New-style Great Yorkshire Show hailed a great success with 'rather special' final day

The return of the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate this week for four days for the first time has been hailed a huge success - with great weather, a surprise royal visit and national TV coverage.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 10:50 am
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 10:52 am
HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall arriving in Harrogate by helicopter. (Picture by Neal Johnson)

The final day of the 162nd Great Yorkshire Show held carefully within Covid rules saw a visit by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall who arrived by helicopter, all tickets sold out and TV broadcasting on Channel 5.

All in all it was, as GYS organisers The Yorkshire Agricultural Society said, "a rather special day for us yesterday."

HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate.

The Prince, who is the Patron of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, and the Duchess were welcomed to the Harrogate showground in bright sunshine by Show Director Charles Mills who said: “Their Royal Highnesses have a strong interest in rural life and it was an absolute honour to be able to show them what Yorkshire has to offer, from gardens and forestry to agricultural machinery and cattle.”

The Royal couple last visited the show in 2015.

They began their tour at the Garden Show, seeing the floral displays, before the Prince moved on to see a demonstration of horse logging in the Forestry area, presenting the British Horse Loggers Woodland Management Award.

The Duchess, who has her own beehives, toured the Hive and Honey section before visiting the Discovery Zone to find out how it helps to educate children.

The Prince then visited the Machinery Lines, meeting Geoff Brown, Managing Director of Ripon Farm Services and a long-term supporter of the show.

Also presented was Paul Russell, Chief Executive of The Russell Group which is celebrating its centenary this year and was displaying machinery from the last 100 years.

At the McDonald’s area, the Prince launched The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s guide to the environment, supported by McDonald’s.

The guide, aimed at farmers, explains the practical meaning of environmental terms to ensure that the ambitions around improving the management of the UK’s environment are accessible to all.

During the launch, he met Countryside Fund’s Famers who had contributed to the project and taken part in its Farm Resilience Programme, as well as members of McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmers programme.

The Prince’s interest in rare breed cattle was reflected in a tour of the Cattle rings where he was able to see Longhorns, before he visited the Farming Help Charities area, where he met people from Yellow Wellies, Farming Community Network, Addington Fund, Forage Aid, RABI and the Prince’s Countryside Fund.

He also met some Young Farmers who assisted in rebuilding dry stone walls after the devastating floods in the Reeth area in July 2019, before visiting the sheep lines.

The Duchess finished her tour of the show in the Military Village and at the Terrier section.

Charles Mills said: “I think we were able to give them a flavour of how important the rural economy is to Yorkshire and how dedicated the people who work in it are to being the best not only in the country but in the world.”

The show’s most prestigious showjumping competiton thrilled the crowd today, with a Yorkshire winner of the Cock O’ The North. Robert Whitaker took his hattrick win with the only treble clear round. Eleven riders got through to the first jump-off, with nine contesting the title against the clock.

Robert said: “It was absolutely amazing to be back at the Great Yorkshire!”

Before leaving Harrogate, Prince Charles and Camilla also visited the Cedar Court Hotel at Park Parade facing the Stray.

Last year’s Great Yorkshire Show was cancelled due to Coronavirus restrictions.

Instead, it went virtual over three days last July, attracting viewers from more than 40 different countries.