|You too, with a Ewe!|
I was off on my annual visit to Wales again to see the country dwelling Budd family of Trem Hafren. We did some riding in the woods on my friend Jackie’s equines, a selection of which are always available. I hadn’t ridden in over a year I do forget how much I love it and the thrill of a canter through the summer, tree lined trails, which brings in the extra challenge of ducking the enthusiastic woodland growth. The next day brought a visit to Chepstow Show which is a small agricultural show in Monmouthshire, like many which happen around the UK in the Summer months.
|I don’t think much of the entertainment..|
I love a country show and all the ones I’ve been to are a little bit different, but all are an annual celebration of the best of the local community – rural trades, talents and tastes.
Pitched at the race course this year, the show sported chickens, ducks, sheep and cattle on display and tents with refreshments, like local cider and game burgers. There’s always a competitive vegetable marquee to be found in pride of place, and no matter how small scale, people do love to show off their home grown produce, which is fine by me. I love a mammoth onion.
|Onions – Mammoth|
In the main arena, early doors, were highly competitive pony club competitions featuring three local teams of ponies and children of all shapes and sizes. They were going hell for leather, skidding around poles, hopping in sacks and jumping, quite literally through hoops.
|Sack race exhaustion|
Even tinies, took part although sometimes they had to be led at speed by plucky adults, this did not stop the mounted fun and games.
|Sid – small but fiesty – on Kestrel|
Later in the afternoon the Curre and Llangibby hunt and hounds booled into the arena. The kennels are situated at Itton near Chepstow and the super friendly hounds come bouncing in as if they are springs all let out of a box at once. The hunt website states:
“We are very grateful to the farmers and landowners for allowing us the privilege of hunting over their land. We hunt with hounds and within the law and restrictions of the somewhat incomprehendable Hunting Act of 2004.” I think this means they don’t kill any foxes.
|The Curre &Llangibby Hunt – Parade of hounds!|
The hunt meets on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 11am.This not negotiable it’s 11am or nothing – it’s tradition. Our hunt representatives handed out an interesting mix of refreshments including port and chocolate brunch bars which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend as a culinary pairing.
|Collection of vegetables|
Lots of Basset hounds were also making an appearance at the show. Hedaing out with a group of these dogs is a form of hunting that does not involve any horses as the hounds are followed on foot – so it’s a nice walk out for everyone.
A pack of small hounds, consisting of dogs around 16 inches in height and up to 12 years in age, are used and are known unsurprisingly as the ‘pack’. The hounds are taken out from a meet to hunt in the surrounding countryside and traditionally hunted the hare. However, since the enactment of the aforementioned 2004 Hunting Act, the hunted quarry has been an artificial trail. A man with a sausage on a string perhaps?
|Walking with Bassets|
After cruising past the free cake sampler stall a few times and starting to feel a bit sick as a result, we decided to call it a day. It was a whistle stop visit to the valleys and the Budd canines Hockey and Stella seemed keen to accompany us back to the airport in the car and had to be turfed out at the last minute. Tara am ram Welsh Wales!
|Can we come too?|