More than 130,000 visitors are expected to descend on Harrogate for the Great Yorkshire Show which is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year.
The show runs July 10-12 with The Princess Royal visiting the on Wednesday, July 11, to meet officials, competitors and exhibitors.
Show director Charles Mills says: “We are honoured by her Royal Highness’ visit and it is always wonderful to welcome a visitor with such a genuine interest in farming and the countryside.
“We will be able to show the Princess some of the best animals in the country as well as the best of rural life, food and farming.”
As always livestock are at the heart of the event and this year will see a record sheep entry of 2,503, plus the Pig of the Year competition.
For the first time the British Charolais Cattle Society’s national show will be held at the event, along with Beef Shorthorn UK championships and the British Simmental Society national show.
One of the main ring attractions will be the return of equestrian supremo Lorenzo and his team of white horses which will be performing each day.
To celebrate the show’s 160th anniversary, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society commissioned Yorkshire sculptor Emma Stothard to produce a life-sized steel sculpture of the Craven Heifer which has been travelling around the region before taking its position at the show.
The largest cow ever shown in England, the Craven Heifer was bred in Bolton Abbey in the early 1800s when it toured the country with people paying to see it.
Latest in robotic milking on show
Live milking will once again be demonstrated at the show in the purpose-built dairy unit close to the cattle lines, having proven to be a popular attraction not only for dairy farmers but for anyone who wants to understand more about the industry.
This year, Lely will be unveiling its Astronaut A5, its latest development in robotic milking. Designed with cow comfort in mind, it features a new hybrid arm developed to be silent and more accurate, resulting in more comfortable cows and consistent milking.
It follows the cow’s movement during milking and corrects itself in the case of any unexpected movement.
New for this year
Lizzie Jones is set to make history when she becomes the first singer to perform in the main ring.
The soprano will sing with The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps as well as performing after a one minute’s silence held to remember Mike Tucker, one of the show’s longest serving commentators, who passed away in March.
The Yorkshire Film Archive and Washburn Heritage Centre have both created special displays to enable visitors to see farming down the years and earlier Great Yorkshire Shows.
A big screen will be installed on the President’s Lawn to show film of previous Great Yorkshire Shows put together by the Yorkshire Film Archive’s team.
The specially-curated short films will also be shown on the big screen in the main ring and in the Exhibition Room at the Yorkshire Event Centre.
The Great Yorkshire Show was first held at the Barrack Yard of the 5th Dragoons at Fulford near York.
In the following years it moved to various locations around Leeds, Northallerton and Hull before returning to York in 1842.
It was cancelled fro 1915-1919 because of the First World War and from 1940-1948 due to the Second World War.
In 1950 the Yorkshire Agricultural Society bought a 81 hectare (200 acre) site overlooking Rudding Park in Harrogate and the show has been held there since.
It was cancelled in 2001 because of foot and mouth disease and in 2012 due to unprecedented rainfall.