THE glorious weather encouraged a mammoth 3500 crowd to attend Saturday’s thrilling Lesmahagow Show, which featured a vast array of fantastic attractions to keep everyone entertained.
Right up there with the best entertainment on offer was the sheep-shearing contest, which saw hundreds of animals from all over Scotland being shorn at high speeds.
“We had a brilliant turnout of shearers from far and wide,” said show secretary Isabella Christie.
“They all had to shear 16 different animals, one after the other, and points were allocated depending on how quickly the competitors finished.
“Points were deducted if there were any cuts on the sheep which were caused by the shearer.
“There was a terrific atmosphere during this contest, with spectators enjoying some refreshments as they watched.
“Given how hot the weather was, I think the sheep would also have appreciated getting their fleeces cut off!”
The weekend’s festivities had started the previous evening with speed sheep-shearing, which saw over 20 top shearers flock to Lesmahagow.
Eventual winner was Englishman Grant Lundie, whose hog was shorn in just 36.3 seconds.
“For Grant to shear an almost fully grown sheep so quickly was an incredible effort,” Isabella said.
“This was mere practice for him.
“He’s someone who’ll shear thousands of sheep every year.”
There were more remarkable sights on show day itself, none more than the Charollais sheep owned by Dumfries man FH Kennedy which was voted the overall show winner. The day also saw several high class animals displayed in the categories of horses and ponies, cattle, beef, dairy and sheep including Beltex, Shetland, Charollais and Texel.
“Mr Kennedy is well-known for having high quality animals which are shown at several different top class events,” Isabella said.
“And his Charollais sheep definitely looked like a champion.
“There was a tremendous turnout of animals in good numbers.
“The stock at our show was the same stock which will be at the Royal Highland Show.
“It was very good quality, with a number of competitors from Dumfries, Stirling and Falkirk.”
Founded in 1803, this year’s show was, as ever, arranged by Lesmahagow Farmers’ Society and staged at the Showfield in Brocketsbrae Road.
“It was an excellent day with a great atmosphere,” said Isabella.
“We had at least 3500 spectators on site, which was double the crowd we had last year when the weather was blighted by hail, rain and wind. This time around we also had loads of exhibitors and brilliant weather.
“The fine weather really brought out the crowds in spectacular fashion. The only problem we had on the day was sunburn!
“People were still there at 6pm.”
And it wasn’t just people under threat of being roasted by the sun! The number of pigs shown this year was severely down on 2011, due to owners’ fears that the weather would just be too scorching for the heat-sensitive animals.
There was a keenly contested tug-of-war event, featuring a number of teams from central Scotland, with Biggar taking the trophy.
And Jim Russell of Strathaven took the Clydesdale horse championship.
In the Ladies Industrial section joint winners of the handcraft category were Elizabeth Pinkerton and Rebecca Gardner with the baking and produce section won by Isabel Haddow. Overall winner was Elizabeth Pinkerton.
Twelve vintage tractors were paraded around the ring, with a dog show and a pet show featuring 21 dogs and 10 rabbits also proving popular with the sun-kissed crowds.
Children were also able to enjoy a bouncy castle and entertainment from Mr Boom, while adults could enter a raffle offering fantastic prizes including the star prize of a meal for four at the Strathaven Hotel. See page 17 for results.