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Showground aims for global status with major revamp

Graham Fletcher

Published at 9:25am 17th March 2017. (Updated at 3:31pm 17th March 2017)

Major work to take showjumping facilities up to international level is set to take place at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.

Showjumping legend Graham Fletcher (pictured) has backed the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS) with its investment of £70,000 to improve conditions in the collecting ring.

The two-month project will give half of the ring an Olympic-standard state-of-the-art all-weather synthetic riding surface, provided by Andrews Bowen.

It will be the most scientifically researched surface, developed for the London 2012 Olympics, and is endorsed by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

Olympic medallist Graham, who is originally from Thirsk, is part of the showjumping committee formed by YAS to ensure that facilities are of a world-class standard.

He said: "The Great Yorkshire Show is the best in the country and it's always been an event that's very close to my heart.

"Any of the riders coming to the show for the first time this summer will be totally impressed. If the show committee wanted to run an international show, it would have all the facilities needed for international classes once this work is carried out."

Nigel Pulling, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, added: "This represents a significant investment in facilities at the showground to ensure we're at the top of our game.

"The main ring is the leading grass ring in the country and we want to invest in its collecting ring to bring it up to the same standard ready for the next Great Yorkshire Show.

"We want to continue to attract some of the world's top riders with their best horses and maintain a first-class reputation."

Tickets are now on sale for the 159th Great Yorkshire Show at www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk