THE Great Yorkshire Show marks 160 years of celebrating the best in farming, food and rural life this year with more than 130,000 people expected to attend the three-day show next week.

Careful nurturing has seen the show develop into England’s premier agricultural event and more than 8,500 animals from the heaviest horses and cattle to pigs and pigeons will be competing for coveted rosettes and cups. Record sheep entries and three major cattle championships are a testament to the show’s standing.

But it’s not all about the competition, it’s about entertainment as well with live music, attractions in the main ring, cookery demonstrations and a professional catwalk fashion show.

Show director Charles Mills said visitors are coming to compete, socialise and celebrate. He added: “Our 160th Great Yorkshire Show is set to be magical with some of the finest animals in the UK competing, breath taking performances in the main ring and plenty of surprises lined up to mark the show’s milestone. This is a celebration of food, countryside and agriculture with something for everyone of every age while keeping farming at its heart. It will be spectacular.”

The show’s special visitor is the Princess Royal who will be attending on Wednesday. Mr Mills said: “It is always wonderful to welcome a visitor with such a genuine interest in farming and the countryside. We will be able to show the Princess some of the best animals in the country as well as the very best of rural life, food and farming.”

Other special guests include Countryfile presenter Anita Rani who will swap her wellies for something a little more stylish on the Kuoni catwalk where she will be joined by other local television personalities for a one off special.

Lizzie Jones is set to make history after being chosen as the first singer to stage a show in the main ring. Lizzie, who is from Yorkshire, was named inspirational woman of the year for her work raising money for heart screening after the sudden death of her husband, Welsh Rugby international Danny Jones aged 29.

Because the show is marking such an important milestone, nostalgia features largely with two unique projects bringing the past to life. The Yorkshire Film Archive and Washburn Heritage Centre have created special displays on farming down the years and former Great Yorkshire Shows which will be shown on a big screen on the President’s Lawn.

The three day event, on July 10, 11 and 12 is at the Yorkshire Agricultural showground in Harrogate.