particularly for those with younger families.”

The beef and sheep classes are judged on the Saturday, with the championships, including young handler sections, taking place the following day.

James Alexander, of County Antrim, will judge the cattle and Alex Brown, of Darwen, Lancashire, the sheep.

Equine classes include Mountain and Moorland ponies, lead rein and first ridden, and working hunter ponies.

The event is a qualifier for the Blue Chip BSPS Heritage Mountain and Moorland Ridden Championship at Olympia in December.

There are also classes for coloured horses and ponies, working hunter ponies and the popular fancy dress competition for under-16s.

The finals for the Northern Show Cross Series also feature, with classes each day in the showground’s main ring.

It involves a round of showjumping and cross country, all against the clock.

For the first time, an interteam relay will also take place.

The Search for a Talented Showjumper contest has become a “must enter”, with Olympic equestrian experts Graham and Tina Fletcher whittling down entries to the final winner.

Last year, Ellie Meldrum, from Jedburgh, took the honours and enjoyed a weekend at the Fletchers’ yard as part of her prize. Elsewhere, there will be pony rides, mountain bike displays, archery, falconry, dog agility demonstrations, Diggerland, farrier competitions and tug-of-war contests.

Discounted advance tickets are adults £9, children £5, family (two adults and three children) £24. Tickets are also available on the gate.

Parking is free and extensive.

Dogs, other than assistance dogs, are not allowed on the showground. Gates are open from 9am to 5.30pm each day.

See countrysidelive.co.uk for more details.

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