New Environment Secretary Steve Reed, Farming Minister Daniel Zeichner, the Archbishop of York and Countryfile's Adam Henson were among the thousands who flocked to the second day of the Great Yorkshire Show.

After Tuesday's deluge, conditions underfoot were wet, but most came prepared and were thrilled to enjoy the traditional showcase of rural life.

Just a few days after his appointment to the new Labour government, Mr Reed came to the show with a pledge to fight for farmers - but couldn’t say how much money there is to help.

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Farmers and rural business leaders have been desperate to find out if he can at least preserve the existing budget of £2.4bn and hopefully increase it. But when pressed at the show he could not say how much will be available until a review is carried out. However he did insist Labour are committed to the post-Brexit Environment Land Management Scheme, which has replaced the old Basic Payment Scheme. 

“I will fight the corner on the budget," he said. "I would like to reassure farmers we are fully committed, we won’t create more instability, when we know it’s instability that has caused the problems."

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In the Cheese and Dairy section, the Supreme Champion Cheese title went to Shepherds Purse, of Thirsk, for its Organic Yorkshire Blue. Katie Matten, who owns the business with sister Caroline Bell, said: “Amazing. I can’t quite believe it, especially as it is a cheese we only launched this year. It has been received so well and is selling so well. This is the icing on the cake and will help raise even more awareness.”

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The Supreme Champion Dairy title went to Ryeburn of Helmsley for its Mango Ripple icecream.

Elsewhere, Countryfile presenter Adam Henson attended and among his assignments was to visit the Ayrshire cattle classes to meet judge Mary Creek.

The Great Yorkshire Show is this year the setting of the World Ayrshire Federation Annual Conference 2024, with about 100 farmers from countries including Kenya, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and America at the show as part of a UK tour.

The Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell was present, and blessed several of the cattle, while in a Black Cock Nun show pigeon belonging to North Yorkshire breeder Richard Henderson carried off the Rawnsley Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the Best Fancy Pigeon. He was the Supreme champion.

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Richard, from Malton, who has been breeding pigeons for 44 years, said: ”I am over the moon, it’s the first time I have won supreme champion with one of my Nuns. They’re called Nuns because of their markings. I am a bit surprised, I wasn’t sure it would win because with these pigeons their plumage is best in December which is when the National Fancy Pigeon show is held at Barnsley Metrodome.

“At this time of year some birds go into moult.”

For the Great Yorkshire Show it was the best turnout in the pigeon show for years with over 560 competing and 30 varieties. It’s only the second event held in the past few years after classes were cancelled because of bird flu.

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Judges said they were pleased with the numbers. “It’s been a very competitive show,” said a spokesperson. “The standard has been really high, but this Black Cock Nun stood out because of its markings.”

Mr Henderson said he has 28 breeding pairs of birds but they don’t fly outside because they are not very fast and can get caught by sparrow hawks and cats.

He added: “They are really show pigeons. I love breeding them. There have been problems over the past few years because of the pandemic and Covid, so it is good to come back to see the show looking so busy with people from all over the country.”

Mr Henderson, who also won £5 in prize money, said it had been a "brilliant day" and the only thing that could be better would be if England won at the Euros.