With the sun splitting the skies and shirt-sleeved spectators arriving in droves, yesterday’s Black Isle Show could not fail to succeed.
A massive seal ofapproval was passed from all present with the main ring hosting many of the attractions – some with four legs, others on two wheels.
Ponies and horses were first to take the spotlight, with their riders taking them through a series of disciplines, while the driving classes also showcased their superb skills, while attached to carts and carriages. Skill was also to the fore when the young bikers of the Imps MotorcycleDisplay Team performed some gravity-defying stunts to the delight ofhundreds of spectators.
Formed in London as a charity project for under privileged young people, the group has evolvedinto one of the UK’s most in-demand display teams.
Away from the ring,cattle and sheep were being judged, with the animals and handlers lookingpristine, making the judges’ job difficult.
One of the winners, Yvonne Spence, from Gowan Brae, Dulnain Bridge, was proudlydisplaying five rosettes won by her sheep, which were relaxing after theday’s contests.
She said: “I am very pleased, and also delighted for my eight-year-old nephew, who was fifth out of more than 20 in the young handlers competition, in only his second show. There is a lot of hard work goes into these shows, with hours spent getting the sheep ready, andalthough there is fierce competition, it is friendly and if anyone needs a hand, we all help each other.”
Fellow farmer, IanStuart from Strathdon, was enjoying the show, as was his two-year-old daughter Maisie who carried outher own inspection of the sheep.
Mr Stuart said: “It has been a great day out and Maisie loves going around looking at the sheep and cattle – she may one day end up in the business, but that’s up to her.”
Another important group present was the cattle farming fraternity, with many visiting the North of Scotland Highland Cattle Club stand.
Club treasurer Sheila Fraser said: “We are a group of breeders, from the south of Aberdeen tothe far north and Skye,promoting the breed.
“We have had a lot ofvisitors here today, including tourists from Australia who were asking all about the cattle, and we are selling merchandise for club funds.”
Diverse attractions at the Mansfield Showground, just outside Muir of Ord,included a fairground, fast food options ranging from a burger to a hog roast, wine sampling, and numerous stalls.