Mid Argyll Show 2017
FOR THE first time, showgoers could enjoy a little sparkling Prosecco and flavoured gin while taking in the best the rural scene has to offer.
The gin and Prosecco tent was just one of a number of innovations introduced for the 120th Mid Argyll Agricultural Show – and they went down a storm with the large number of spectators who came along on a dry, warm day.
The headline act, however, was the spectacular arrival of four horse-drawn carriages, organised by ex-Lochgilphead man Ewan MacInnes who runs the Maryculter driving centre in Aberdeenshire. The vehicles set off from Kilmartin to allow lucky passengers to experience a mode of travel last seen at Mid Argyll Show in the 1950s.
Last year's pre-show deluge led to the cancellation of the home industries section due to a leaky tent. To make up for the disappointment, the show committee decided to double the home industries prize money. Whether this had anything to do with it or not, an impressive array of produce and creations had this year's marquee bursting at the seams.
Grabbing the headlines was amateur baker Stephen Ryan, who became the first-ever male winner of the Park Challenge Bowl for the most points for baking. Stephen told the Advertiser: 'I'm really pleased and surprised to win, and to hear I'm the first male to do it.
He added: 'I'm a marine engineer, so maybe the baking is well constructed.'
Young farmers' clubs from around Argyll took part in a slapstick series of games to entertain the crowds, including a wheelbarrow race through the show ring mud and a hilarious three-in-abag sack race.
Earlier in the day some of the finest breeders of sheep, cattle, horses and poultry showed their finest specimens, while the dog show arena bristled with excitement and canine capers.
Dog judge Cathy MacLean from Clachan chose the winner of the gundog category as her champion. Led by young Rory O'Neill from West Kilbride, spirited five-year-old golden retriever Woody stole the show.
'He got a bit excited, but it feels really great to win,' Rory said.
Among the cattle, a cow from the Appin fold of S&M O'Hara was handed the champion's rosette by Alex Smith, who travelled from Blairgowrie to judge the Highlanders.
There was the usual display of excellent equestrian skills by competitors young and not-so-young over jumps and with horses and ponies in hand.
Away from the serious competition, horses and ponies donned costumes in a special mounted fancy dress contest, won by Harry Potter, otherwise known as Ruaridh Shaw.
Vintage tractors brought colour to proceedings, perfect paintwork glinting in the afternoon sunshine.
The terrier racing never fails to entertain, as the diminutive dogs scrap tooth and nail for the fox's tail. With the unenviable job of detaching the holy terrors from the tail was Bruce Dixon who, we understand, happily reported all 10 digits intact at the end of show day.
The big occasion came around half past three, when cattle, sheep, horse and dog champions contested the supreme championship. Judge Alan Telfer was handed the unenviable task of deciding on a supreme open and confined champion. Mr Telfer selected 'Black Betty' as his supreme open champion, a Limousin cross heifer calf bred by JJ & C McCallum, Strathnafanaig, Clachan.
For exhibitors in Mid Argyll, the supreme confined champion was Emma Sandilands' Beltex ewe lamb 'Miss Clara', on a first show outing for the sheep.
Mid Argyll Show president Tim Lister hailed the show a great success, adding: ‘I was delighted and the weather helped bring in the crowds.
‘We tried a few new things this year which I thought were a success. I was very pleased with the carriages and the gin and Prosecco tent went down very well. I want to thank our sponsors and everyone who had a stand. Our committee puts in a great shift, so thanks are due to them as always.’
Don’t miss next week’s Argyllshire Advertiser for show results and more photos from the big day
Lochgilphead’s Sinead Grey sampling the delights of the gin and Prosecco bar. The drinks were not, apparently, all for her.
Overall dog champion Woody with his pal Rory O’Neill, all the way from West Kilbride.
Here’s looking at ewe – judge Robert Cockburn of Hill of Errol on the Carse of Gowrie eyes up the contenders.
‘The Gorgeous Girls’ – Flora Wesley, Tatiana Quick and Rowena Campbell – take the lead in the sack race.
Champion Clydesdale, the well-known mare Galcalfra Sweet Chloe, with owner Callum McPhail.
Ruaridh Shaw as Harry Potter won the mounted fancy dress class.
Enjoying a picnic with the Walker and Younger families, four-year-old Nelleke Younger chipped in with this cheeky pose.
An impressive parade of vintage tractors brings back memories for many around the ring.
The first male winner of the baking section at Mid Argyll show, Stephen Ryan, with his trophy.
Angus MacKay provided lively commentary throughout the day.
Five-year-old Max Tighe from Ardrishaig was chuffed after winning first prize for his cardboard Loch Ness monster.
Betty and Geordie Rhodick from Lochgilphead won second and first prize respectively for their single rose. Geordie’s win was a surprise, as he hadn’t realised he’d entered...
Maisie and Harry Donaldson from Aberuthven having a dance to the Loch Fyne Pipe Band. Tarbert lad Ryan Taylor has fun bodyzorbing.
Jack Campbell and Iona Helyer were a force to be reckoned with in the wheel barrow race.
Three-year-old Hayley Ronald from Oban has fun with her balloon beside the sheep rings.
Winner of the Highland cattle three-year-old heifer clas from the Cladich fold and held by Stuart Campbell, is examined by judge Ale Smith.