Sun Shines Down on First Day of Much-Anticipated Show

 In 2021

The first day of the much-anticipated Great Yorkshire Show got underway today with enthusiastic competitors enjoying their first outing of the year.

It is a smaller capacity than normal with 26,000 a day, all tickets have now sold out.

Organisers have worked with North Yorkshire County Council Public Health and Harrogate Borough Council to organise this year’s show to meet strict Covid guidelines.

For many, this is the first time for attending an event and competing.

The first major livestock championship of the Show went to a Yorkshire winner, with Ian Collins of Whitley near Dewsbury taking the Dairy Supreme Championship with his Dairy Shorthorn Churchroyd Bronte Wildeyes. Ian dedicated his win to his mother Mary who started the family farm and who died in November.

He said: “It is fantastic to be out at the show and I want to say a huge thank you to the Great Yorkshire Show for having the courage to find a way to do it.” The Reserve Champion was also Yorkshire-based, with Wayne Stead of Arthington with A Lawson and Son’s Holstein.

In a very strong field, the Ridden Hunter Championship went to Ms R Bailey’s heavyweight gelding, Twinshock Warrior, ridden by Jayne Ross.

In the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s School Veg Box Competition, which is open to primary schools in Yorkshire, the honours went to Diamond Wood Community Academy in Dewsbury. The school took part in last year’s virtual competition and received the trophy today.

Charles Mills, Show Director, said: “It has been an emotional day. To miss last year was terrible, to miss two years in a row would have been devastating so it has been incredible to be able to organise a Show this year. We are just so sorry we can’t accommodate everyone on site as we have to stick to a strict capacity to keep everyone safe and all tickets have sold. We look forward to a safe and enjoyable day two tomorrow.”

The world’s biggest combine harvester is also on show thanks to Ripon Farm Services.

There are celebrities onsite with TV presenter Anita Rani and Jules Hudson filming a two-part TV series Today at The Great Yorkshire Show which will go out on Channel 5 at 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday night. There will also be a special called This Week at the Great Yorkshire Show which will air on Saturday at 5pm.

Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen also paid a visit and Peter Wright and Julian Norton from the Yorkshire Vet were also filming.

Initiatives to improve safety have including extending the show to four days for the first time. Opening hours have also changed so the Show will now run from 8.00am to 6.00pm Tuesday 13 July to Friday 16 July. This will allow visitors to arrive and leave in a more staggered way to help avoid queues.

Capacity has been limited to a maximum of 26,000 people a day to minimise any potential crowding and to ensure social distancing can be maintained at all times throughout the site.

This will mean that the Show will welcome a total of 104,000 people in total over the already extended four days, instead of the usual 135,000 visitors over three days.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to have a Lateral Flow Device test before they come to the Show as part of the “Test before you Travel” campaign.

Anyone who is isolating or exhibiting any Covid symptoms is asked not to attend and to visit the NHS site for further advice.

Visitors are also requested to download the NHS app before arriving in order to be able to scan QR codes where necessary, such as hospitality areas.

Those working at the Show, including catering and trade stands, will be required to have a negative lateral flow test within 24 hours before arriving at the Showground. This will help to reduce the risk for all those on site.

Tickets for the Show are this year in advance only and visitors are asked to print out e-tickets to help with social distancing at the gates. You will not be able to enter the Show without a ticket – they will not be available on the Gates.

New Covid-safe measures implemented this year include:

  • Holding the show over four days, rather than three: Tuesday 13 to Friday 16 July
  • Advance tickets only and capping total capacity to 26,000 a day
  • Changing the opening hours to 8am to 6pm
  • Adapting the Show to use as much outdoor space as possible
  • Multiple sanitiser points and changing layouts to avoid pinch points
  • Track and Trace will be at the hospitality points
  • Reducing the Grandstand capacity to 25% – 30% with tickets purchased in advance
  • Extra security to disperse any crowding
  • One way system around the Food Hall
  • Hall 2 closed to public although the entrance will be a celebrity meet & greet
  • Face coverings to be worn in all indoor areas, including toilets and the Grandstand, and encouraged when in queues
  • Enhanced cleaning
  • Table service only at bar areas

Sections that will not feature in this year’s show include the Fashion Show, the WI Stand, the pole climbing competition and the Cookery Theatre in the Food Hall although the Game Cookery Theatre will go ahead as usual.

Last year’s Show was cancelled due to Coronavirus restrictions. Instead, it went virtual over three days last July, attracting viewers from more than 40 different countries.

The 162nd Great Yorkshire Show will take place from Tuesday 13 to Friday 16 July, 8am-6pm.



• The Great Yorkshire Show is England’s premier agricultural event, organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), a registered charity supporting rural Yorkshire.
• YAS supports and promotes the farming industry through health care, business, education and scientific research.
• The Society is supported by its family of businesses including Fodder, Yorkshire Event Centre, Pavilions of Harrogate and the Harrogate Caravan Park as well as events Great Yorkshire Show, Countryside Live and Springtime Live.
• Businesses and events held at the Great Yorkshire Showground in 2019 contributed £73.7 million to the economy.


Jo Francisco
PR Manager
Direct Line: 01423 546215 | Mobile: 07954 007414

Sara Lamper
Great Yorkshire Show Press Officer
Mobile: 07759 795990

GYS_21 Supreme Dairy Champion Ian Collins of of Whitley, Dewsbury, with Dairy Shorthorn Churchroyd Bronte Wildeyes presented by Jonathan Nicholl from Arla.

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