THE CANTERBURY AGRICULTURAL AND PASTORAL SHOW, 1879.
(by our special reporter.)
If we are to judge of the signs of the times by the number of people who turned out yesterday, the annual Show ' holiday must, be looked upon as the greatest success which has ever taken place in the colony. Taken as a whole, the exhibits in most of the classes were the best ever shown. Prominent among the exhibits which showed an improvement on former years were the SHEEP. , In this division of the show yard, the most notable was a merino ram, shown by the Hon. R. Campbell, which was acknowledged by all competent judges to he the best animal of his class ever exhibited in the colonies, and although the second and third prize animals were not by any means , to be looked at with contempt, the ram which took the red ticket was so ‘ immeasurably superior to anything ever yet entered, that we could only endorse the decision of the judges. The Hon. R. Campbell has, as was expected, come to the front in the merino class ; and took first, second, and third for his merino rams, out of a total entry of 15. We must here give our opinion, borne out by competent judges on the course, amongst whom was the successful exhibitor, that the country on which the sheep were depastured had more tr do with the quality of the wool than the breeding had, and as we know that several of the other exhibitors have spared nothing for the purpose of improving their strains, by purchasing the best animals procurable in the world, it is evident that the nature of the country on which the sheep are depastured has a deal to do with the quality of the fleeces on their backs. Mr Chapman, of the Oust, and Mr G. W. H. Lee, of the Warren Station, who have previously taken front rank in this class, have not this year done anything to keep up the reputation of their flocks. Mr Joseph Pearson, of Burnt Hill, Oxford, has been the only exhibitor, able to hold a candle to the Hon. R. Campbell. Mr Pearson was the first to cake up, a run in Canterbury, and has used his best endeavors to procure for and keep upon his land the best stock, but, notwithstanding all his efforts superior pasture triumphs, and Mr Camp bell, as he himself said, with pardonable pride, shows the “best hogget in the colony.” The breeder of “the best hogget ” gained first, second, and third prizes in the ram class over 18 months with fifteen entries. For the same, under 18 months, the same gentleman was again successful for first and second, Mr Pearson getting third in a field of ten. All through the merinoes the same winners’ names are mentioned —Messrs Campbell and Pearson being the only prize-takers throughout. A number of the merinoes shown in this class were of a very average nature, and would have done better for themselves and reflected more credit on their exhibitors had they been left at home on their native pastures. Among the Leicester sheep there were some really grand animals, and the first prize ra —Mr Threlkeld’s Mann, who also gained a silver medal —was a particularly handsome specimen. The same breeder also took second with an equally good ram. In rams in this class, under 18 months old, the Hon E. Gray took first and third, Mr Threlkeld taking second place. In the ewe class for this breed, Mr James Gregg took first and a silver I medal for a well knit ewe with a magnificent fleece, and Mr Threlkeld again took ..W,cs T>£Ay_voung stock in other classes. In Class 7 *-.->rnve ewes under 18 months, theagSmegentleman’s exhibit gained the pjlfize, and in addition took Mr Tancred’s private prize of £6 (ss. For Border Leicesters, in the ram class, an enormous animal entered by Messrs H. R and J. E. Parker took first and silver medal. The length of staple in the fleece on this ram is so great that even good judges of sheep expressed their astonishment. The same exhibitors again came to the front in the ewe exhibits in this class; also when called upon to show youngsters ; and there can be no doubt but Messrs Parker can claim the premiership in the Border Leicesters. The Lincoln sheep were an uncommonly even lot, and the judges must have experienced some difficulty in selecting those deserving tickets. Mr Sutton, however, came to the front, as he usually does, and swept the board for most of the prizes in this class, the Hon. Mr Holmes and Mr E. Menlove having the only entries that took other prizes. The Romney Marsh sheep had a good number of representatives, and several of Messrs Wilkin and Carter’s stock from this district helped to fill the pens up, and in two of the classes were successful in gaining a first—viz, in best ewe above 18 months, and the best three of the same age. There were some uncommonly good sheep in the Romneys, and the exhibits bore evidence 1 of careful attendance during the winter. In the Cotswold, Messrs J. T. Ford and Co. had everything their own way, taking first and second in all classes, and they really deserved it, for the sheep were uncommonly good. The Southdowns were not so numerously represented as wc expected to see them, hilt the few present were a credit to their owners, Mr H. J. Washbourne, of North Rakaia, being the most successful, with Mr S. Garforth close up. The next most noticeable pen was one containing five fat sheen exhibited by Messrs Henderson and M'Beath. As they were freshly shorn, the development of their fat could be easily seen, and the critic who would question their claim to a prize must be very hard to please, for they would have made a “ boiling down ” man smile all over his countenance.
