GIANT tortoises and a team of renowned stunt horses will feature in the 210th Otley Show.

This year’s show takes place on Saturday, May 18 and should provide yet another action-packed start to the agricultural show season.

Wharfedale Agricultural Society is promising ‘a great day out for all the family’ and have lined up an array of exhibitions and attractions at the Bridge End Showground.

Exhibition classes - with the first being shown from 8am - this year will include horses, cattle and sheep, dogs, rabbits and hamsters, poultry and pigeons and produce and handicrafts.

Visitors can also look forward to seeing everything from tug o’ war and farrier competitions to birds of prey displays, Punch and Judy shows and a dry stone walling demonstration.

Secretary Janet Raw, who is stepping down from the role this year after 25 years at the helm, said: “The giant tortoises are just something a little bit different for this year and people will be able to have a look at them and pet them on the showground at different times throughout the day.

“The Atkinson Action Horses, meanwhile, are the group that does all the stunts for Poldark and other TV shows and films.

“They’ll be doing a big display for us which should be great and go down well.”

Janet actually had her first date with her husband, Alan, at Otley Show back in 1968.

She began organising the event quarter of a century ago after a neighbour had pointed out there was a job going and that she might like it.

Although advertised as a position requiring 20 hours a week, Janet soon realised that the post became much more demanding - ‘more like 24/7!’ - at certain points of the year.

Despite the often heavy workload, however, she has relished the challenge. She said: “I’ve really enjoyed it and I’ve loved the people I’ve worked with, they’re great - and I’m indebted to all the volunteers.

“The show’s in good shape and it’s a good time to finish; I’ll be 66 in September so it’s time someone a little younger took it on.

“But I’m hoping to still be involved in the background and will be keeping busy.”

Other attractions at his year’s show will include a display by the Wharfedale Woofs flyball team, who will be offering ‘have a go’ races on the day with proceeds going to charity.

There will also be a chance to go out on the water with Otley Sailing Club, a vintage cars and tractors display, showjumping, live music, craft and shop local marquees, Otley Ferret Rescue races and more.

A promotions team from the Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer will also be attending and providing free ‘goody bags’ - as long as stocks last ‘ - to anyone who pays them a visit.

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