As you read this I will be preparing to go to my local agricultural show; it’s a two day event, and I’m looking forward to lots of fun. I love agricultural shows; my mum and dad used to take me to them as a young child.
The sights the smells, the bull that tries it’s best to pull the handlers arm off as they are standing in the ring being judged. The elegant dogs in the dog show, the rare breeds; sheep and the smelly pigs, for me along with the cows my main love is the horses.
So much goes into getting the animals ready for the show ring, you see huge bulls being washed down, brushed and combed, pampered and fussed over like all good dogs are at Crufts. There’s a vast difference between the mucky cows I take photos of in fields and the pristine nice smelling cows that are exhibited at the shows, it must be like living in a parallel universe for them.
An agricultural show offers the everyday person the chance to get up close to these beautiful animals, wander around their stalls and observe the reality of a day at a show. For farmers and horse owners alike it can mean very early starts to get the animals ready for travel, and competitors can travel great distances, to enter their specimen with big prize money and pride at stake.
For me, I divide my time between the cattle and the horses. There aren’t many opportunities to see working horses being dressed for the ring. Like the cows their day starts early and getting them turned out for the ring is a big responsibility. The shire horses that pull the dray, (the old style wagons that used to deliver a companies wares, mainly breweries enter these competitions now), have their manes dressed with little flowers their tack rubbed, brass polished and shoes washed. When it comes to the show jumpers, some of the horses will have had their manes plaited before they go into the ring. At these shows, no animal enters a ring unless it is looking it’s best. Read More→