19 July 2024

The Castlewellan Show 2024

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My dad and I returned to the Castlewellan Show last Saturday, after a five-year absence. We parted ways once through the gate. I visited the cattle first. Dairy judging was well underway.

 
In another ring, the young handlers were under scrutiny.

 
I had a wander through the cattle rows.

 
Onto the horses and donkeys next. There was a lot of waiting around between classes.

 
There was always a showjumping class on.

 
A I paid a brief visit to the poultry tent.

 
The threshing machine.

 
Is this pygmy goat enjoying the show? It's hard to tell...

 
Of course, I had to pay a visit to the sheep.

Some dynamic judging in progress.

The wall of photo competition entries was nice to see. Sorry I wasn't up there, though - I forgot to enter! Perhaps next year.

Back outside and I saw this lovely donkey.

And at the top of the hill, the driving horses and ponies were out for judging.

I stood just outside the ring with a busy thoroughfare at my back. Whichever way I looked there was something to see.

The rain that had been threatening all day started to fall in earnest, but the show must go on...

Making their way to the class.

 
An old-fashioned traffic jam.

 
A lovely looking horse.

 
The rain adds something to this shot.

 
It was lovely to see the horses and ponies turned out so well. Upstaged the tractors in my opinion.

5 July 2024

March Madness

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It's time for lambing photos! It was another busy season, although the ladies kept things reasonably steady this year. Most days had nine or ten ewes giving birth, with the busiest day having 23. Some years things are a bit more hectic! Anyway, in between busy days I managed to get the camera out.

The first of Dad's ewes to lamb had twin girls.

 
This one's at the wrong end for milk.

 
This was Poppy's first lambing season, although of course we found her in this very shed. She enjoyed the pet lambs most of all.

 
Those twins.

 
Outside, Primrose's lambs were growing fast. This is Gavin.

 
Gavin and Gabby.

 
Tilly.

 
Penny.

 
A young ewe and her first lamb.

 
The lamb was a bit lethargic and the ewe didn't lick it very much, so I thought Poppy would like to help. She got straight to work!

 
The wee lamb was a bit perkier after Poppy's help and went on to be just fine.

A very helpful girl.

 
The first pet lamb of the year was Spot, a lamb that was so dumb he didn't realise his very attentive mum wanted to feed him. We showed him where the milk was a few times but he just didn't get it - he loved the bottle, though!

 
I called him Spot because it's funny to me that a sheep has a stereotypical name for a dog, but also because he has a big, tan spot on his back.

The lambs kept coming throughout March...

 
We collected more pet lambs along the way... this is Valerie.

 
And here's a handful more under the heat lamp. It's a very popular spot. The tiny white-faced one is Minnie's lamb, Ginnie, who was similar to Spot and couldn't understand that she needed to drink from mum, and the big, brown Suffolk is Bella.

 
Wee Petal, the youngest pet lamb. She's only a day old here.

 
Poppy loved those lambs!

 
I went to photograph some of the other young babies in the shed...

 
...And when I returned to the heat lamp, Greta, Lily's ewe lamb, had claimed the top spot.

 
Out with Gabby again.

 
Feebee and Sybil grazing while Fern and Frances pose for me.

 
Poppy the sheep being silly.

 
Frances being sensible.

And that's it for March. Onto April...