Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Best In Show


Last week the farming community were enjoying Bakewell show in Derbyshire, foot and mouth was not on the agenda.

I love agricultural shows, they have their roots the basic premise of ‘my cow is better than your cow.’ Whilst the atmosphere is one of all the ‘fun of the fair’, there is an underlying current of competitiveness. These photographs were taken last Thursday, because of the restrictions on the movement of animals as a result of the foot and mouth outbreak, shows taking place this week across the country will be a shadow of what they should be


This six week old calf would be back at the farm, it is ironic in the circumstances that I took the next photo because I thought that it had dainty little feetDainty Feet

As well as the competitions, you can buy just about anything and everything at a show, it’s a giant market, does your dog need a reflective sun tabard?


Or are you looking for a ball of string or some sweets?



But it is the diverse mix of people that you can see, (I’ve always been an avid people watcher) that is the cherry on the tart for me (yes I know ‘true’ ‘Bakewell Tarts’ don’t have cherries on.)

Hat Man

Be it horses, steam engines, cheese, poultry or live stock that is their thing, they are passionate about it.


Here they are preparing the rabbit class for judging, the young man on the left has just been bitten by his rabbit!

Rabbit Prep

Some of the competitors just know instinctively how to strut their stuff.


But beauty is often in the eye of the beholder

Ugly Dog

And there can be a lot of hanging around



Shire Horse Waiting

for your time to shine in the ring.


There is a lot of kudos attached to being a judge, and hats for judges are very important,


Getting your hands on one of these is what it is about,


And it is a very serious business


I like to look back stage, where you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.


Hours of work goes in to preening and prepping the animalsIMG_0432_1

I love this stained glass, by Hazel Crowe


And of course you are never going to keep me out of the flower marquees, (no matter how hard my children try!)

Cerise Dahlia


Shows are fun


And exhausting

Bored Boys


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

4 thoughts on “Best In Show

  1. Bravo on a brilliant entry! Going to a show like that is always a great day out, although I’ve not been to one for a few years.

  2. I used to do the Royal Show in Warwickshire as part of my Red Cross first aid duties – great fun! (though I can understand the “bored boys” photo, particularly when your only visitor has been a farmer’s wife who wears wellyboots all year, and who has put on her best heels for the day and got a couple of blisters…)

    Love the photos 🙂

  3. Thanks Jo, the camera is a new toy, I’ve not had a SLR for years so I am still at the ‘point and shoot’ page in the handbook, it has an awful lot of setting which are still a mystery!

  4. Pingback: Cutting Action « Uphilldowndale

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