2014 Great Yorkshire Show day two review

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Women certainly had the upper hand on their male rivals when it came to a sheep-shearing competition at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Normally the stereotypical preserve of burly men with backs of steel, a selection of shearers from all over the country showed that they could easily hold their own in the pursuit.

The Princess Royal at the Great Yorkshire Show. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The Princess Royal at the Great Yorkshire Show. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

But women fleeced the men when the show staged its first ever sheep-shearing classes for ladies.

Among those participating were Lynette Taylor from Ingleton in North Yorkshire, Joy Armstrong from Menston in West Yorkshire and Jo Shuttleworth from Kendall in Cumbria.

Ms Taylor, a farmer herself, said: “It is just a fun thing to do.

“It’s something that you cannot really avoid if you are a farmer.

“It’s just great to be outside doing it, especially in this weather.”

Ms Shuttleworth added: “The secret is just to make sure you improve every time you compete.

“Watching other people doing it helps you improve.

“It’s a case of practice and learning really, that’s all there is to it.”

The competition was carried out under the watchful eye of HRH The Princess Royal as she arrived in Harrogate to mark the second day of the Great Yorkshire Show yesterday.

Six-year-old Francesca Kottler, granddaughter of show director Mill Cowling, presented Princess Anne with Yorkshire’s favourite flower – a white rose.

The guest of honour proved a passionate ambassador of agriculture as she toured the showground, visiting the sheep rings to wish women shearers good luck as they prepared to compete in the first-ever all-female class.

Anna Hall, aged 18, from Malton, said: “She was lovely, she asked us where we were from and seemed supportive that it’s time us girls got time to shine.”

George Fawcett, 76, of Haxby, said: “There is something for everyone here.

“There is such pride in Yorkshire at the minute and this is keeping it going.”

Meanwhile, blue skies and sunshine brought out agricultural enthusiasts and families in their thousands.

The 156th Great Yorkshire Show has already been hailed as a resounding success.

And organisers claim that the final day may be one of the best to date.

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