THOUSANDS turned out to enjoy Gargrave Show at the weekend - traditionally the first agricultural and horticultural show of the season in Craven.

A dry but overcast day was perfect for the fell runners, which saw record numbers of children and adults, including some on holiday from all over the country, and even some international competitors, including from Scotland, the West country, and from the Home Counties, and also from America and Zimbabwe. More than 90 took part in the senior race which saw the runners set off from the main ring and run to the pinnacle of Sharphaw and back.

Held as usual, in front of Eshton Hall, the 114th event included something for all the family. In the handicrafts and horticulture tent, there were vegetables and flowers, with many showing the impact of the recent hot weather. Homemade produce was well presented, in both the adult and child classes, and there was a very fine selection of sticks.

Jimmy Fitton excelled in home produce, winning first place in hard stone jam, marmalade, strawberry jam and chutney, while his fruit loaf, biscuits and a savoury item were also all placed first, and his fruit scones were runners up.

Miniature gardens were a popular class in the children’s section, and Isabella Welch, won the class to come up with a front page design for next year’s 115th event.

Vintage cars and vehicles, were well represented, and included a 1965 Ford Zodiac and a Morris Traveller, and there was a range of trade and information tents, with the Yorkshire Dales National Park represented, along with Kingsway Vets, The Coniston Hotel, and Craven Cattle Market Auctions, amongst several others.

As usual, show goers were able to wander through the cattle tent, getting a close up look at the best of the area’s cattle. Of special interest was being able to watch a dairy cow being milked with the use of an automatic machine. Sheep were equally interesting, with many rare breeds on show.

Horse classes, including showjumping and in hand, were as popular as ever, with the numbers entering the show jumping more than usual this year, setting the start of the fell racing back, which also set off from the main ring.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes were put through their paces in the dog show, while the children’s mounted fancy dress saw some excellent costumes, including a Disney themed pairing, with Micky Mouse on a pony.

Jim and Jenny Salford, on holiday in the dales from Telford, said they found the fell races especially interesting and different.

“It was so good to see so many children taking part in what is clearly such a tough race and the senior race itself was packed, we’re thinking about coming back next year and entering, although we will need to do some hill running first,” said Jenny.

Next show of the season is Malham Show on Saturday (August 25). The event, held in the shadow of Malham Cove, will include cattle and sheep classes, a gun dog display, fancy dress,fell running and show jumping. New to this year will be the ‘Cumbrian Axemen’ who will be putting on a display of forestry skills.

There will also be children’s sports, a farmers market, Langstroth Gun Dogs, Hesketh Farm animals and around 3,000 entries in the marquee. The show opens at 9am with the cattle judging. Fell races start at 3pm with the juniors first, followed by the seniors. The event will end at 5pm with a charity auction.