THE sun definitely had his hat on this year for Launceston Agricultural Show on Thursday, July 26, with not a drop of rain in sight.

The sunbaked ground at Kennards House provided an unusually firm surface for visitors to walk on — no need for the wellies this year — which allowed easy access to the plethora of wonderful exhibits and trade stands on offer.

Although the family dog show was cancelled this year following veterinary advice, there was still more than enough on show to keep visitors entertained. Among the stands was the ever popular sheep shearing competition, ferret races and gun dog display, to name a few — and this year members of the public were even able to test their nerve at the ‘Talons Owltime Encouters’ stand and hold a python.

The flower tent was once again a glorious display of colour and creativity, the Women’s Institute (WI) excelled itself with its depiction of ‘Women at War’ and the Launceston Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) had a jam packed tent full of excellent exhibits, displaying its members’ talents.

There was also a surprise this year in the ‘Our Creative Community’ tent when nearly 1,000 entries were received, all to a high standard.

The poultry tent came into its own and held its very first competition and there was strong competition for the top prizes with some quality birds on show.

The usual cattle, sheep and horse competitions were also well contended with many Post area exhibitors receiving a handful of rosettes.

The sun shone throughout the day, with only a small mishap in the cattle area when a large ‘tornado like’ gust of wind decided to join the party and take a few gazebos with it. The situation was righted soon after and the gazebos tied down firmly.

The glorious weather did prove too much for some however, but there were many provisions in place to aid those in need.

Chairman of the show Robert Tucker said: “The weather was certainly in our favour but we did cancel the dog show under veterinary advice, which may have upset some who had brought their dogs but it wasn’t our decision and we did what we felt was safest — dogs cant cope with the heat in the same way the more sturdy livestock like sheep and cows can.

“We also had a car park attendant go down in the middle of the day from the heat but I have been assured she is now fine and was well tended to.”

Among the visitors to this year’s show was mayor of Launceston Margaret Young. She said she was very pleased to see there was an increase in the number of young people joining in with the show.

She said: “There was a very jolly, summery atmosphere with a huge crowd who enjoyed a variety of high class entries. The flower entries were stunning and very clever! Lots of children’s entries, which is most encouraging. My thanks to the organisers who worked extremely hard to make the show run so smoothly.”

Despite the difficulties the hot weather caused, many show goers enjoyed their time visiting the different trade stands, watching the excitement of the main ring displays and viewing the high standard of livestock on show. President of the show Eric Uglow said: “As far as I know everything went very well, there was a good crowd and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

“The crowds covered every generation from newborn to great-grandmothers and fathers — but I think the heat may have put a few people off.

“The livestock survived the heat and there was a very high standard of entries across the show. The horse section had the usual exhibits with a good number of entries in many classes and I think the people really enjoyed watching the judging for this.”

He said he had been very impressed with the ‘Our Creative Community’ tent, which had taken nearly 1,000 entries this year. He said: “It covered all parts of community talent like vegetables, which were impressive given the difficult year we have had for growing, and the quality of the craft items was exemplary. In the cookery there were some that were better than others — especially the men’s cakes — but I was very impressed with the large quilts which I believe take hours to make.”

When asked what his favourite part of the show had been Mr Uglow said: “Well, that is a hard one, I guess I was traditionally involved with the cattle lines for 40 to 50 years and have always enjoyed seeing the livestock. The sheep and other livestock really made a good impression on me too and the variety of entries in both the agricultural and other side of the show were very high.”

He thanked the show committee and those in the YFC, WI and floral tents for all the hard work they put in and everyone else who had come together to make this year’s show such a roaring success.

As a final thought, Mr Uglow added: “You are only president of the show once in your lifetime so for me it was a great honour but it was mighty hot!”

For reports, results and photos, see this week’s Post.