Rains fails to dampen the Angus Show spirits

IT takes more than a little rain to keep the hardy souls of Brechin and the surrounding district away, as was demonstrated at the Haughmuir showground of the Angus Show on Saturday.

The organisers of the top show of its kind in north-east Scotland were blessed with a warm, dry day on the Friday - day one of the popular summer event - but the weather conditions couldn’t have been more different for the Saturday.

The forecast was for almost continuous rain throughout the day and, sadly, for once, those weather men were proved spot on.

Despite the inclement conditions, it was a case of the show must go on.

And go on it did, with the full programme of events taking place as planned.

Of course, the weather had an affect on the numbers coming through the admission gates as the day progressed, but those who did venture out - and there were many hardy souls - were treated to all that’s best in the world of agriculture.

Show secretary Joan Keith was not too despondent.

“Of course we were disappointed with the weather on the Saturday, but we were certainly not disappointed by the amount of people who turned out to support us.

“As always we got great support from the farming community, and, despite the conditions, we were able to complete our programme of events.”

The focus on the Saturday morning was on the judging in the livestock rings, and, while the cattle numbers were slightly down on previous years, the numbers in the other sections held up well.

And, local exhibitors managed to keep more than a fair share of the top prizes on home soil.

The Aberdeen-Angus champion was shown by Tom Rennie, Mosston Muir, Forfar, while the commercial cattle title went to a 12-month-old Limousin-sired bullock out of a British Blue cross Simmental cow shown by Mr and Mrs Bert Paton, Spott, Glenprosen.

Even closer to home stayed the dairy cattle championship, going to Allan Alston, Drumchapel Estate, Menmuir, by Brechin, with a four-year-old Holstein second-calver.

In the sheep sections, the Beltex champion was a gimmer shown by Graham and Fiona Burke, Cairndfrum Cottage, Menmuir, by Brechin, while the cross title went to Helen Smith, Scobshaugh, Cortachy, Kirriemuir, with a pair of February born Beltex lambs.

A full list of the champions and reserves will appear in our farming section later this month.

Away from the livestock pens, there was plenty to keep the crowds amused, if in the heaviest of the showers.

There were activities, events and trade stands galore all around the main arena, with the main programme of entertainment getting underway just after mid-day.

Attractions included Highland dancing competitions, a dog show, the sheep shearing competition and the usual eye-catching display of vintage vehicles.

There was a chance to get out of the worst of the weather by meeting members of the farming community at the many and varied trade stands, while also supporting the fund-raising stalls and look into the ladies and industrial marquee.

The main ring entertainment kicked-off with the Djembe drummers from Andover Primary School at 12.30 pm and went on to include pony games and a parade of non-agricultural vintage vehicles, before Mark Wylie from Loch Lomond took to the the arena with his popular sheepdog and duck display.

Following the Drakes of Hazard’s fourth appearance at the Angus Show there was the traditional parade of stock, then the presentation of a trio of long service medals, and further main ring entertainment to complete the day - despite the awful weather for mid-June!

Among those in attenace was Angus MP Mike Weir, who was joined by MSPs for the area, Nigel Don and Graeme Dey.

Mr Weir said it was unfortunate that the weather had been so unkind but that those who did attend enjoyed a wealth of stalls and events.

“There was certainly something for everyone at the show, from the vintage and modern farm machinery to the demonstration of duck herding in the show ring.

“It was fascinating to see traditional skills such as sheep shearing alongside new high tech solutions for old farming problems.

“I was fascinated by the system developed by Syol, which used GPS and satellite technology to show the differences between the fertility levels of various parts of an individual field and was able to give recommendations on fertiliser use. This can reduce the use of fertiliser and also help increase yields.

“I was also interested in the update from Angus Cereals on the grain facility being built at Montrose harbour.”