Monday 2 October 2023

A Jolly Good Show

Gransden Show was established in 1891 and this year celebrates its 120th show; only world wars and world pandemics have prevented it being staged. It was begun by the farmers of Gransden and the surrounding villages, both as a friendly competition and also a means to improve agricultural standards. Unlike many other shows in this predominantly arable area, it still has plenty of livestock to be seen and it's this aspect that I'd like to concentrate on.

Lining up for the judges

Awaiting their turn.
These Texel sheep have their wool dyed
specially for the show.

A Lincolnshire Longwool meets a Kerry Hill sheep
"I like your eye make-up"
"I simply adore your curls"

I've shown you Manx Loghtan sheep before,
but this is a ram of the breed.
Impressive, but described by his handler as
"a grumpy old man"

These Border Leicester rams are also keen to look their best.

I didn't see many pigs this year.
I'm pretty sure this is a Welsh,
once very popular but now a rare breed.

And here's a Berkshire returning from the show ring.

Not the best photo I've ever taken, but a very rare sight indeed:
a Gloucester Old Spot at full gallop!
They're such a placid breed that it's unusual to see them so animated.

What a pretty little goat!

There were some handsome cattle
like this Lincoln Red...

....and a good-looking Hereford.

A couple of donkeys.
One looking sweet but sleepy...

....the other wide awake.

I only paid a brief visit to the horse show this time.
I didn't even realise that anyone rode side-saddle any more.

What a beauty!

Horses of other colours are also available!

Taking pictures of animals is never easy -
they rarely pose how you'd like them to, but once in a while it all comes together.
Here are three "double portraits" that just happened...

And that's all I've got to show you
till Gransden Show pulls me back once more...

Take care.


  1. I'm a sheep geek , so a great start to the day for me! Lovely photos, good to see the variety of breeds being kept going.

  2. What a glorious collection of livestock. For some reason the long haired goat had me off searching for William Holman Hunt's painting. I think it was the pose and long hair that jogged my brain so early on a Monday morning. My friend's daughter rides side saddle, she has outstanding deportment! Something from a more elegant, bygone age.

  3. Lovely to see this set of photos. You captured all the animals my favourite was the long haired goat, so pretty.

  4. A delightful array of animals, all champions in their own way. I love that the handlers are dressed in spotless white coats, like the aristocracy of agriculture lending elegance and dignity to the event, and smacking of a sort of intellectual elite.

  5. What an amazing show on display here. Manx Loghtan sheep is so spectacular to look at!

  6. So glad you gave their names in comments! And I did chuckle the sheep talking to one another, and that pig galloping along!

  7. I'm wondering what the animals are thinking during all of this!
    Fun photos, John!

  8. As a Lincolnshire lass I can tell you that when i was a child Lincolnshire Lomgwools were everywhere - now I rather think they are almost a rare breed. As for those long horns - I guess you might be a 'grumpy old man' if you had to go around with those horns sticking out of your head.

    1. Yes, the Lincolnshire Longwool is an "at risk" breed with only 1,500 ewes in the country.

  9. That was quite a show. So many beautiful animals there. Lovely photos of them all. The double portraits are great!

  10. Some interesting looking farm animals there. There's a fair here in August where cows, sheep and pigs are featured mostly by 4 H members who have raised them. Are your familiar with 4 H, a young persons organization?

    1. No, and I don't think we have an equivalent organisation in the UK. I just looked it up online and it seems like an excellent idea.

    2. Isn't the National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs (NFYFC) somewhat similar in the UK?

  11. Love the pictures. The woman with her back to us - her hair looks much like the sheep's. haha. We had a Border Leicester years ago. We bought him as an adult to mate with our sheep. He was the dearest, sweetest boy who was named Golden Boy before we owned him. We have only four sheep now - Shetlands. Sweet natured little sheep because Tom said he just couldn't bury big sheep anymore. A side effect of aging, one rarely thinks about!

  12. That reminds me of going to the county fairs with my dad who grew up on a farm. Thanks for that, John.

  13. I had no idea there were so many kinds of sheep til your blog! Great photos, John. Herefords are popular still in our county. We used to have a few ourselves.

  14. You captured a lot of beautiful animals. How fun to walk around and enjoy them. Thanks, John.

  15. Lovely photos! Some very beautiful sheep!

  16. Great show. We don't see much for shows here.

  17. Thank you for this lovely and sometimes amusing visit to the Grandsden Show. Next weekend I am attending a country agricultural show. It will be interesting to compare!

  18. Hay una gran competencia. Que gane el mejor.
    Un abrazo

  19. I adore these country shows. For some reason I didn't actually find one (convenient) to attend this year.

  20. I always enjoyed going to the county fairs to see the animals...when our girls were young we took them to every one around. One of them cried because she wanted to bring home a baby pig!

  21. That is a nice looking Hereford cow. I live in Texas and we raise a lot of them hereabouts (as well as Angus). In fact, there's even a town by that name about 160 km north of where I live.

  22. You had a lot of available photo subjects, John; the sheep were my favorite here.


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