Biggar Show gamble pays off

Biggar Farmers Club’s gamble in running the annual show - even in a reduced form - paid off well.

After weeks of continuous rain, Saturday was pleasantly warm and dry, and the ice cream sellers were being kept busy.

The club took the decision last week to cancel all the cattle and light horse sections, going ahead only with sheep, Clydesdale horse, dogs and, for the first time, pigs.

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And although some farmers stayed away to get their silage made while the weather was dry, the public did turn out to visit the show.

Attractions included the craft tent, the Highland Dancing, a food fair, Mr Boom and children’s entertainment, and fairground-type rides including giant plastic balls in a pool.

The Ladies Industrial section was as busy as ever, with over 530 entries, not many down on last year when the full show took place.

The sheep sections were busy, and the Clydesdales had over 30 entries - possibly because other shows had not gone ahead.

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And they were all invited into the ring at the end of the judging, to take part in the grand parade, led this year by Vale of Clyde Pipe Band, making a wonderful spectacle.

“In a year like this has been in the West of Scotland, where we have had seven inches of rain in June and already three inches in July, to be able to have the show go ahead has been a big, big, boon,” said the club’s Honorary. President and commentator Jim Warnock

“There have been more shows cancelled than have been able to go ahead this year.”

And he added: “Farmers have not turned up because it is a dry day and they are at home, making silage, and you can’t blame them.

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“But the public have turned out to the dog show and the industrial section, and there is a lot of entertainment for the public.”

Among the attractions was the pig section, and the champion was a massive Duroc boar called Big Boy, weighing around 350kg.

The boar was brought along by David Chlad from Stirling, who has been part of a campaign for the last five or six years to have pig sections reintroduced at farming shows.

A petition calling for them to be shown at the Highland has attracted over 3000 signatures this year, but it is the small shows which are leading the way in restoring the classes.

“The wee shows are wanting pigs back,” said David.

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Big Boy has won every show he has been at this year, including Lesmahagow.

The sheep sections were kept busy, and overall show champion was a Texel, a ewe exhibited by KA & R Campbell of Drimsynie Estate, but originally bred locally by Jim Warnock.

Clydesdale champion was a year old filly, Hillhouse Zara, from Jim and Linzi Kennedy, Hillhouse Farm, Sandilands, and the top dog was a cross spaniel collie called Pippi, brought along by Katrina Heggie from Blackburn and which had never been in a competition before!

And Madonna? She was probably too busy rehearsing for her Edinburgh concert.

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