Steel Sculpture Visits Malton Food Lovers Festival to Celebrate 160th Great Yorkshire Show

 In 2018

A magnificent galvanised steel sculpture of the Craven Heifer spent today [Saturday 26 May] towering over thousands of visitors on Newgate on the first day of the Malton Food Lovers Festival, as part of its region-wide tour to celebrate the 160th Great Yorkshire Show this summer.

Malton played a significant role in the history of the Great Yorkshire Show as the last place to host the event in 1950 before the permanent showground was bought in Harrogate where it resides to this day.

Weighing more than half a tonne and standing at 6ft tall, the GYSheifer wowed crowds in Yorkshire’s foodie capital, taking centre stage at the food festival which is expected to attract more 30,000 visitors over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Members of the public were encouraged to post their selfies with #GYSheifer on Twitter. The best picture from each location on the tour will win a family ticket (2 adults & 3 children) worth £75 on the door, £65 in advance.

Show organisers the Yorkshire Agricultural Society commissioned renowned Whitby-based sculptor Emma Stothard to recreate the Craven Heifer who became a national phenomenon in the 1800s. People would pay to see the heifer who was put on show on her way to Smithfield Market, London, and remains the largest heifer ever shown in England and lived in the same era as the first show.

The GYSheifer will be popping up at locations across Yorkshire to promote England’s biggest and best agricultural show before taking up position at the Great Yorkshire Showground ready for the event. Tickets are now on sale for the show which takes place from Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 July.

Heather Parry, Managing Director of Yorkshire Agricultural Society, said: “It’s been terrific to bring our GYSheifer to Malton – the last town to host the Great Yorkshire Show before it moved permanently to Harrogate. The Great Yorkshire celebrates food, farming and countryside so it’s the perfect fit to visit when the fantastic Malton Food Lovers Festival is being held – one of the biggest food festivals in the north!”

Tom Naylor-Leyland, director of the Malton Food Lovers Festival said: “The GYSheifer was definitely our most unique visitor this year. The Malton Food Lovers Festival attracted thousands of visitors from all over the country, and we’re really proud to have been able to host the GYSheifer on our tenth annual Festival. I’m sure she won’t be forgotten in a hurry!”

The GYSheifer is a one off, bespoke, life-size sculpture in steel which stands 6ft high, 4ft wide and 11ft long. She was created at sculptor Emma’s Whitby studio before being galvanised in Bradford and powder coated in Middlesbrough. She was then attached to a specially designed Great Yorkshire Show truck by HACS construction services in Ripley – ready for her journey.

The sculpture project has been months in the planning and involved research with experts at Bolton Abbey Estate and the Great Yorkshire’s Chief Cattle Steward Margaret Chapman, whose family have been part of the show for more than 100 years, to ensure the sculpture’s authenticity.

The Craven Heifer was born and bred in Bolton Abbey in the early 1800s. She was so large that a special door twice as wide as the norm had to be built to get her in and out of the cow shed.

The Craven Heifer was a Shorthorn breed and this year will be the first time that the Great Yorkshire Show will host three national cattle breed shows; including the UK Beef Shorthorn Championships the British Simmental Society Show and the National Charolais Show.

The GYSheifer will appear next at a special event at Yummy Yorkshire, a family-run dairy farm in Huddersfield and travel around the region until her final visit to Our Cow Molly Farm Shop in Sheffield on Sunday 10 June.

Here is where you can see the GYSheifer:

  • THURSDAY MAY 31: YUMMY YORKSHIRE, HUDDERSFIELD will hold a special event to celebrate the visit from the GYSheifer. This family dairy farm in the heart of the Pennine Yorkshire countryside, has 120 cows and has diversified to supply the onsite coffee shop, restaurant and ice cream parlour as well as fresh milk dispenser. Yummy Yorkshire also supply Fodder with their wonderful ice cream. Expect a fun filled family day to celebrate the visit from the GYSheifer!
  • SATURDAY JUNE 2: WOLD TOP BREWERY, DRIFFIELD The GYSheifer sculpture goes to Wold Top brewery for its annual open weekend which raises money for National Garden Scheme charities. The brewery is celebrating its 15th anniversary and will have a 160th Great Yorkshire Show beer on sale for the weekend only. Wold Top was supported with a grant from Yorkshire Agricultural Society when it opened and has ales sold in Fodder.
  • SUNDAY JUNE 10: OUR COW MOLLY FARM SHOP, SHEFFIELD. The only dairy farm left in Sheffield which produces and bottles its own milk, delivering to businesses in the city including Co-op, Morrisons and Sheffield University. The farm shop supplies milk to the Great Yorkshire Show Cookery Theatre and will welcome over 2,000 visitors to its Open Farm Sunday where the GYSheifer will stay for the day.

GYSheifer at Malton Food Lovers Festival 2018

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