Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Salen Show

Angus commentating
One of the highlights of the year on Mull is the annual Salen Show, or to be more precise The Mull and Morven Agricultural Society Annual Show. The show is held as you might guess in a field on the shore of the Sound of Mull just north of Salen. It has a tradition going back to 1832 and most years the weather is kind, not too hot with the rain staying away so animals and people are comfortable. The animals are Highland coos, Blackface, Hebridean and Cheviot sheep, and Dogs, yes Dogs! The whole island seems to bring their dogs for the dog show. No fancy breeds here just pets doing their bit for the days entertainment. The Mull and Iona pipe band and the Mull Fiddlers provide back ground music all played over the PA system when Angus Mackay, the show commentator, is not chivvying competitors, promoting stalls, asking for cars to be moved and generally giving information in his own inimitable style. Inner man (and woman) is not forgotten for burgers made from local meat and salmon rolls from local fish are readily available along with home baked cakes and home made sandwiches. As is usual at island functions all at very reasonable prices. The horticultural produce is auctioned off at the end of the day, this year the winning cabbage went for a fiver and was almost too heavy to lift. For the young and active there is a fell running event, terrier racing, show jumping and a tug of war, and for the rest of us a quiet amble round the stalls and a lean on the stock hurdles watching the antics of sheep and cattle and their stockmen. The stars of the show must, however, be the highland cattle with their beautifully prepared coats and coat hanger horns being paraded round the ring with mischievous dignity as they gently push their handlers

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