Mid Ar­gyll Show 2017

Argyllshire Advertiser - - LEISURE -

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...

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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.

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