Great Yorkshire Show halted as stunt rider pops the question

An East Yorkshire stunt rider who portrayed one of TV’s most dashing heartthrobs was the romantic centre of attention himself at the Great Yorkshire Show (GYS) this week.

Ben Atkinson, who was the stunt double for actor Aidan Turner in his lead role as moody Ross in the hit BBC drama, Poldark, proved love was in the air when, on day two of England’s premier agricultural event, he got down on one knee to propose.

But Ben, of Atkinson Action Horses, did not pick a quiet spot away from the crowds to pop the question to fellow stunt rider Georgie Jackson; the heart-warming moment was shared with hundreds of spectators in the GYS Main Ring.

Read more: Sweet reason Our Yorkshire Farm’s Amanda Owen wears manky bangles

The delighted crowd cheered as the couple agreed to tie the knot after Atkinson Action Horses, of Eastrington, near Goole, had just performed.

GYS was among the first to offer good wishes to the betrothed couple on its Facebook page, saying: “Huge congratulations to Ben Atkinson who proposed to his girlfriend Georgie Jackson today in the Main Ring at the Great Yorkshire Show following today’s performance by Atkinson Action Horses.”

To sign up for the Hull Live newsletter, click here



Atkinson Action Horses trains horses for TV and film
Atkinson Action Horses trains horses for TV and film

The post has since had more than 6,000 likes, more than 350 shares and more than 400 comments from people eager to share in the happy news.

Aimee Pearson said: “We wasn’t sure if it was part of the act at first! Congratulations to you both & thank you for the amazing show today! X” while Julie Verity said: “How lovely, many congratulations to Ben and Georgie for a long and happy marriage.”

Andrea Carr commented: “Congratulations to you both it was a joy to witness this special moment. All the best in your future together”, and Tim Brown said: “Typical me just thought it was part of the act! Lots of ladies will be crying into their pillows tonight.”

Atkinson Action Horses has been the star turn at GYS since debuting at the Harrogate showground in 2017 and Ben is well-known for his part in providing highly trained horses and riders for film, TV programmes and live events.

The family company, whose horses have been seen in popular TV dramas including Peaky Blinders and Victoria, also provided Poldark’s noble steed, Seamus, an Irish horse the Atkinsons originally used for jousting at re-enactments but who rose to prominence racing back and forth along a Cornish clifftop.

Actor Aidan Turner had riding lessons with the family in preparation for the series, while Beverley’s Eleanor Tomlinson, who co-starred with Turner in Poldark as Demelza, learned side-saddle riding with them for her part.

It was then where Tomlinson and Atkinson struck up a relationship and dated for two years. They called time on their relationship in 2017.

Atkinson Action Horses also trained Almanzo, the horse ridden by actress Jenna Coleman in Victoria, the hit ITV drama featuring scenes shot at Beverley Minster.



Stunt rider Ben Atkinson in action
Stunt rider Ben Atkinson in action

Ben’s father Mark Atkinson first set up a riding school and livery yard more than 20 years ago on the family’s dairy farm at Eastrington.

When the Atkinsons were first asked to perform their amazing stunts and tricks at the GYS, Ben said: “It was really a big deal to be asked as we were the first English equine team to perform there.”

The shows combine fast-paced skill and articulation with Ben performing with his horses at liberty, or loose.

The 162nd GYS, postponed from last year because of the pandemic, has this year extended to four days, for the first time in its history, and concludes on Friday, July 16.

A total of 104,000 are expected to have been been through the gates this week to enjoy the show, which is organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, a registered charity supporting rural Yorkshire.