The local argricultural shows have been on my ‘to see’ list for some years now and so this year as part of a big seizing the moment push tickets where bought for both of them and days out had.
The day of Monmouth show arrived first starting off grey with showers but brightening up by the time the Grand Parade happened during the afternoon.
Naturally the big draw was the livestock sections and when we arrived judging had already started in many of the different rings.
There was a huge amount of sheep entered into the show, a good selection of cattle (although no Shetland Cattle) and goats and a small selection of pigs but they might have just been for display as I didn’t see any judging of them.
Seeing so many breeds in top show condition together bought up the question of sustainability and how much additional feed and care to maintain them and produce a yield is needed. It’s something I’ve been thinking about with relation to my own goats, who has much as I love are breed for showing not for the milk, hardness or meat (although the skins would be lovely). Some breeds especially within cattle breeds look so fragile I really don’t know how they would cope with a major change in diet when farming methods change to be less intensive
As well as the livestock there was also the craft and horticulture tents;
(there were many more craft stalls other than the felts and wool however you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise from the photos I have taken. Wool does create some amazingly beautiful items though)
In the produce tent there was the children’s’ section complete with ‘garden on plate’ category, I use to love making these as a child but somewhere along the way completely forgot about them. I have made a mental note of how much fun they are and how they could be used for designing and planning (as well as the ‘pop-up’ maps I use to make)
In the main ring a large part of the day was taken up with scurry racing which I loved;
Before the Grand Parade later in the afternoon lead by the best in show goat:
We were later getting to Usk Show and so most of the judging seemed to have been completed for the livestock classes by the time we got there.
I didn’t realise until I heard it explained at the Grand Parade that show entrances had to be from the local area but this did not seem to take away from the classes that they had with good displays of goats, cattle, sheep as well as a pig, rabbit and poultry tent.
The cattle area at the show was open to the public so as people could get up close to the animals entered into the show. I always try to encourage people up close to animals and am often surprised by how afraid and uncertain people are around all kinds of different animals, and so stocked at how ‘big’ sheep, etc. really are.
The pig tent had a good mix of breeds;
The rabbit and poultry tents were packed all day
In the countryside ring there was some interesting displays from someone with some working horses (www.rowanworkinghorses.co.uk ) and a gun dog club both of which made me want to go home and be working horses and dogs myself;
And the day finished with the Grand Parade;