Rugby hero Mike Tindall MBE was one of the star guests at Countryside Live, Harrogate 21-22 October 2017 where he was a special judge in one of the competitive classes.

The former England captain and Gloucester rugby player, who is married to Zara Phillips, was a guest judge for the Royal Smithfield Club in the taste-off between the winner of the Wagyu Ribs class and the first-placed entry from the combined Continental & Native-bred Ribs of Beef.

For the first time in the UK, there was a separate class for Wagyu Ribs, a breed noted for its highly marbled, premium beef. The celebrity ‘cook-off’ was hosted by Mike Tucker, Chairman of the Wagyu Breeders Association and Sue Nelson of Food Finder. Mr Tindall was a guest judge with Jill Mills, Cattle Steward and wife of Yorkshire Show Director Charles Mills, as well as Norman Bagley, director of the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS).

Two well-known local chefs, Chris Harrison of Shoot The Bull in Hull & Michael Wilkinson from The Star in The City, York cooked the winning entries which were judged on taste, tenderness and visual appeal. Overall champion was the Wagyu rib from James Allen, Pulborough, West Sussex which won by 69 points to 65.

Special thanks go to sponsors Harbro, AIMS, Cotswold Wagyu & Delta Wagyu together with Geoffrey Burgess, Phil Henshall and Paul Nicholson of the Royal Smithfield Club.