We were thinking of going to the Tullamore Show last Sunday and when we won tickets from Agriland, that decided it. We tend to go to it every 2 or 3 years, it is one of the biggest agricultural shows in the country and this year was no exception as it drew in over 60,000 people.
The weather was fine, the cancelled event of 2009 was a distant memory as people milled there wearing ordinary runners and shoes with no mud to be seen.
We enjoyed watching the judging of the animals – I’m amused by the different dress codes. Those entering the Holstein competitions are the smartest – in white shirts with white trousers.
The beef animal handlers tend to wear a white shirt or coat but the jeans are much more casual and some of the beef handlers have a uniform shirt for that particular breed.
The sheep handlers were the most casual of all with builders bums appearing all over the place if the ewes started to struggle!
There was a little 5 year old girl walking behind a fine Belgian Blue calf as he went around the ring and we saw them again as they were walking from the Champions enclosure at 6pm, she had left home at 6am that morning with her father and she was still just about standing. Great to see such enthusiasm in someone so young.
I’m always impressed too at the docility of the huge bulls – I’m not so sure how relaxed I’d be to be leading a guy this size.
The care and attention given to ensure these animals are clean, polished, blow-dryed and up to standing under a judge’s scrutiny is something else. ?As someone who rarely blowdries my hair, it never ceases to amaze me.
It’s funny too watching handlers standing behind the Holsteins with buckets as they line up to go into the ring – cows aren’t toilet trained and the buckets are there just in case one of them decides she can’t wait any longer.
The size of the well oiled udders on the Holsteins are something else. The discomfort they must be experiencing as they wait to be milked reminded me of my own lactating days and a day away from my 2 month old son!
I also love watching collies working sheep or seeing them do tricks over obstacle courses. We went around the tents then, pausing to admit some worthy vegetables.
Speaking to the runner up, he was telling us that it was his grandfather’s enthusiasm for growing veg when he retired that got him started. His grandfather is now 90 and both of them grow vegetables and enter them in a variety of shows. Isn’t that a lovely way to spend your retirement?
We didn’t get to see it all – we missed the Vintage machinery and the Innovation centre, although we did see a demonstration of a robotic Lely milking machine.
? Lorna Sixsmith (@WriteOnTrack_L) August 11, 2013
All in all, a very good day out and it was home at 8pm for Brian to do the milking and for me to launch into the last round of checking blog nominations before we published the long lists! No rest for the wicked.