The Greatest Show……

Move over The Greatest Showman now it’s back to The Great Yorkshire Show.

This iconic show is celebrating it’s 160th year on the lead up to this epic show is the tour of a magnificent galvanised steel sculpture of the Craven Heifer .

Show organisers the Yorkshire Agricultural Society commissioned renowned Whitby-based sculptor Emma Stothard to recreate the Craven Heifer who became a national phenomenon in the 1800s. People would pay to see the heifer who was put on show on her way to Smithfield Market, London, and remains the largest heifer ever shown in England and lived in the same era as the first show.

Weighing more than half a tonne and standing at 6 ft tall, the GYSheifer sculpture left for its tour from the Craven Heifer’s birthplace at the Bolton Abbey Estate.

The GYSheifer has travelled nearly 50 miles aboard a specially designed truck to Fulford, York where she was met by police motorcyclists and escorted into Imphal Barracks, adjacent to where the very first Great Yorkshire Show was held in the Barrack Yard of the 5th Dragoons in 1838.

Charles Mills, Show Director, said

The Craven Heifer was an iconic animal born and bred in the same era as the first Great Yorkshire Show and was the wonder of farmers across England. We want to take the GYSheifer on tour, just as the Craven Heifer did, come and see her yourself at the Great Yorkshire Show where she will be put in prime position on the President’s Lawn.”

The sculpture project has been months in the planning and involved research with experts at Bolton Abbey Estate and the Great Yorkshire’s Chief Cattle Steward Margaret Chapman, whose family have been part of the show for more than 100 years, to ensure the sculpture’s authenticity.

Emma Stothard, sculptor, said: “This has been one of my most ambitious projects to date, requiring hours of research with the help of Margaret Chapman – an expert in cattle. We’ve poured over many paintings and different documents charting the Craven Heifer’s size. We wanted the GYSheifer to be as lifelike as possible and it’s been exciting to bring the Craven Heifer back to life for everyone to get an idea of how big she really was.”

The GYSheifer popped up at locations across Yorkshire to promote England’s biggest and best agricultural show before taking up position at the Great Yorkshire Showground ready for the event. The public are encouraged to post their selfies with #GYSheifer  but remember to #Yorkshire on Twitter too.

Enjoy your visit and I look forward to seeing your tweets.

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