AFTER three days of farming, food and entertainment, the 160th Great Yorkshire Show has drawn to a close.

More than 130,000 people visited the show, from Tuesday, July 10 to Thursday, July 12, enjoying rural pursuits, farming and cookery demonstrations, music and entertainment.

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 rabbits and pigeons will be competing for the coveted rosettes and cups.

Record sheep entries and three major cattle championships are a testament to the show’s standing.

Its highlights included a Royal visit from Princess Anne, entertainment in the main ring from equestrian dare-devil bareback rider Lorenzo, and Lizzie Jones, who became the first singer to stage a show in the main ring.

Despite Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, cancelling his appearance with just a day’s notice, show president Charles Mills said he was delighted with this year’s event.

“The most important thing for me is that people have had a good time. This year has seen my first Royal visit, which was a huge honour,” he said.

“Princess Anne was lovely, she is very warm and understands the countryside. She was great with the exhibitors, and she enjoyed a tour of the showground including watching country pursuits, and she was interested to hear how important shooting is for the management of the moors.

“She is passionate about native breed cattle and she spent a lot of time speaking to farmers.”

HRH viewed the judging of the beef classes and met representatives from the three national shows; British Simmental, British Charolais and Beef Shorthorn.

The Great Yorkshire Show’s Chief Cattle Steward Margaret Chapman, who was presented with one of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s highest awards yesterday, was also among those who met The Princess Royal.

In the forestry section, a flood retention area at the head of the River Wharfe catchment area took the John Boddy Woodlands for Water Award.

Landowner John Hart took the title for a scheme at Hart Wood, Swartghyll Farm, near Buckden, North Yorkshire.

Supreme Cheese Champion was the Wensleydale Creamery with their Yorkshire Cheddar.

A last-minute change in the line-up saw Michael Gove being replaced by Farming Minister George Eustice.

Mr Mills said: “I am disappointed Mr Gove has let us down. He came last year and we gave him a very warm welcome, so it a shame he could not make it. Yes, there is a lot going on with Brexit, but we are one of the biggest shows in England.

“Thankfully, George Eustice has stepped in, which we are grateful for.

“We had a whole programme arranged for Mr Gove – we wanted to hear what he had to say about the future of agriculture after Brexit.”

Mr Mills said for him the most important part of the show was the people behind the scenes.

“There are more than 20 sections in the show and every year the organisers find ways to keep it fresh.”