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North Yorkshire show survives rainfall
FIVE thousand people ignored the gloomy skies to turn out for the Wensleydale Show before the event fell victim to a torrential downpour.
Before the show opened on Saturday, stewards had to push cars on to the car parks next to the showground in Bellerby, near Leyburn, North Yorkshire, because heavy rain on Friday had saturated the ground.
Show-goers ignored the conditions and ploughed across muddy paths between attractions until abandoning the site in droves when the heavens opened as the champion beef and dairy cattle winners were being awarded mid-afternoon.
Chairman David Ford said while there were 1,000 fewer visitors than last year, he was thankful the rain held off for most of the day.
He said: “It has enabled visitors to appreciate a variety of attractions that have been introduced for this, the 98th event, alongside the farming showcase centrepiece.
“While the aim is to show off farming to the public and promote a better understanding, we are trying to accommodate a wider section of the community.”
A class featuring retrained racehorses made a successful debut at the show, generating widespread interest in the main ring. Heather Tweddle, of Morton on Swale, whose horse Widemouthed Bay – which was placed 2nd at the Cheltenham Festival as a four-year-old – won first prize in the new category.
Also new to the show was an artisan food producers’ marquee. Stallholders Robin Jaques, of The Sawley Kitchen biscuits, near Ripon , and Lesley Pears, of Not Just Daisy Cakes, of Catterick Garrison, said the innovation had proved a triumph as hundreds of visitors bought produce.
Former Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Lord Brittan, and his wife, Lady Brittan of Spennithorne, judged the best trade stall class, before awarding it to tourism group the Lower Wensleydale Project.
Lord Brittan, who lives near the showground, said: “The attraction of the show to me is the variety of life it reflects and that it is constantly evolving.”
Among the winners were J Pratt and Son, of Studdah Farm, in Bellerby, who won the supreme dairy championship for the fifth year in a row, with Holstein Studdah Bambam Anna.