What a show
As I waited in the long (stationary) line of traffic yesterday morning, I spotted the first signs of Autumn in the trees overhead. I even had time to fish my camera from my bag and take a quick snap!
I was on my way to Moreton Show, where I had some judging to do. I always enjoy this particular show for the rich variety of interesting things to see. Above all, I love to get up close and learn a little about the farm animals which form a large part of the event. In particular this year, I was looking forward to meeting an old friend and catching up on things with her.
I’ve judged at this show for several years, taking the occasional break as recommended, but usually accepting the invitation with pleasure. Yesterday, I enjoyed the company of a WI colleague and between us, we made our judgements and left helpful and encouraging advice to the very talented competitors. This little couple of foxes were sitting, waiting for us and looking utterly charming in their sweet knitted clothes. I thought I had seen at least one of them before at the show I judged last weekend, not a million miles from here, but looking at my photographs, only the pattern was the same. I don’t know about you, but I think this pair rivals the knitted originals in terms of cuteness!
Once the work was done, we braved the elements and after a long chatty lunch, decided to explore the show. Having satisfied her shopping needs whilst I was judging, Sue was happy to follow the sounds of the farmyard with me. Being a creature of habit, I tend towards the same places each year (evidenced here and here) and yes, we started by seeing some familiar characters.
The judging of the Hereford cattle was coming to a close and the interesting commentary drew our attention for a while.
But some other natives attracted us over, standing patiently waiting their turn in the spotlight.
I love to observe all the chatter and social interaction in these places where people with shared interests gather. It’s good to see the next generation being so involved too.
I was quite pleased to see this pen empty!
I’d not ventured into the goat section before and was charmed by these pretty little pygmy goats. What expressions! But what a racket they were making!
The Gloucestershire Old Spots were out in number, of course. Thankfully, they couldn’t see the sign on their pen advertising sausages.
We wandered back towards the show ring, where the winners of each cattle class were parading, ready for the “best in show” judgement. Look who was there, decorated with his champion’s regalia from the Hereford class.
We marvelled at how placidly these huge creatures walked, around and around the ring, showing off their star attributes!
But our Hereford friend was to be pipped as Best in Show by this rather gorgeous Limousin, who paraded proudly around the ring one more time.
The commentator had a word with the winning farmer afterwards, though someone else didn’t want to be left out!
As we left, the winners were being taken to the main ring for the parade of champions. I listened to the commentary setting the scene: “You will see the best of British breeds here this afternoon: Herefords, Angus and South Devon amongst them. These are the breeds which Britain exported to the world, which have been bred to feed America, Australia and beyond. World class cattle here in Moreton; you will see no finer examples anywhere”.
There was a ripple of applause.
“They graze on the best grassland in the world, too”.
As if nature was listening, the heavens opened and the essential factor for such excellent grazing fell from the sky. Not that it bothered anyone there.