The breeding ground for some of the world’s best show jumpers, as well as Royal Ascot’s temporary home, Yorkshire is alive with traditional country and large-scale county shows. The county has something to satisfy every equestrian taste, from those wanting a relaxing riding holiday to those seeking the thrill of the chase.
Jump for joy
Yorkshire may be the breeding ground for international show jumpers, but they all had to start somewhere — and Whitakers wannabes have plenty of choice on the affiliated scene. This huge county is divided into three areas — North and West Yorkshire; Humberside and South Yorkshire — so riders should not have to travel far to find somewhere to compete.
Among the permanent venues organising shows this summer are Northallerton, Richmond, Port Royal and Sykehouse. Yorkshire also hosts many traditional country shows, which include sport at its old-fashioned best. For more information, contact the BSJA (tel: 02476 698800) or www.bsja.co.uk
Everywhere there’s eventing
Yorkshire’s flagship three-day event at Bramham may have already happened last month, but there is still plenty to look forward to on the county’s eventing scene. Among the affiliated competitions to come are Skipton (6-7 August); Richmond (20-21 August); Northallerton (29-30 August); Allerton Park (17-18 September); Aske Hall (24-25 September) and Bishop Burton (15-16 October). Why not go along and see the action first-hand? For more information, visit www.britisheventing.com
Yorkshire’s diverse countryside gives hunting enthusiasts the chance to sample many different types of country. There are 20 Foxhound packs in the county, so whether you fancy a day with the Badsworth and Bramham Moor (right) or the Zetland, the choice is boundless. For more information, contact Master of Foxhounds Association committee member Steven Clark (tel: 0114 230 9295) or e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a break
Yorkshire offers a multitude of holiday opportunities, from trekking to serious instruction or self-catering with your horse. If it’s spectacular scenery you’re after, head for the North Yorkshire National Park. If you’re intending to improve your riding, then look no further than the Yorkshire Riding Centre near Ripon. The home of German eventing team trainer Christopher Bartle, it offers the chance to learn from one of the best in the world. For more information, visit www.yorkshireholidays.com
It’s “Great” in Yorkshire
Most counties have their own major show and the Great Yorkshire (12-14 July) certainly lives up to its name. The show was first run near York in 1838 and has been at its permanent showground in Harrogate since 1951. The showground is huge, spanning 250 acres and with seven miles of roads.
A day out at the show is a “must” for most self-respecting Yorkshire people and each year, more than a million make the trek. They have every rural attraction imaginable — including a hound show — but the biggest crowds usually end up at the equestrian arenas. They can watch top-class jumping in the main ring, while the showing is only a short stroll away.
Visitors should make sure they make their way to the Horse & Hound stand (no. 512) for the chance to win £1,000 worth of products from the Harry Hall range, plus a treatment travel rug and leg wraps from Miro-tec. There will also be a tombola with products from Net Tex Industries, Spillers, NutriScience, Blue Chip and Spillers up for grabs, as well as great savings on subscriptions to Horse & Hound, Eventing and HORSE magazine.
Entrance this year costs £16 for an adult. There is a free shuttle bus service to and from Harrogate railway station every 20min during the show. For more information, visit www.greatyorkshireshow.com
Top equine talent
With such an extensive equestrian community in Yorkshire, there is never a shortage of quality horse flesh on offer. So why not combine a trip to this week’s Great Yorkshire show with a new horse purchase.