This weekend’s Walls Show was a casualty of the heavy and persistent rain, but in the best show tradition it had to go on.
Show treasurer Doug Forrest described it as a “washout”, with visitor numbers “way down” and the people turning up being mainly family and friends of the exhibitors. The animals were bedraggled in their pens, and show president Lauraine Manson said she was “really sorry” for them – and for their owners, who had put so much time and effort into getting them ready for the big day.
However Mrs Manson said she was very impressed with the quality and quantity of sheep, all of a very high standard. The supreme champion sheep, and the reserve, both belonged to Marcus Georgeson of Sand, Bixter, while the supreme champion cow was owned by Stuart Ridland of Westerskeld. Trophies were presented by Mrs Manson’s daughter who had got married the previous day – and to mark the occasion, the Manson family put on a special prize in the floral section for a bridal bouquet.
The show effectively finished early as there were welfare concerns for the animals, in particular the ponies, who were starting to shiver and were removed as soon as the judging was over. And although the parade of the show princess and her attendants by tractor and trailer went ahead, other sporting and parade events were cancelled. The Jarl’s Squad had been due to appear but decided to visit the care centre instead.
The rain, which had fallen steadily from 8am, turned the field entrances and exits into rivers of mud, and Mr Forrest said: “It was a victory for the weather.”
Meanwhile the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency issued an amber flood alert for Shetland and Orkney on Saturday, advising people to be prepared for possible flooding. The heavy rain was due to continue into the night and into Sunday morning.