Mid Argyll Show crowds turn out in unexpected sunshine

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An unexpected visitor made a welcome appearance at the 122nd Mid Argyll Agricultural Show – the sun.

Dire predictions of rain to spoil this annual celebration of all things rural in Mid Argyll proved ill-founded as a dry, muggy morning gave way to an afternoon full of sunshine on Saturday August 10.

The rain did, though, fall while hardy volunteers prepared the Kilmory showground, but soft underfoot conditions on the big day were easily dealt with by a pair of wellies.

The show itself offered a brilliant day of entertainment. Aside from a quality show of farm livestock, home industries, poultry, dogs and horses, show-goers could enjoy bicycle stunts from the 3SIXTY team while the sound of Mid Argyll Pipe Band stirred the blood. Skills were tested in the Mini Digger Challenge while the spectacle of sparkling vintage tractors is always something to behold.

In the absence of regular announcer Angus MacKay, Kintyre farmer and councillor John Armour stepped into the breach to keep the big crowd up to speed with events around the bustling, sun-drenched showfield.

Young Highland dancers entertained, while a lively rugby demonstration looked like too much hard work for some enjoying a wee prosecco or gin (or both) at the popular stand.

With trade and charity stands right around the field, there was something for everyone.

The afternoon is traditionally rounded off by the madcap canine antics of the terrier race. This year the dogs were meaning business and some fantastically crazy races ensued. But, to the delight of the crowd, for one wee terrier it was more fun to run free in the main ring, evading recapture for as long as possible. More on this story elsewhere in this edition.

Pamela Dunsmore from Carluke, judge for the pedigree dog classes, said: ‘It’s been good fun. The quality of dogs has been amazing and the personalities and temperaments, which are very important, have been fantastic. There have been some big classes and lovely dogs.’

Highland cattle judge Stephen Hunter, from Shotts, echoed this. ‘I have never judged here before, normally doing east coast shows,’ he explained,  ‘but the quality of Argyll cattle has been every bit as good as I expected.’

Joint show presidents Caitriona MacLeod and Fergus Lyon said: ‘We must thank our competitors who come out year after year to support our show with their quality livestock and produce. It takes so much hard work and effort in preparing entries. We really appreciate it – without you there wouldn’t be a show.

‘Our dedicated committee who spend all year preparing must be thanked as it takes so much hard work and effort from so many people to run such an event.

‘Thank you to our judges, stewards, volunteers, helpers, sponsors and trade stands to every one of you for the part you play, we are truly grateful.’

Planning has already begun for next year’s show on Saturday August 8, 2020.