Dashing displays at the 2011 Great Yorkshire Show

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The lid has been lifted on next year's showcase for all things rural in Yorkshire.

The 153rd Great Yorkshire Show will be staged at the Harrogate showground between Tuesday, July 13, and Thursday, July 15, with organisers promising the cream of the country's livestock, edge-of-the-seat displays, acres of shopping and demonstrations of traditional countryside pursuits.

Now the premier agricultural event in England, the three-day extraganza attracts crowds of around 130,000, with guests often including royalty and top Government personnel.

"We're hugely pround of the Great Yorkshire Show as a celebration of the best of British farming," said honorary director, Bill Cowling. "Interest in food production has never been greater and we're proud to provide a national platform to celebrate agricultural excellence.

"It is important to reach those whose only connection with farming is through the Great Yorkshire Show as well as raise industry standards - and it's a fun day out, whether you're interested in food, fashion, flowers or farming."

As many as 5,000 animals are expected to be part of the 2011 event, staged annually by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, a charity founded in 1837 to support the farming industry and the rural way of life.

Highlights include a return by Lorenzo's Equestrian Display team, pictured, who wowed crowds with dashing displays in the main arena in 2008.

Other popular events back on the programme include a fashion show, cookery theatre, a top-class show-jumping competition, sheep shearing contests – including the English Nationals – and demonstrations of traditional country skills including dry stone walling, fly fishing and gun dog training.

Other activities of note include ttractions this year include: Food Hall with the region's best food & drink, the Yorkshire Volunteers Band, new equine classes, including Mini Major competition and hundreds of stands for plenty of shopping.

Tickets for this year's event will go on sale from Tuesday, March 1, and can be purchased online at www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk or by telephoning 01423 541222, with discounts offered for those bought before Wednesday, July 6.

Meanwhile, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society has also confirmed the Great Yorkshire Show's autumn sister event, Countryside Live, will go ahead on the weekend of Saturday, October 22, and Sunday, October 23, next year.

HELPING HAND: Ben Wilson, MD at MPM, with Victoria Hopkins, MD at Hopkins Catering. PIC: Tony Johnson

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