Sunday 22 July, 2012
I can't believe it's more than a week since we were at Kirriemuir Show - but nevertheless, I thought I give a wee update.
Our main purpose in going was to publicise the Shetland cattle breed; the Shetland Cattle Breeders' Association had kindly given us a couple of publicity banners and some information leaflets. We also had a banner and leaflets publicising the Scottish Smallholder and Grower Festival, so that was a second reason for going. Thirdly, we wanted to support our local show and lastly, we love our cattle and wanted to show them off.
We'd been preparing for a few weeks, but in a pretty desultory manner, mainly getting Breeze and George walking on the halters. It was all a bit hit or miss - Breeze had to be dragged round and George went like a train. Still, neither of them ran away . Breeze had her feet trimmed a few weeks ago, but other than that it's been a bit of brushing and a quick wash on the Friday night. To be honest, we could have done it Saturday morning, because by the time we got to the show, both Breeze and George had pretty dirty bums. All the excitement of travelling, I think.
Anyway, on the morning, both loaded OK - well, we got them on the trailer. George in a wee pen at the front, seperated from his mum by a sheep hurdle. We had a whole list of stuff to take - passes, passports, white coats, white halters, feed, hay, straw, water buckets, feed trugs, grooming kit, table, chairs, banners, leaflets. It was like having young kids again. Erin was with us, as she was taking George in the ring.
As it turned out, we were the only entries in the "Other Native Breed" section. This was a bit disappointing and a bit of a relief and it did mean we had loads of space in the cattle lines. We were beside the Highlands, which was great as our foot trimmer and his wife were there with ten Highlands and there were some other folk that I know from RBST. The steward was really nice too - he knew about the Festival because he works for SAC, which is taking a stand. Our Hill and Upland Sheep judge also came to say "hello" so we didn't feel too much like "newbies".
So, in the showing, Breeze won best heifer born after 1st January 2010 and was Champion Other Native Breed while George won best calf born after 1st January 2012 and was Reserve Champion. We recieved 4 lovely rosettes and a sash for Breeze. We also qualified for the cattle Interbreed, but we were unplaced. I think a Limmy was Champion and a Charolais, Reserve. Dan said that we didn't look very professional - everyone else was tapping their cattle's feet to get them to stand just right, while I was giving Breeze a cuddle . On the day, both behaved really well - Breeze walked out beautifully and George walked nicely by her side. She wasn't too good at standing still though .
At 2pm, it was the Grand Parade, in which we were invited to take part. This was brilliant as there were loads of folk watching and the commentator referred to the "wee Shetland coo" and said that there were only about 750 left. One of the folk in the crowd leaned over the barrier and said that she thought Breeze "was beautiful". The chap with the Reserve Champion Charolais came to see her twice and said he "just loved that wee coo".
Both the "Scottish Farmer" and "The Courier" took photos - one is published in the SF this weekend, so I'm well chuffed that a few more folk will know what a Shetland cow is now.
All in all, it was a really good day and we'll certainly do it again next year.
We're supposed to be at Braco next weekend with sheep - there's no end to the social whirl