- Find out which show takes place where -
As soon as the first marquees and tents appear, the excitement builds. You'll spot people scurrying around as they place their carefully tended onions in their allocated place in the show tent, see farmers making final tweaks to their sheep, ensuring there are no stray white hairs in a black muzzle. Horse-riders tentatively enjoy a last-minute practice round the show ring. Farmers clap each other on the back in greeting, grunt a few words to each other, then tend to their animals - banter will come later, once the rosettes have been handed out. The air is full of a mixture of manure, leather and straw bales.
Yorkshire Dales country shows are a chance to see the best of the countryside: cattle at their finest and fattest; cabbages at their greenest; cakes at their lightest and most moist deliciousness. Many shows include fell-running races and other feats of determination and strength.
In the show-rings you'll see sheep, cows, horses, dogs, ferrets and other animals primped and paraded. Judges carefully scrutinise every detail, sometimes to the bemusement of onlookers. The rear end of a prize tup (ram) will be considered just as carefully as its face. The crowd will ooh and aah as decisions are made and skills demonstrated. Onlookers don't always understand why one sheep wins over another but if you go and ask the proud winners to explain their livestock's best features, they'll happily do so. Winning at some of these agricultural shows can vastly increase market prices and secure breeding lines.
In the tents you'll find gorgeous displays of flowers, vegetables, cakes and handicrafts. Children's competition categories almost always include "made an animal out of a vegetable". At almost every show you'll notice certain family names appearing again and again on prize certificates. Friendly rivalry is strong, resurrected each year.
These fantastic photos by Stephen Garnett give a taste of what you can expect to find - these were all taken at Malham Show.