A ROYAL visitor helped The Great Yorkshire Show celebrate its 160th anniversary this week as the event welcomed The Princess Royal on Wednesday.

Princess Anne, a keen horsewoman and advocate of country life, arrived at the Harrogate showground by helicopter in the morning and took in some show highlights. She has visited the show a number of times before, most recently in 2014, and was being escorted around the grounds yesterday by Show Director Charles Mills.

HRH viewed the judging of the Beef classes and met representatives from the three National Shows; British Simmental, British Charolais and Beef Shorthorn.

Afterwards she was taken to see the Craven Heifer sculpture on the President’s Lawn where she spoke to its creator, Whitby-based sculptor Emma Stothard.

Ms Stothard said that meeting Princess Anne was “brilliant” and “an honour and a privilege”.

She added: “She was so lovely, she was a lot taller than I thought, she was really warm and elegant and made me feel relaxed.”

It took two months for Ms Stothard to create the GYS Heifer which was commissioned to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the Great Yorkshire Show this year.

Weighing more than half a tonne and standing at 6ft tall, the sculpture is made from galvanised steel and its dimensions are based on old pictures of the original Craven Heifer from the Bolton Estate in North Yorkshire estate.

Aside from the excitement generated by a Royal visit, the show had plenty more to offer in its second day celebrating the very best of food and farming from across the country.

There was plenty of activity in the judging rings, with the Interbreed Pig Supreme Championship, Sheep Shearing Championship – including the Champion Shearer of Yorkshire Award - and the BPA Pig of the Year Final, among others.

Class winners included Anna Pennell, from Todd Fall Farm at Heighington, near Darlington. She scooped the Ridden Dales Pony class, which qualifies the pony for the Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham NEC in October. Anna also won reserve supreme interbreed champion with her Clun Forest sheep. “It’s great to have won with a horse and a sheep in the same day – it’s the home show for Dales ponies,” she said.