NORTH Yorkshire County Show took place under blue skies and scorching temperatures as it settled into a new venue this year.

As temperatures soared into the high 20s keeping cool became the focus at the countryside event, which is one of the first major rural shows of the season.

As visitors and animals sought the shade, handlers fought against the heat to keep their animals cool.

Cattle were covered in wet towels, or had buckets of water tipped over them, while sheep panted under improvised shelters made from tarpaulins and umbrellas pegged to their pens. Even the hamsters - being judged with the Northern Hamster Club - had to be regularly sprayed with water.

Organisers helped by bringing forward the time of the cattle judging, so livestock to be taken off the field earlier.

This year, was the first the show had moved from its traditional home at Otterington Hall near Northallerton following the sale of the estate to a new owner.

The show, which attracts an average of about 10,000 visitors a year, as well as hundreds of horses, livestock and other animals, was tasked with finding another venue to accommodate all its needs. Luckily, the owners of the Camp Hill Estate, near Bedale, offered use of their grounds.

The move went down well with the public and exhibitors, who seemed happy with the show’s new home.

Show secretary Alan Andrew said: “We’re delighted with the field and its lay-out and also the way the traffic has come off the roads.

“We’re aware there was a problem with the traffic leaving the light horse area, as a horsebox left at 11am and was faced with oncoming traffic, but we’ll sit down and sort that problem out.

“But overall it's been good. The idea is that this becomes our home now.”

One of the show’s winners was Katie Brannen, who won champion interbreed with her Suffolk sheep. Katie, farms with her family just outside Durham City before moving to Cumbria, near Appleby and was helped on the day by her three boys, Thomas, ten, Michael, ninie and Robert, six.

“I’m over the moon with this,” she said.

“Champion interbreed is the one trophy that stands out.”

Claire Wise, who judged the sheep, and whose daughters Clover, five and Penny, four helped present the rosettes said: “The sheep and handlers put up an excellent performance considering the weather conditions.”

Another young handler at the show was Eleanor Corner, 15, whose maiden heifer came first in its class. The Northallerton College student prepares her own cattle for the show on visits to her grandparents’ farm near Northallerton. She trains the calves on a halter, decides which ones to enter in the shows, then prepares them.

“This is always a good show to start the year with,” she said.