ONE of North Yorkshire’s largest rural shows enjoyed unbroken sunshine for its 152nd show.

Thousands of visitors turned out to Ryedale Show, held across several fields near Kirkbymoorside, where the rain managed to hold off for the day.

The show’s seven rings featured judging for champion horses, cattle, vintage machinery and other events and attractions.

There was also a dog show, sheep dog trials, several tents full of crafts, produce, arts and floral arrangements.

Ernie Sherwin, an independent auctioneer and valuer from Nosterfield, near Bedale, won supreme champion sheep with his Wensleydale Longwool pedigree, which he keeps on his small holding. The sheep’s soft, pearlescent wool is highly prized and has to be carefully sheared, with each fleece attracting approximately £400 each.

In the cattle classes, Beverley Hutchinson, from Greatham near Hartlepool, scooped an array of prizes with her Herefords; winning Supreme Junior Beef Champion, Supreme Bull Beef Champion and reserve interbreed champion.

“This is the first show we’ve done at Ryedale,” said Beverley.

“It’s important you come and show your animals. The public is becoming more interested and it’s nice to see the line-up.”

Alison Ingleson, from Chop Gate near Stokesley, won champion Dexter in the cattle classes.

“I think it’s a good turn-out this year,” she said.

The best decorated heavy horse classes attracted large crowds, with traditional skill of decorating heavy horses showed to colourful effect.

It was won by David Heskett.

James Carter, from Westow, near Malton, came second. He said decorating the large horses in brasses was an ancient rural tradition.

Traditionally, showing the horses was a day’s holiday for farmhands normally busy in the fields during summer.

James, who said it could take up to ten hours to polish all the horse brasses worn by a single horse, said: “They used to decorate the older horses which couldn’t go in the other classes as they couldn’t move as well; they weren't winning horses.

“They would put their work harnesses on and decorate them with real flowers. It developed and they introduced all the brass and it’s now the best looking horses which are used for this.”

Neil Radcliffe brought some of the rare hens he keeps at his home at Grosmont near Whitby.

He said shows like Ryedale were good for introducing people to keep poultry.

“This is just a hobby, I work as a pest controller usually,” he said.

“Anybody with a garden can have a few hens. Once you’ve had hens it’s something you always have a passion for.”