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Great Yorkshire Show: Tuesday 13 - Thursday 15 July 2004

Plans are well underway for the 2004 Great Yorkshire Show, one of the premier events on the British summer calendar. Dates are Tuesday 13 - Thursday 15 July when the organisers, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, expect more than 120,000 visitors to come through the gates.

A showcase for the best and latest in the farming industry, a snapshot of the many different elements of the countryside and a packed programme of entertainment all combine to provide a great day out.

The animals remain at the heart of the event with more than 8,000 expected to enter the competitive classes, ranging from international show jumpers to champion bulls to exotic poultry whilst hundreds of stands across the Showground provide the opportunity to literally "shop till you drop."

Highlights of The Main Ring include:

" The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery - Musical Ride (sponsored by estate agents, Dacre, Son & Hartley)
" Four in Hand Coaches
" Parade of Vintage Rolls Royces
" Mounted Games Association Display
" The King's Division Waterloo Band

A new dimension to the Show is The Alternative Farming Centre. The former "Arable Area" has been re-focused to give a more 21st century feel. The Centre will include demonstration crops, for example, oilseed rape grown for bio diesel fuel, camelina - important in the cosmetics industry and spring barley grown for malting. In addition there will be dry stone walling and examples of wrought ironwork. It is also hoped to feature alpacas, wild boar plus many other agricultural stands.

The Art Show, which made its debut last year, will feature paintings from members of the Harrogate and Nidderdale Art Club.

Katy Cropper is bringing her entertaining Sheepdog Display to The Country Pursuits Area; in addition there will be demonstrations of fly fishing, gun dog training and falconry all centred in the natural amphitheatre overlooking the casting ponds. Beagles, foxhounds, lurchers, terriers and ferrets will all be featured. The Area is once again sponsored by the premier Harrogate hotel, "The Yorkshire."

In the Equestrian Section, the Show is once again a qualifying event for the Cuddy Supreme In Hand Championship with the FW Furness Trophy the prize for the Great Yorkshire winner. More than 1,500 horse and pony entries are expected to compete across a wide range of classes.

Top class show jumpers will again be heading to Harrogate with the prestigious grande finale being The Cock O'the North Championship. For the first time this class is sponsored by Hornbeam Park Developments Ltd.

The Parade of Hounds featured on the Thursday will focus on the future of hunting. As well as the traditional involvement by several of the region's hunts, it is hoped that youngsters from hunt pony clubs and puppy walkers will also take part.

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Great Yorkshire Show: Tuesday 13 - Thursday 15 July 2004 Con't …2

Step back in time in The Fashion Pavilion where designs by students from the University of Leeds School of Textiles and Design will look at the styles from the last 250 years. Complementing this will be film footage from Great Yorkshire Shows of years gone by.

Some of the country's finest nurserymen will be represented at The Flower Show with displays ranging from tiny bonsai to garden design.

The Forestry Area has grown in appeal over the last five years and features competitions such as pole climbing, stick making, wood carving, marquetry and wood turning. The Great British Pole Climbing Championships have been held at the Show for a number of years (sponsored by McCormicks Solicitors) and never fail to entertain.

Within the Pavilion, an exhibition entitled "The Forest In Your Life" focuses on the important part played by trees in cleaning the atmosphere. In addition the full programme of events, will include chain saw carving, horse logging as well as the related stands and organisations.

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society is committed to supporting regional food producers. This year's show will highlight the best of regional fare, particularly within The Food Hall. In addition the Show's food courts will have a strong emphasis on serving local food. In addition there will be imaginative and interesting cookery demonstrations in the Sainsbury's Cookery Theatre.

Launched in 2001, the Great Yorkshire Cheese & Dairy Show has grown tremendously in popularity. As well as featuring the traditional cheese classes, there are sections for ice cream, butter, yoghurt as well as new classes for children to try their skills at cheese tasting. Sir Ken Morrison, Chairman of Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc, sponsors of this section, will present the main awards.

Tickets on the gate cost £15 for adults with £11 for concessions and a Family Ticket (2 adults and 3 children) costs £40. There are savings on tickets purchased in advance. Parking is free and extensive but please note dogs are not allowed on the showground. The ticket hotline number is 01423 541222 or the general show telephone number is 01423 541000. If you travel by train and buy your rail and show tickets in advance, there are further discounts available. Please call Arriva Trains Northern on 0870 602 3322. A free shuttle bus service, running to and from Harrogate Railway Station to the Showground every 20 minutes, will also be in operation

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