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The Yorkshire Vet at Countryside Live - photo special

PUBLISHED: 00:00 30 November 2017

TV vets Peter Wright and Julian Norton call in at the Drovers Arms

TV vets Peter Wright and Julian Norton call in at the Drovers Arms

Copyright © 2017 Kate Mallender

Crowds head for a glorious countryside outing

Former England rugby captain Mike Tindall made a surprise appearance at The Yorkshire Vet at Countryside Live. The Gloucester rugby player, who is married to Zara Phillips, was a guest judge for the Royal Smithfield Club in the tastings for Ribs of Beef and Wagyu Beef in the cookery theatre. The competition was one of many taking place across the Great Yorkshire showground, in Harrogate.

The two-day event highlighting life in the countryside, headed up by TV vets Julian Norton and Peter Wright in collaboration with Channel 5, attracted more than 15,000 visitors, a record number say organisers. Show director Charles Mills said: ‘It’s given us the chance to tell the story of the countryside through exciting competitive classes with the animals, cookery demonstrations and hands on workshops for children, while offering the chance for fans of The Yorkshire Vet to meet their heroes in real life.’ Julian Norton and Peter Wright met fans and gave three live shows a day, hosted by BBC radio broadcaster Georgey Spanswick.

The Talented Showjumping Competition, judged by Yorkshire based international champion showjumpers Graham and Tina Fletcher, was won by 10-year-old Lilly Aspell of Richmond to end a fantastic weekend which also saw her as part of the winning team in Northern Show Cross Junior Championship, achieving both with a pony she had ridden for only two weeks. Graham Fletcher said: ‘We thought Lilly was a really talented little jockey and she had a lovely attitude. She wanted to do her best for her pony and I think she will go far!’

Competitions continued with the Mountain and Moorland Ridden Championship which was taken by Victoria Edwards-Sonnex’s Dales stallion, Morlandsdale Mac, ridden by Emma Boardman. Reserve went to Jennifer Cowan’s Welsh pony.

The Supreme Champion in the Beef classes was Melanie Alford of Devon, with British Blue heifer, Foxhill Lady Gaga. Reserve went to husband-and-wife team Mark Harryman and Sarah Warriner of Pickering with their British Limousin steer, Jimmy. The prize for the Yorkshire Bred, Owned and Shown beast went to John Stephenson of Skipton with his Belgian Blue cross heifer, Blueberry. In reserve was 16-year-old Luke Wilkinson from Leyburn with his British Blue cross steer, Double Trouble, which added to a successful day which also saw him take the Beef Young Handler trophy.

The Sheep Interbreed Championship was won by 12-year-old Tom Arrowsmith of Raskelf near Easingwold, showing a Shropshire, against tough competition which saw 10 sheep from nine different breeds through to the championship. Tom, who won Young Handler at the Great Yorkshire Show two years ago, has been showing sheep since he could walk. Reserve went to Andrew Fisher of Pateley Bridge with a Teesdale. The Single Butchers Lamb Championship went to a Beltex cross from R Hall and Son of Penrith, with Harvey Heath standing Reserve. The Pair Butchers Lambs Championship went to the Williams family of Carmarthenshire, with Leyburn-based Martin and Val Brown in Reserve.

The Supreme Poultry Championship was won by a Blue Furness Old English Game bantam owned by Barrie Alcock and John Fawcett of Middlesbrough which won against more than 900 entries across the classes. Championship judge Chris Parker said: ‘It was a pleasure to see such a good bird which really stood out and was on top form.’

The event also hosted the National Farriery Championships for the first time, with the Apprentice section won by Jon Zoutwell of Norfolk and the Senior title going to Lewis Balfour of Dundee.

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