CATTLE. The cattle entries were very large, and the quality brought out excellent. For the best bull of any age in the shorthorn class, there were 12 entries, and they were all first-class pedigree cattle. The blue ribbon was carried off by Mr J. F. Kitcbing’s “ Riby Knight ” who also took the Christchurch merchants’ private prize, and the medal for the best bull of any a<*e, and from his looks, quality, and skin he well deserved it. Mr P. H. Russell took second with “ Hastingsand the Rev. W. J. G. Bluett, 3rd, with “Wizard.” For bulls calved since July Ist, 1876, Mr R. McDougall’s “Firby” took first, the youngsters, beaiii g date
since July 1877, having Mr J. Dean’s “ Butterfly ” (a very promising young bull) for first, and an equally good animal in Mr John Grigg’s (Longbeach) “ Hero ” for second in a field of sixteen entries.
The show of cows was particularly good, and the quality of the pastures on the Peninsula was demonstrated in this class of exhibits by the superiority of Messrs Hay Bros., stock, they showing a number of beautiful milkers. Among the heifers the Hon. H. B. Gressou’s “ Buttercup ” deserved the first prize she obtained, also the private prize of Messrs Ballantyne and Co.
The Herefords produced very few entries. The best bull of any age was found in an entry of Mr Alfred Cox, a tremendous animal but good tempered enough to allow the curious in these matters to investigate his points. Devonshire cattle cannot he looked on as favorites as not as single entry was made.
The Alderneys brought out five, Rev. W. J. G. Bluett taking first for both bull and cow. This breed of cattle is not at all suitable for the colony, we should imagine, as the prize takers are not a great deal heavier than a decent sized cross bred sheep, and the next class on the programme, the Ayrshires, do not show well by comparison with the magnificent cattle of other breeds represented yesterday. Mr W. Cook and Messrs Fleming and Hedley took first prizes for best bull and cow respectively. In the little Breton cattle, Mr Robt. Wilkin took first for both bull and cow ; and for the best milch cow of any age or breed, Mr John O’Neil’s Beauty well deserved both her name and the first prize. For fat cattle the prizes have always been looked upon as a case of division between Mr S. Garforth and Mr John Ferguson, and this year was no exception to the rule, Mr James Gregg coming in for some of the honors. For the best bullock of any age Messrs Hay Bros., of Pigeon Bay, took first and second, the winner being a huge animal, and stated by some butchers of our acquaintance to be the biggest ever shown. The same exhibitors also took first for the best cow of any age.
draught stock. For the best draught entire ten splendid animals had to be paraded, and, as an instance of how opinions differ, the prize taker on this occasion was one not placed last year—Mr M’Kellar’s Prince Royal. A number of foals in the Ashburton are indebted to this sire for their paternity, and no doubt their owners will now at once put an extra value upon them for their progenitors success. Mr M'Kellar has an equally good one in the district this year, and we consider that his judgment should meet with the encouragement it merits. For entires foaled since July, 1876, there were only three entries, two being Ashburton horses, viz., Beaconsfield, entered by Mr Jno. Grigg, and Strathmore, by R. Mathews, the other, which took the first prize, being an entry by Messrs Fleming and Hedley, Glen Lyon. Here we are sorry to have to differ, with many others, from the judges, in thinking that the red ticket was given to the worst colt of the three, the Longbeach representative being far and away the best looking and best bred in the class. Among the two-year-olds a very beefy colt belonging to Mr James Don took first honors, Mr Stoddart, of Willowby, taking second with a colt by Prince Royal. For brood mares only six were shown, but they were of rare quality, Mr Boag taking first and third, the former (Gipsy) being a perfect model. There were 11 entries for three-year-old fillies, and the Hon. Mr Holmes' was credited with the premier ticket. Some of the fillies would have been better left at home.
