Great Yorkshire Show recruits first female show director in 165 years
Jan 19, 2024
Rachel Coates

Rachel Coates will make history this year when she becomes the first female show director of the Great Yorkshire Show.

England’s premier agricultural event is organised annually at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

Ms Coates, a dairy farmer from Shipley, West Yorkshire, will take over from Charles Mills who has been show director since 2016, immediately after this year’s event, which takes place from July 9 to 12.

Ms Coates said:

“I am honoured to be taking over the reins as show director from Charles, who has done an amazing job over the last eight years. I have been coming to the show since I was 18 which is when I got the bug for it. My aim will be to promote the show to the younger generations so that it continues to flourish and grow.”

She is a member of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society Council, farms tenanted and owned land on the edge of Baildon Moor and has been part of the show’s cattle committee for a number of years. Her family have shown dairy cattle at the event for about 15 years, winning Holstein champion for two years running in 2023 and 2022.

Ms Coates is a director of a community interest company which runs her local farmers’ market. She is also a member of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s women in farming network and enjoys volunteering at the society’s countryside days for schoolchildren at the showground.

Rachel Coates will succeed current show director Charles Mills in July.

Charles Mills, current show director, said:

“I can’t think of a better candidate to hand over the reins to and I know Rachel will take the show from strength to strength.”

Allister Nixon, chief executive of Yorkshire Agricultural Society said:

“I am absolutely delighted that following a rigorous interview and selection process Rachel has been appointed to the role of show director. We wish her every success with her role and look forward to working with her to deliver future Great Yorkshire Shows.”

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