THERE are hopes the Tour de France effect will give help extend the global attraction of the Great Yorkshire Show.
The premier agricultural show has no problem in attracting tens of thousands of visitors – last year 134,837 people attended the show - but show director Bill Cowling said the immense global coverage the Tour de France has given Yorkshire could only help.
An estimated 3.5 billion people watched the cyclists passing through stunning Yorkshire scenery.
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Mr Cowling said: “We don’t know what the effect on the gate is yet.
"We are hoping people are here from further afield for the tour and lots stay over for the Great Yorkshire Show - whether or not that happens, we don’t know yet.
“I think we will be delighted if the Tour de France or the follow-on from the Tour, results in the profile of Yorkshire increasing worldwide, because we would like to have more international visitors and visitors from wider and further afield in the UK.
“When I was showing Princess Anne around this morning around the cattle exhibits there were groups of people from Ireland, Cornwall, Devon, Scotland which is wonderful.”
This year the number of competitive entries is at an all-time high at 12,843, along with 252 judges, 260 cups and trophies up for grabs and about 8,000 animals competing.
A number of competitors from New Zealand had travelled over to Yorkshire for the show, to compete in the sheep shearing classes, along with visitors from New Zealand.
The High Commissioner of New Zealand to the UK was guest of honour at a breakfast farming meeting held by Future Farmers of Yorkshire, a group of farmers, vets, consultants and land agents. He discussed world trade and opportunities for farmers.
As well as being a celebration of farming and rural industry, the show is also a platform for the farming industry to put over its viewpoint and concerns.
Nigel Pulling, chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, said: “If there is a newsworthy issue within the community, for example this year with beef prices, the NFU and other organisations have the opportunity to get the message out to the public and the media.
“Farming produces our food so a strong farming industry is good for the community and population.”
Mr Cowling, the honorary show director, received another prestigious appointment today (Wednesday, July 9) when he was made Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.
The announcement came as he prepared to welcome Princess Anne.
“I am absolutely thrilled and delighted,” he said.
“This is a huge honour and as a North Yorkshire farmer I feel I represent not only the show but our country’s farming and rural interests.”
He was appointed by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Lord Crathorne.