Wednesday 7 August, 2013
We’re not big exhibitors of livestock – in fact, we only competitively show our Shetland cattle at our local show in Kirriemuir. But we have loaned Annie, Breeze and Bonny this year to our local RBST support group (Caledonian) for stands at the Royal Highland Show (Annie) and Perth (Breeze and Bonny).
The Royal Highland is a huge show, held over fours days in June at the Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston, Edinburgh. This year, RBST had a great stand located in the Countryside area, next to the Poultry tent. Part funded by the British Pig Association and organised by RBST Caledonian, it was pretty much a triumph with record amounts of merchandise sold, memberships taken up and interest shown in the breeds and in the organisation.
As well as Annie, there was Alice (an Irish Moiled heifer), some Golden Guernsey goats, North Ronaldsay sheep, three breeds of pig – Oxford Sandy and Black, Gloucestershire Old Spot and British Lop – and pens of poultry. The stand was beautifully set up and it was a real credit to the Caledonian group that there were plenty of volunteers on hand to talk to visitors every day. It was a huge commitment by the group but well worth it, I think.
On a personal level, I think it was good for Annie. After being unsettled on the first day, she settled well and she’s now much more confident and loves attention.
Kirriemuir was next in mid-July. Not surprisingly, there are no classes for Shetland cattle and we usually show in the “Other Native Breed” classes. This year, probably due to low entry numbers last year, “Other Native Breeds” was combined with the Aberdeen Angus – interesting, as about the only native thing about the modern Aberdeen Angus is the name.
Anyway, we took Annie, Breeze and Bonny and picked up three seconds, behind Aberdeen Angus each time. Apart from us and one AA exhibitor with about six cattle, there was one Hereford bull in the section.
On the plus side, there was lots of interest in our trio – Bonny topped the cute ratings by a mile. :-) We had leaflets about Shetland cattle to give away – and we did.
Our last outing was Perth on 3rd August. It’s a two-day show with light horses on the Friday and the agricultural show on the Saturday – and it’s right in the middle of the city too, so it was busy.
We took Breeze and Bonny for the RBST stand – there was Alice (an IM heifer but a different one to the RHS), Avril’s Golden Girls, some poultry and a pen of Jacob sheep. Another member had loaned his Cleveland Bay gelding the day before – stunning!
I tied both Breeze and Bonny in the trailer, with Bonny at her mammy’s head, but Bonny burst the string and Breeze pooped all over her. In getting them off the trailer, my beige trousers were covered in poop – so I had to buy a new pair of fleecy lined, water resistant ones. They were only £20 because that’s all the cash I had and the stallholder didn’t have his card machine ready. They are FAB trousers – see, everything happens for a purpose! :-)
So that’s us done for the year. The bull comes down next weekend, we start preparing for the next batch of calves and the girls are on R&R.