Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Tarland Show

The Tarland Show was absolutely, gloriously marvellous. I went up, thinking I would stay for an hour or so, and ended up being there all day. It took me back to my showing childhood. Stanley the Dog behaved very well and was widely complimented. I made friends with complete strangers, and admired everything from Aberdeen Angus cows to heavy horses to some excessively splendid goats. (Stanley was very excited by the goats.) The HorseBack team did a demonstration and looked fabulous in their Western kit, and everything was as enchanting as human wit could devise.

Too tired now for more words, although I might tell you about it tomorrow. A small, highland show, with the gleam of the mountains in the distance, and some of the finest livestock in the county – I could write a sonnet about it. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

Here are some quick pictures for you:

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I know this Shetland very well. He finished in the money, despite being mildly unimpressed with the proceedings:

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Don’t you love the whole Little and Large thing going on here?:

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THE GOATS. Stan the Man was beside himself. I don’t think he’s ever seen a goat before:

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This was my favourite of the ridden ponies, an utterly splendid Connemara called Vince. Vince! What a great name for a pony. His rider, a rather brilliant and very articulate young gentleman of eleven, smiled widely as he got his red rosette, and said, without any shadow of shyness, for all the show to hear: ‘Oh, I love this pony.’ A fellow traveller, I thought:

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The HorseBack UK demonstration:

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I have to say, I could feel my competitive spirit rising. I went down to the field afterwards and took the red mare out for a quick canter (and, madly, a JUMP), and promised her that next year I should enter her for Best Ridden Horse. Surely she has Supreme Champion written all over her?:

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Although she will have to go up against this very beautiful mare, who was in fact today’s Supreme Champion:

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We may have a little way to go. But as I told Red, if there were a class for sweetest wibbly lip, she would win every day and twice on Sundays. She looked at me very seriously as I told her this, and then gave me her duchessy whicker, to let me know it was time for her tea.

And Mr Stanley must of course go for the Pet Parade:

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Ha. We’ll have some black type beside their names before we are done.


  1. Sweet day of days.. to enjoy ALL of this utter goodness through the wonder of tinternet surely makes up for any amount of the dark side...a fellow traveller indeed! Surely Stanley must have his very own goat :)

  2. Hi ---

    Just found your blog thru Loos, Boos and Shoes. What a wonderful treat - I'm absolutely thrilled to find you on many levels, but was nicely surprised when looking at the photos to see what appear to be QH and western tack with familiar-to-me Ranch People - Yahoo!

    Living on the Monterey Peninsula in California, we do not ordinarily think of western/ranch influence elsewhere (and aren't we shallow for thinking that). I've been to a few fairs and shows in Scotland and I can tell you that you know how to do it right - this looked like so much fun.

    The horses and dogs photograph quite well, along with the goats. Will send a link to your blog to friends I breakfast with on Sundays - just before we take our horses out for a trail ride. Thanks for making the very foggy day on the coast, much brighter! MMR

  3. What a gorgeous picture of country life. That Shetland! And the Western riders and horses look fantastic. Loved the recent family photos too. Have a wonderful Sunday, Rachel

  4. You're getting me all psyched up for our Scottish Highland Games, which are on the 24th!!! Bagpipes! Meat pies! Bridies! Men in kilts! Ahhhhh.... I cannae wait!


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