ONE of the highlights and traditional finale of the local agricultural show season, Kilnsey Show & Sports, takes place on Tuesday, August 27, writes Robin Moule.

The 122nd annual Yorkshire Dales showcase, organised and run by Upper Wharfedale Agricultural Society, will again bring together the very best of local farming, rural life, food and produce, arts and crafts.

This year, proceedings will be under the watchful eye of new chairman Chris Windle, who takes the reins from Robert Lambert, who held the position since 2003.

There are 400-plus individual show classes, with over 80 trophies to be won – and a total prize fund worth over £17,000. The flasghip multi-breed sheep and cattle show classes, which remain integral to Kilnsey Show, themselves offer prize money of £7,000. From these, three supreme champions will again emerge.

Equine show classes are again being mounted in the main arena. An arena eventing demonstration proved so popular when staged for the first time in 2018 that it will be repeated as a standalone competition class this year, with a brand-new perpetual trophy, the Ellison Cup, up for grabs. It has been presented by Jane Ellison, whose partner John Samiotis has also presented another new perpetual trophy, the Wellington Trophy, for the champion Charollais sheep.

Under canvas, competition tents around the field cater for multiple interests – both the general public and the region’s agricultural communities, with the skills of the latter further put to the test with annual sheep dog trials, dry stone walling, farm crops, vintage tractor and young farmers’ sheep judging competitions.

For the visiting public, there is a veritable host of support events and plenty of hands-on educational activities for younger generations, cementing the show’s long-held position as an all-round family event.

Displays, demonstrations and attractions encompassing all aspects of agricultural and rural life include angling on the River Wharfe, sheep shearing, Ben Potter and his falconry display, John and Lou Close with their Langstrothdale Gun Dogs, and the local fire brigade, who will once more be demonstrating their emergency rescue skills.

Returning this year is the ever-popular Sheep Show, a humorous yet educational live show about sheep and wool. Nine different breeds will be introduced onto their own stage, including the famous dancing sheep!

Peel Entertainment is once more sponsoring the children’s marquee. One innovation this year is Plantlet Culture, an initiative involving growing plants in test tubes for use in education or to help save rare plant species from becoming endangered or extinct.

Richard Fenwick is an Ambassador for STEM, volunteers from science, technology, engineering and mathematics who offer their time and enthusiasm to help bring STEM subjects to life.

Richard explained:”We show young people how to grow a plant in a test tube. They then take their tube home and over a few days new leaves, stems and roots will develop. Once mature the test tube plant can be grown outside, potted into compost and developed into a full-size plant.”

A host of activities will be available for children to get involved with, as well as a multitude of exhibits to delight the adults.

Also making an appearance are the British Trust for Ornithology Garden Bird Watch and the Woodland Trusts.

The standalone farmers’ market and crafts marquee will be the biggest ever, while locally produced food remains keynote to the show.

Award-winning Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton has stepped in as a new sponsor this year and their presence in a standalone “Keelham at Kilnsey” marquee will provide a brand-new hands-on experience.

Upper Wharfedale Agricultural Society says it remains ever-grateful to the multiple sponsors who support the show each year, too numerous to name individually, but without whom it would be difficult to carry on.

Mid-afternoon sees the start of Kilnsey Sports, with the main attraction as always the famous crag races with show day concluding with the action-packed harness racing heats and final.

Up to 150 trade, craft and food stands can be found around the showground. Both Dr Peter Whitehead, who is in his second year as president, and new chairman Chris Windle, say they are looking forward to another hugely successful Kilnsey Show & Sports.”

Full show details can be found at