This year’s Great Yorkshire Show proved to be one of the biggest in its 161-year history after 135,095 visitors poured through the gates over the three days – just 46 shy of it's record attendance in 2006 when 135,111 visited the Harrogate event.

There were also some record-breaking entries across some sections which included beef and dairy cattle classes made up of 1247 head, and sheep numbers comprising 2597 entries.

Outwith the usual main ring attractions and TV programmes, show organisers were also proud to host HRH The Duke of York on the Thursday and visits from Farming Minister Robert Goodwill and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay.

Dairy cattle

A good show of dairy cattle pretty much bereft of Scottish exhibitors, was topped by the Jersey supreme, with the Dairy Shorthorn best landing the reserve overall.

Inter-breed judge, Duncan Hunter, Berkhamstead, gave the winning slap to Saxown Precision Cash 89, a third calver from the Saxby family from Doncaster.

"The Jersey is an easy winner being so well balanced with great scope, and open and deep through the rib. She also walked on an excellent set of legs," said Mr Hunter.

Honourable mention here last year, this show stopper from Richard Saxby, daughters Ellie and Hannah and son Tom, who milk around 20 of their own cows alongside managing the Thurlstone herd, is by Shellen Precision and was shown due in October to River Valley Victorious. Calved in November, she is giving 24kg per day at 5.6%BF and 3.9%P.

Adding to the celebrations, this Jersey, alongside Thurlstone Topeka Orange a junior cow in milk by Heartland Merchant Topeka, owned by JR and SE Dickinson, Doncaster, landed the Blythewood pairs title, also judged by Mr Hunter.

Standing next in line to take the reserve individual dairy honours was a third calved Dairy Shorthorn from IRG Colins and Partners, Dewbury. This was Churchroyd Gentle 105, a home-bred entry by Churchroyd King Willie, shown six weeks fresh and giving 46kg per day at 5%BF and 3.5%P.

A small but select entry of Ayrshire cattle was led by Marleycote Sea Lily 23, shown by Richard Baynes from Hexham, who won the same award here in 2017 with the same animal. Another third calver, she is backed by home-bred show winning genetics being bred from a previous Sea Lily that scooped the breed honours here some 10 years previous. She is by De La Plaine Prime and was paraded eight weeks calved and giving 54kg at 5%BF and 3.89%P.

Reserve Ayrshire was David and Christine Sanderson's Sanderson El Esther 12 from Wigton. Reserve any other breed champion at Northumberland in May and third at the Highland, she is by Sanderson Emerald Isle and was shown having calved in March and producing 43kg per day.

Holsteins were topped by the junior cow, Shawdale Atwood Pamela 119, a from DM and J Booth, Barnoldswick. Reserve junior here last year and honourable mention, this Maple-Downs IGW Atwood daughter calved her second in November and is now giving 45kg per day. She was shown due to Stantons Expander.

Glasson Bombero F Gail picked up the blue and white sash amongst the black and whites. Jointly owned by Enchanted Holsteins, Elwick and Robert and Elaine Butterfield, Lancaster, this fresh third calver was bred by Simon Haffey, Northern Ireland and bought as a calf at the Black and White sale at Carlisle in 2015. A daughter of Richmond FD El Bombero, she calved in June and is giving 65kg per day.

Shetland ponies

Aberdeenshire breeder, Harry Sleigh, St Johns Wells, certainly made his presence felt at the Harrogate event, winning his first supreme championship here after a reserve win in 2015.

Star attraction here was the 10-year-old stallion, Wells Legend a home-bred pony by Wells Xtra Special which also bred the family's Highland Show winner, Wells Reliance, last month. Second at the Spring Show at Thainstone in February and place at the Highland, he is equally well bred on the female side being out of Wells Vita – the dam of a previous champion winner at Ingliston.

Louise Wilson of the Cassindilly stud from Fife was also in the money, winning the female championship and reserve overall with the seven-year-old yeld mare, Cassindilly Joules, a daughter of Southfieldgate Valiant out of Jasmine of Milton. She was on her first outing of the year having scooped the reserve female champion at the Highland and second prize here last year.

Adding to her prize haul, Cassindilly Renee, a previously unshown two-year-old filly by Cassindilly Jester out of Highfield Rhea, scooped the junior championship.

Highland ponies

There was more success for Scotland amongst the Highland ponies, when the judge, Mrs Pat Stirling, Galashiels, presented the champion and reserve honours to entries from north of the Border.

Supreme was Frank and Morven Lawson's eight-year-old dun mare, Prosen Mist of Craigieloch, a Viscount of Whitefield sired pony bred from the former first prize winner at the Highland, Failte of Craigieloch, by Endurno Glen Clova. First in her class at the Highland, she is also a a former reserve winter at the Winter Fair in 2013.

Taking the blue and white sash was Gillian McMurray's National Pony Show silver medal winner, Trailtrow Tearlach. This 10-year-old dun stallion from Lockerbie, is by Moss-Side McLaren.


Kinross-shire breeder, Jack Cuthbert, made his mark as the official judge amongst this expanding breed, finding his supreme in a home-bred gimmer from part-time farm secretary Vicky Mason's Sycamore flock from Nantwich.

Champion at Cheshire County Show, she is by Sycamore Inverary and out of the privately purchased Weston Orange Blossom.

Flying the flag for Scotland, Dr John Mosley a vet and vet lecturer and his wife, Caz from West Linton, picked up the reserve male honours with Brightside Wiay, a three-shear ram bought at Lanark in 2017. Breed champion at Kelso last year and male champion at the Highland last month, this boy is by Cinderhill Joton and out of Brightside Morrone.

Reserve overall was the male champion, a home-bred shearling ram from Nick and Ann Fecitt, Sparran Wood, Sedbergh, Cumbria. Their entry, by Brightside Tomich and out of a home-bred ewe, stood third at the Highland.

Dorset Horn/Poll Dorset

First time exhibitor, Ben Welsh and his son, also Ben, Ayr, had plenty to smile about when they scooped prize tickets with every entry and also bagged the female championship and reserve overall with a ewe lamb.

Their best, a daughter of Downkillybegs Watson, a ram bought privately in Northern Ireland, is by out of a home-bred ewe.

There were more celebrations to come the following day too when young Ben (11) came second in a highly competitive young handlers section.

Supreme champion was an aged horned ram from Richard Fitton, Bolton, Lancs.


Guilden Erin continued on her winning ways in a competitive goat section, to win the supreme overall for Fife breeders, Gordon Webster and Gordon Smith.

Having scooped the top award at the Highland last month and in 2016 and 2018, their veteran female, also landed the big one at the Yorkshire on her final show before a well earned retiral. A daughter of Guilden Blue out of Toddbrook Elentari, this 51/2-year-old AOV kidded down in February.