Mas­sive crowds flocks to Skye Show

The Oban Times - - Lochaber Times - SARA BAIN ed­i­tor@lochaber­times.co.uk

A LARGE num­ber of firsts helped to make this year’s Skye Agri­cul­tural Show an out­stand­ing suc­cess.

This was the first time the show, which took place in Portree’s King Ge­orge V Park on Satur­day, held the qual­i­fiers for the Will­berry North of Scot­land Cham­pi­onship in the horse sec­tion; the first time cook­ery and crafts com­pe­ti­tions were added to the classes; the day saw the launch of the Craft for a Cause sec­tion; and it was a first for fam­ily fun with an ex­tended pro­gramme of chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment, in­clud­ing a climb­ing wall, a su­per jumper and a race demon­stra­tion from the light­ning-fast Ore County Ter­ri­ers.

More than 1,700 locals and vis­i­tors en­joyed the at­trac­tions, stalls and com­pe­ti­tions be­tween spells of in­ter­mit­tent sun­shine. There were dis­plays in danc­ing with High­land dancers and tal­ented young­sters from Skyedance.

The Skye and Lochalsh Pipe Band pro­vided some stir­ring mu­sic, while fam­i­lies were en- ter­tained with a full pro­gramme of ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing shear­ing demon­stra­tions, a mega game of pass the par­cel, vin­tage trac­tors, re­fresh­ment and burger stalls, a dog show, Crofters Olympics and an ob­sta­cle race.

Stock en­tries were up on pre­vi­ous years, with full sheep and cat­tle pens, and a good qual­ity of an­i­mals. An­gus MacLeod of Glen­hin­nis­dale took the Ni­chol­son Memo­rial Cup for the supreme cham­pion. Re­serve cham­pion was awarded to John MacKin­non of Struan.

In the horses, Eilidh MacLeod from Uig won the in-hand cham­pi­onship with Ir­ish cob Money­glen Mr Killy­begs. Re­serve cham­pion was Jan­ice Mac­Don­ald with Glan­haultin Ash­ling. Iona Augier, on Dex­ter, gal­loped away with the cham­pion rider and rid­den cham­pion prizes, while re­serve rider was Jo­line Kohne on Raya and rid­den cham­pion re­serve went to Wil­liam Gor­don on Char­lie.

The Skye Board­ing Ken­nels Cup for best in the dog show went to Don­ald MacLaren, of Budhmor.

The cook­ery and craft sec­tion was new to the show this year and a good se­lec­tion of tal­ented com­peti­tors en­tered their cre­ations in the hope of win­ning a first prize.

Great Bri­tish chef Mar­cello Tully judged the bak­ing and chose a lemon driz­zle cake made by Fay MacRae as best in show. Mhairi MacKech­nie’s beau­ti­ful hand-knit­ted twid­dle muffs won her the top prize, Katie’s Quaich, in the new craft for a cause sec­tion. The muffs will be do­nated to the is­land’s de­men­tia suf­fer­ers.

The best in show in crafts went to Charlotte John­son of Portree for her knit­ted hat, while young James Brown, aged 11, went home with a fist­ful of first prizes in the chil­dren’s sec­tion.

Show chair­man Seu­mas Ma­cLean said: ‘Satur­day was very suc­cess­ful with a great turnout of live­stock, peo­ple and vis­i­tors.We ex­tended the fam­ily sec­tion and put a lot more at­trac­tions on for the chil­dren. Ore County Ter­ri­ers was one of our main high­lights.

‘Sev­eral peo­ple told us it was the best show they had been to in re­cent years and the weather man­aged to stay dry un­til the tro­phies were be­ing pre­sented.

‘We would like to thank ev­ery­one who made this year’s show such a suc­cess: our ex­hibitors, our spon­sors, judges, dancers, trade stands and the helpers for the day on the gates, manning ac­tiv­i­ties and live­stock stew­ards. We had a great turnout of live­stock and dogs, with all sheep and cat­tle pens full, and our cook­ery and craft com­pe­ti­tion had a good turnout for the first year.

‘All this wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble with­out the hard work of the un­sung he­roes who help out set­ting up the field; the com­mit­tee of vol­un­teers that work through­out the year plan­ning the show, giv­ing up their time and re­sources to bring a good com­mu­nity event to the is­land; and also the pub­lic for turn­ing out and sup­port­ing us.

‘We’re al­ways look­ing for fresh blood to join the com­mit­tee so please do not hes­i­tate to con­tact us. The 2018 Skye Agri­cul­tural Show is on Satur­day Au­gust 4.’

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion or to vol­un­teer for next year’s show, visit www.skyeshow.org.uk.

For full re­sults, go to www. lochaber­times.co.uk

Young High­land dancers take part in the keenly- con­tested com­pe­ti­tion.

The Crofters Olympics win­ners.

Eilidh MacLeod with her In-hand cham­pion Ir­ish Cob Money­glen Mr Killy­begs.

Mhairi MacKech­nie is given her quaich by Mandy Boswell af­ter suc­cess in the new craft for a cause sec­tion.

Who de­cided which judge was nicer in the eques­trian com­pe­ti­tion?

Fay MacRae re­ceives her prize from Mar­cello Tully af­ter win­ning in the bak­ing sec­tion.

It was tense for these con­tenders wait­ing for their chance in the dog show.

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