By Bill Heaney
Some folk say there is no such thing as bad weather, it’s just choosing to wear the wrong clothes.
But the large crowd who attended Strathendrick Agricultural Society’s Drymen Show on Saturday are far too experienced to be caught out by a drop of rain.
Nearly all of them were appropriately suited and booted to keep out the rain – and had the summer stuff concealed until the sun finally and reluctantly popped its head through the clouds. For a moment or two.
The occasional downpour failed to dampen the spirits of the families who turned up at the showground on the Buchanan Castle estate on the banks of the River Endrick.
Or the competitors who brought their livestock to compete for the coveted trophies.
Drymen Show is always a fun filled family day out on these rolling fields and drumlins, which stretch all the way down to Loch Lomondside.
As usual at Drymen there was on the day a wide range of entertainment and educational attractions representing the best of our local farming and rural communities.
And there was the judging of some of the finest livestock including: Clydesdale Horses, Highland Ponies, Light Horses, Cattle and Sheep.
There were also numerous other attractions, including a fun fair, helicopter rides, trade stands, main ring attractions and pet and craft tents.
And there were classes and competitions to see in the rural and school tents, including their very own Drymen Show Bake Off.
Drymen show special guests from BBC’s Raymond Irvine, Jenni McAllister and Elfie, the cutest Swiss Valois Black-nose sheep, which was a show stopper as hundreds of people opted to have a “selfie with Effie”.
Drymen Show is delighted to welcome Raymond, local lass Jenni and of course Elfie to present the prizes and silverware to our livestock Champions following the Grand Parade this year.
We’ve loved watching them in this year’s series of This Farming Life and learning about all things farming, which in the case of the Irvine family from Tomintoul includes award winning Charolais Cattle and the first UK flock of pure bred Swiss Valois Black-nose Sheep. The main ring attraction this year was the Drakes of Hazard.
Mark Wyllie, a local faRmer from Luss, first entertained visitors to Drymen Show back in 2002 and has since gone on to build up his show to the extent that it is now recognised as one of the best demonstrations of how man and dog can work together in harmony to control, direct and navigate a troop of fearless Indian Runner Ducks around an obstacle course.
The Drakes have even featured in an episode of Blue Peter with Matt Baker, of the One Show and Country File.
Mark got his first collie whilst still in his early teens and it wasn’t long before he was entering local trials with his loyal dog Spot.
All of the dogs compete at sheepdog trials, winning a respectable share of silverware as well as earning their corn on the farm.
Naturally the dogs are Border Collies, arguably one of the most attractive and intelligent breeds in the world.
Their amazing intelligence, stamina and eagerness to please makes them uniquely adaptable from the hillside to the ringside.
The collies can find themselves rounding up sheep on a remote hill overlooking Loch Lomond one day then duck herding to delight a city audience the next.
The trade stands are anything but a sideshow and are well patronised.
Many thanks to all the trade stands who have already agreed to support Drymen Show this year.
“We really appreciate the time and effort taken to come along and hope, that as well as having a lovely day enjoying the show, it returns by allowing you to engage with existing clients as well as providing the opportunity to meet and gain new ones,” said a Strathendrick spokesperson.
The Craft tents were full as usual this year with lovely products and gifts for showgoers to take home and enjoy.
Out of the show field, Fiona Burns, of Tippetcraig, fought through her nerves and made her show debut with grace and aplomb. She led Lewis of Tippetcraig who was awarded first prize the bull class. Also taking home a second place blue ticket in the three-year-old heifer class was her favourite girl Bramble – (‘Mairi 1st of Tippetcraig’).
There were plenty of ooohs and aaahs and pats of congratulations for the many winners, but special mention must be given to the McKechnies of France Farm, Gartocharn, for their twin baby bull calves, which stole the show.
Fraser Robb thanked the Drymen Show judges for choosing his tractor company’s exhibits as both the 1st place trade stand and best overall stand.
Fraser said: “Although the weather wasn’t the best we still had a great day. Thank you to everyone who came down to visit our stand and hide from the rain with us.”
Gartocharn-based Duncryne Equitation And Trekking centre deserve praise for four of their liveries at their first Drymen Show.
Summer and Yoshi collected a second rosette in 10 years and under jumping; third in the pony playtime and a well-deserved 1st place in the top score.
Sophie and blue collected 6th in 10yrs & under jumping, 2nd in pony playtime, 4th in top score and a very well ridden 3rd place in their 1st working hunter.
Isla and tommy collected a 5th place in Top
Score and an unlucky 4 faults in her other jumping class. Rachael and her legend of a pony Barney collected 3rd in 10yrs & under jumping, 6th in pony playtime, 4th in beginner’s pony, 6th in veteran ridden & 6th in veteran in hand.
Here are some results from the lists which are filtering into the Society headquarters. You can pick up on them on the Drymen Show Facebook site
Highland Cattle Results Judge Stuart Campbell – Cladich
1st C & J McKechnie – France
Twin calves 1st and 2nd
3 year old heifer –
1st A Prentice – Hyndland
2nd The Burns Family – Tippetcraig
3rd D Logan – Blairlogan
2 year old heifer
1st D Logan – Blairlogan
2nd C& J McKechnie – France
1st C & J McKechnie – France
2nd – CC & R Mackay – Blairquhan
3rd – Alan Prentice. – Hyndford
4th – The Burns Family – Tippetcraig
1st – The Burns Family – Tippetcraig
2nd – Alan Prentice – Hyndford
3rd – Alan Prentice
1st – Dexter Logan
2nd – Alan Prentice
3rd – C & J McKechnie
Champion 2 Year Old –
C & J McKechnie with their yearling
MORE follows as results and pictures are still coming in.