BUMPER livestock displays and action-packed arena attractions drew big crowds to the 210th Otley Show.

Giant tortoises also proved a hit at Wharfedale Agricultural Society’s annual event, the first major show of the season, on Saturday, May 18.

Thousands of people headed to the Bridge End showground to see what this year’s attraction had to offer: and were treated to everything from stunt riding to a farrier competition.

Entries to the display classes, including cattle, horses, dogs, poultry and pigeons and rabbits and hamsters, were up overall with the sheep and cattle doing particularly well - with more than 500 sheep on show along with 290 cattle.

Atkinson Action Horses, whose riders and animals feature in hit TV shows like Poldark and Peaky Blinders, wowed spectators with a display of equestrian skill and daring that saw Ben Atkinson enter the main ring standing on the back pair of a team of four horses.

Other arena attractions included a birds of prey display featuring a huge Sea Eagle and a flyball demonstration by Wharfdale Woofs, showing their dogs racing over hurdles to collect balls.

The weather forecast hadn’t been great but conditions stayed dry and the crowds visibly started to grow after midday as the temperature climbed and the sun even ventured out.

That was good news for the aspiring sailors who were out on the show lake courtesy of Otley Sailing Club, who were offering visitors a chance to try the sport as part of the national Push the Boat Out campaign.

Club stalwart Norman Stephens, who will celebrate his 50th year as a member in July, said: “We’ve had quite a few people out, though there’s not been much wind, and a lot of interest from people wanting to know more about sailing and the club which is great.

“We’re actually short of volunteers to help with our Thursday Sailfree - the club’s award-winning programme of sailing for people with disabilities and complex learning needs - sessions at the moment so if anyone would like to help we’d love to hear from them: they don’t need experience, we’ll give them all the training they need.”

Live music kept show visitors happy too, with the Folk tent inspiring more than a few people to enjoy a jig to traditional tunes like Riding on a Donkey, and Otley Brass Band performing.

Younger visitors were spoilt for choice with giant inflatables, a climbing wall, Punch and Judy shows, a zipline and bungee swings among the fun on offer.

There was also a chance for people of all ages to have a go at building their own dry stone wall, while Otley Ferret Welfare’s races and The Sheep Show proved as popular as ever.

Show Secretary Janet Raw, overseeing her final show before retiring after 25 years, said: “It was a great show which ran for the most part very smoothly - obviously, as always, there were one or two issues but they were sorted.

“I really enjoyed my final day but it wouldn’t have been so successful without the many stewards who, before and during the show, have helped and in particular the support of my husband, Alan.

“I was delighted that the weather stayed fine and this meant we had an attendance of over 15,000 people who enjoyed the fantastic Atkinson Action Horses! They were unbelievable and drew a huge crowd, over ten deep, all around the ring.

“The giant tortoises were a great success with all the families too.”

Otley Town Council Chair Councillor Ray Georgeson and his family were among those enjoying the fun. He said: “The weather was kind to Otley after all and we made the most of it. There was something for absolutely everyone at this year’s show and, as ever, huge congratulations must go to Janet Raw and her team for the effort that goes into to making it such a success.

“It was a superb finale for Janet after 25 years as Secretary - Otley says a big thank you. Our favourites were the giant tortoises and the giant rabbits, and I enjoyed the show jumping.”