Heavens open and show cut short

Heavy rain put paid to the afternoon programme of the Banchory Show
Heavy rain put paid to the afternoon programme of the Banchory Show

A mid-morning torrent of rain, followed by thunder and lightning and almost continuous heavy showers for the rest of the day, put paid to the afternoon programme at this year’s Banchory Show.

Bright morning sunshine enabled most of the livestock judging programme to be completed in comfort but the final stages, including the judging of the interbreed championships, were marred by heavy rain as blue skies gave way to showers sweeping down the Dee Valley.

Exhibitors braved the elements to continue with the grand parade of livestock – always the highlight of the show – and the tug ’o war teams were not to be put off as they did their best to get a secure footing in the muddy conditions, with the Durris young farmers’ team coming out top.

But the main ring attraction, a display by the White Helmets Motorcycle Display Team, had to be abandoned for safety reasons and even the marquee dance at night had to be cancelled because of the wet conditions.

“It was disappointing after a fine few days which left the show field in perfect condition and the bright start to the day,” said show president, Gordon Christie. “But the heavens opened at half past eleven and it just got worse as the day went on. Safety is always our first priority and we had no option but to cancel most of the afternoon programme.”

Mr Christie paid tribute to all livestock exhibitors who continued with the parade and to his committee members and many other helpers who worked hard to keep the show going.

“Given the year we’ve had, spectators and exhibitors came prepared for the weather and everyone was in remarkably good spirits, despite the weather and underfoot conditions,” said Mr Christie. “We had a great show of stock and the womens’ industrial section had a record entry.”

Mr Christie, who is also treasurer of the Deeside Agricultural Association, said the show would inevitably incur a financial loss but the association had built up healthy financial reserves over the years and the future of the show was in no way threatened.

“Any profit we make usually comes from the marquee dance so that will be wiped out this year,” said Mr Christie.

See full results in this week’s Piper - out on Thursday.