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ASPATRIA AGRICULTURAL SHOW
On Friday last the inaugural exhibition of the Aspatria Agricultural Society
was held in a field called "Noble Croft", situate at the east end of the
village, and in many respects it proved a great success. In the first
place, the committee took a bold step, but one in the right direction, in
throwing open the show to the United Kingdom; and this had the effect of
bringing into competition some of the best animals of the county, whereas if
the show had been limited to a narrow compass probably the display would
have been meagre, and not at all comparable with what we cannot describe
otherwise than as the capital show of yesterday.
Unfortunately the weather was not all that could be desired. Early morning
gave signs of a tolerable fine day, but soon the leaden grey clouds began to
gather o'er head, and about noon rain fell fitfully. Later in the day,
however, the ominous-looking black clouds gathered into a settled compact
mass, and then the rain came down in pretty heavy showers.
Though this might in a measure interfere with the enjoyment of visitors,
still it cannot be said to have had the effect of lessening the receipts at
the gate, for the number of visitors was larger than even the most sanguine
promoters of the exhibition could have expected. The youth and beauty of
the neighbourhood turned out to give 'eclat' to the show and encourage the
committee in their spirited and praiseworthy enterprise. The arrangements
of the secretary were carried out very efficiently, and we did not hear of a
single hitch in the day's proceedings to interfere with the general good
humour which prevailed. Indeed, Mr. Kirkhaugh was uniformly civil and
obliging to all; and his attention went a long way in ensuring the success
of the exhibition.
And now as to the general character of the show. A rapid glance round the
field sufficed to show that there was an excellent display of stock, the
short-horns being average, the other breeds of cattle very good; and the
horses exceptionally so; while of sheep and pigs the specimens were numerous
and first class as to quality.
A few of the prize winners deserve special mention. There were 41 entries
under the head of shorthorns. In the aged bull class, three animals were
entered, and they were all forward. The winner, "Lord Ellendale", a big
roan, three years and five months old, is the property of Mr. Scott, of
Little Crosthwaite, and also won the third prize at Cockermouth, but was
only second at Whitehaven on Thursday. In the class for bulls under two
years of age, first honours were awarded to a nice bull calf, eight months
old, the property of Mr. Grave, Mirkholme; while the second ticket was given
to a big lump of a bull, a year and eleven months old, the property of Mr.
Highfield, Blencogo. There was a capital display of cows and heifers in
calf or milk, but there was no beating Mr. Jefferson's perfect "Holly Bush",
which also won Mr.Paitson's cup for the best animal on the ground. Mr.
Jefferson also took first and second honours for heifers calved in 1868, the
winner, "Beautiful", being the same animal that won at Carlisle.
The horses were the great attraction, and a finer display has seldom been
seen in this county. In every class the competition was keen, and the
judges' discriminating powers were tested to the utmost in awarding the
prizes. However, they succeeded in giving universal satisfaction. The cart
horses were a very good lot throughout. Coming to saddle horses, we found
one of the finest collections we have seen this year. Mr. Baxter,
Broomfield, took first honours in the class for brood mares for saddle with
his bay mare which won Mr. Casson's prize at Carlisle last week. The
one-year old colts were a handsome lot, and Sir Wilfrid Lawson's brown colt,
which we mentioned last week when it won at Wigton, as a splendid animal
full of merit, was again in the fore. It is by "The Judge" out of a
"British Yeoman" mare, out of "Madame", the old prize mare of the late Sir
Wilfrid Lawson. It combines quality with splendid action, and is, taken all
in all, the best colt we have seen this year. Indeed, we are borne out in
this conclusion by the judges awarding to it Mr. Fisher's cup for the best
animal on the ground. The other classes of saddle horses were capital. In
the competition for harness brood mares, Mr. Thomas Morton, Longburgh, was
first with his big, fine mare, which won at Carlisle and Brampton, but was
beat at Penrith. Passing on to the sweepstakes, we found that most interest
was centred here. Six good looking animals appeared in the ring mounted to
compete for the prize for the best horse or mare four years old or upwards
for the field or saddle. The first prize was given to Dr. Mitchell's gray
mare, the true type of a hunter, Mrs. Thirlwall's bay, the winner of Mr.
George Moore's prize at Wigton, being only placed second; and one need not
be surprised at this, for Dr. Mitchell's grey stripped a more evenly made
animal, and was undoubtedly the thorough type of a hunter, whereas Mrs.
Thirlwall's big horse is scarcely sound, showing unmistakable signs of curby
flocks. Mr. Watson, Bolton Park, showed a very nice lady's mare in this
class; and Mr. Saul, Westnewtown, was forward with his dark chestnut, a good
looking animal, but its appearance is rather spoiled by a somewhat mealy
coloured mane and tail. The white blaze down its face, and the two white
hind legs, however, improve its looks, but it has rather short quarters, and
does not strip as well as one would expect.
to be continued.............
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