Final preparations are in full swing for the East Riding of Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs Annual County Rally which is set to place at Wold House Farm in Lund this Saturday (13th May).
The County Rally, which is being held on the grounds of the 345-hectare farm for the third time in its history by kind permission of Andrew and Dorothy Prescott, sees up to 600 young farmers from 15 clubs based in the East Riding come together for an annual jamboree.
In the East Riding, the Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC) are split into four regional sectors called clusters, with each cluster taking it in turns to organise the rally on a four-year cycle to ensure competition days and events remain new and fresh.
This year, it is the turn of the Crossgate Cluster which incorporates the clubs of Beacon, Bainton, Beverley and Market Weighton and overseeing the 2017 rally is chairman Stephen Butler who has been a member of Market Weighton YFC for 13 years, four of which have been spent as chairman.
Since its inception in 1945, when admission was just five shillings, the rally has flourished with a range of activities taking place during the day and long into the night.
Many of the competitions, such as mini digger and tractor handling, follow an agricultural theme, but there will be something to suit everyone with other diverse categories including flower arranging, male housekeeping and, for the first time, the Young Farmers can show just how brave they are as they take on a Bush Tucker trial a la ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here’.
For those entering classes such as woodwork, cookery and metalwork, preparation will have started weeks and months in advance in the hope that their creation will catch the eyes of the judges on the day of the rally.
With space at a premium, some of the judging takes place prior to the event.This year, horse stock judging took place at Richardson’s in North Ferriby, beef and dairy judging was held at Peter Hall’s farm in Bubwith on Sunday 30th April, whilst last Sunday it was the turn of Londesborough farmer, Ollie Hayward to host the sheep and pig judging.
To ensure the rally runs smoothly, it requires a number of YFC members to volunteer as committee members.
For 2017, some new roles have been created on the committee, which is led by Stephen, with Katie Norris taking up the position of Publicity Manager and Pippa Norris overseeing the children’s activities at the rally, with the YFC keen to promote the rally as an event for the whole family.
Other members of the committee are: Chairman of the committee – Stephen Butler, Vice-chairman – Annabel Prescott, Vice-chairman – Tom Screeton, Secretary – Leah Proctor, Programme Secretaries – Zoe Anderson and Jack Wainwright, Stock judging – Dan Whiting with significant assistance from Emily Whiting and Harry Farnaby.
All the individuals named above are members of one of the Crossgate Cluster’s YFC’s which are open to anyone aged 12-26, including non-farmers.
The clubs meet weekly and take part in interclub competitions, social events, trips abroad and charity and community work.
“It’s a great opportunity to make friends for life,” explained Katie. “I first heard about Young Farmers Club at Driffield Show three years ago and ever since, I have learnt lots of new skills and I don’t think I would have taken a role such as Publicity Manager prior to joining.”
The committee would like to express their thanks to the Prescott family for hosting the event at Wold House Farm which is home to around 120 native breed Red Poll cattle as well as 170 lleyn sheep.
The Prescott family are extremely keen to support YFC and the farm’s central location in the East Riding makes it an ideal venue for the rally.
Entry to Saturday’s rally is £5 for adults whilst under 10s are free. The gates at Wold House Farm open at 7:30am, with the classes commencing at 9am.
The bar will open at 11am in preparation for the static classes at 1pm and flower arranging at 3:30pm.
4:30pm will see the start of the rally’s famous arena events which comprise of a number of obstacles with each team relaying around the jumps, slopes and other hurdles.
Once the day’s events come to a close, the party continues into the evening from 7:30pm. Tickets for this are £12 and are available on the night.