Held at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, the little sister of the Great Yorkshire Show, is ready for the off, with record entries in the equine section as well as plenty of entertainment and fun. This will be the 13th Countryside Live and dates are Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October.

The Northern Show Cross Finals were introduced three years ago and have galloped to the front with record entries in the junior, senior and team classes. The classes are held over both days and in the showground’s prestigious Main Ring.

Organiser Janice Mewse said: “We’ve had excellent support from pony clubs, riding clubs and hunts from across the North of England. Some 100 individuals have entered, plus there are 34 entries for the junior teams and 35 for the seniors which are record figures, and we have a waiting list. Riders just love coming along, the feedback I get is that they love riding in the Main Ring and that it’s such a friendly event.”

In addition there are record entries in the Search for a Talented Showjumper competition. Olympic experts, Graham and Tina Fletcher will again have the difficult task of picking out the winner. The atmosphere is always tense and exciting as the hopefuls are put through their paces with the prize of a day at the Fletchers’ yard as their goal. The two day contest was introduced in 2010 to help nurture young talent and this year sees a record breaking 55 entries.

Judge Tina Fletcher commented: ”Graham and I love being part of this event. Search for a Talented Showjumper is very innovative – I don’t think there’s anything like it in the UK. We are not looking for someone who has been at the Horse of the Year Show - entrants come in all shapes and sizes - we are looking for someone with potential rather than the finished product. I hope that everyone who takes part, whether they win or not, leaves with some information on how to improve and be a better horseman or woman.”

The showing classes are the backbone of the equine section and again include Horse of the Year Show qualifiers (Coloureds and Mountain & Moorland Ridden).The highlight on Saturday will be the Coloured Championship, and on Sunday, it’s the Ridden Mountain & Moorland Championships. Entries at 289 are slightly up on last year’s figure of 283.

Elsewhere around the event are classes for livestock, poultry, pigeons and honey plus Bjorn the Polar Bear, the hilarious One Man and His Pig contests, Diggerland Experience and dog agility shows.

The venue is the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. Gates open at 9am and close at 5.30pm. Please note dogs, other than assistance dogs are not allowed on the showground. Parking is free and extensive.