Farming Column – Malton Show July 2016


We are in the midst of the Agricultural Show season and there are so many to choose from with The Great Yorkshire Show which is Englands premier show at one end of the scale and small local shows like Farndale and Rosedale at the other.  On Sunday 3rd of July we went to the Malton Show held at Scampston Park, a truly magnificient setting with The Hall on one side and the beautiful lake on the other.  It was an interesting day with so much to see and do for all ages.  It was great to see children zooming round a race track on mini quad bikes and lots of bouncy castles for them to get rid of some energy.  The sheep and cattle numbers are improving again after going through a steady decline. I was particularly impressed with the Beef Shorthorns which not long ago were in the rare breed category but now are really thriving.  Morrisons Supermarket offer a special contract for Beef Shorthorn cattle because the quality and flavour of their meat is so good.  The only local people we saw with livestock entries were Robin and Ann Lacy from Airyholme with their Leicesters and Rare breed sheep and they had a successful day winning several prizes.

One of the highlights of the show is the “Vintage Section” with old stationary engines, tractors, classic cars and motorbikes.  It was good to see Mick Dixon exhibiting his vintage David Brown tractor. It is one of the best vintage tractor shows anywhere around.

Horses are a very important part of Malton Show with dozens of classes for all types of horse.  It is always good to see the heavy horses in the main ring and there were three entries pulling different types of wagon including the well known Wolds Wagon.  The grand parade of cattle in the main ring was very impressive.  The parade of sheep consisted of the champion ram which was driven round the ring in the back of a pickup truck.

On our way out we paused to watch the sheepdog trials which was very interesting.  The dog we saw didn’t believe in going too far round to fetch the sheep in fact more often than not it took the shortest route which was straight through the middle, scattering sheep in all directions.  When it came to the final penning a battle ensued between the sheep and the dog and the sheep won and refused to be penned.  It reminded me of a sheep dog we had years ago called Tip who also had a habit of running straight through the middle of the flock scattering sheep everywhere.

The Malton School Jazz Band was there entertaining the crowds.  Rachel Conyers and Ryan Perry from Slingsby were playing in the band and they all played brilliantly.  It was a real pleasure to stand and listen to them.

All in all a Grand Day out and the weather was kind to us as well.

Stephen Prest