A high standard of livestock entries, a hard fought farriers contest and entertainment in the form of an outrageously daring horse-riding gymnast contributed to a successful 204th Otley Show this weekend, despite the drizzle.
Rainfall meant a slow start to the one-day show; Yorkshire’s oldest and the first in the region’s annual agricultural events calendar, but a drier afternoon attracted stronger crowds to the show’s 4,000-plus exhibits.
Against a backdrop of entertainment from the likes of the Yorkshire Volunteers Marching Band, Ben Potter’s Birds of Prey and gymnast Rosie riding Casper the dancing horse, farmers from across Yorkshire and beyond presented their cattle, sheep, poultry, rabbits, pygmy goats and dogs for judging.
Phillip Summers, 50, and his daughters Emillie, 21, and Katie, 18, of High Birks Fire Clay Works Farm in Clayton, Bradford, were crowned Supreme Champions in the beef cattle category for their Limousin cow.
“I’m proud. We’ve only been showing for four years and started showing a Limousin here at Otley last year. After today’s result I think we’ll be going to every show in the country. I knew it was a good animal but there’s been some really fantastic show cattle here today.”
Janet Raw, the show’s secretary, said: “I have a wonderful team of 150 volunteer stewards that put the show together four weeks before. The weather was so kind to us but last night I was very downcast. When I left the showground it had been raining a lot. We will be down on numbers of the last two or three years because of the weather this morning but by 1pm there was a real buzz and it’s been a good show given what we have had to deal with and it’s been nice to see so many people.”