The three-year-old geldings brought out only three, and Fleming and Hedley’s Van was certainly in his right place when in the van. Mr Boag’s representative. Flora McDonald, in the two year-old fillies, looked like a prize-taker for the rest of her life.
There was a big show of babies in draught stock, 9 colts and 10. fillies being entered on the catalogue. The only noticeable one, however, was a filly belonging to the Hon. M. Holmes. Class ll—-pair of geldings—had three entries, and they were worth inspection, and drew a largo crowd of admirers during the day. Fleming and Hedley got first, Heywood and Co. second, and Mr Boag third prize. We are very much mistaken, were the three lots put up to auction, if Hey wood’s pair would not fetch the most money by a good round sum. BLOOD STOCK. For the best blood entire only five turned out. We hoped to have seen some of the Middle Park I orses exhibited, and a number of visitors were greatly disappointed when they found that neither Traducer nor Leolinus figured on the catalogue. As it was a disappointment so far, it did not matter much when the public discovered that the best horse in the entry was left out in the cold, and a much inferior animal, both as regards performances and breeding was adorned with the first prize. Daniel O Rorke was selected as being the best, Papapa as second ; and that grand old winner of no end of races, Guy Faux, was passed over as not worthy of notice. We were glad to hear an expression of opinion, from so excellent a judge of blood stock as Sir Hei’cules Robinson is known to be, corrobative of our own. A very handsome two-year-old by Admiral took first prize in his class.
In the carriage horse class Sir J. Oracroft Wilson’s Nobleman was where he always ought to be. The best sire for harness horses in the colony, he looks as plucky as ever he did. A two-year-old Admiral colt, rejoicing in the cognomen of Rakaia Charlie is about the biggest of his age we ever saw; but he wants “ straightening out ” before any opinion can be given of him. He is however full of promise. In carriage horses, just three were on the catalogue, the only one worthy of notice being Mr Delamain’s Marquis, by Shales, for whom His Excellency offered a long figure providing a match could be found for him. For For the best pair of buggy horses, a well matched pair of greys belonging to Mr W. J. Wilson took first, and Dr. Frankish’s bays were equally admired. It is singular that not a single entry was made in the Hackney class. For the best Roadster a grey horse about 16*2 took the prize, but vve are of opinion that if he came to Ashburton next week he would find himself a deal lower down on the list.
The Ladies’ Hacks would have been
better placed in the Hackney class, as none of them were what we should consider to be an easy hack for a lady. There was a good show of ponies, the game little Miracle being the plum of the lot. The show of hunters could certainly be beaten in our own district, the only good looking horse being Magic, by Talisman, who looked perfection all over, except being a trifle short in the rein ; but when tried over the bar he signally failed, the best jump being taken by a thick set bay horse belonging to M>Twentyman —taking sft. 2 indies very cleverly.
POULTRY, &C. The exhibits of poultry and pigeons were fair, the bestbeing the Brahmapootras and Cochins. A few very select pigeons were shewn, but nothing like as good as the exhibits here last year. There were five sheep dogs exhibited, but none of them were particularly noticeable. IMPLEMENTS. The show of implements was without doubt better than anything that has yet taken place in the colony, and it is gratifying to notice that local competitors are able not only to compete but to beat imported articles, Messrs Reid and Gray and P. and D. Duncan having, so to say, “swept the board” against all comers. The former took first prizes in 3-furrow ploughs, with the Duncan's second ; Ist in double-furrows, the Duncan’s takingtwo firsts in singles, one of which having a scarifier attachment. The workmanship and finish on these implements were deserving of all praise, and no imported articles could be compared with them. In light scarifiers, Messrs Morrow, Bassett, and Co. took first prize with a 23-tined grubber, which is for sale at the low figure of £ll. In heavy cultivators Mr George Booth got a first. There was a large show of harrows of all descriptions, Mr James Little taking the prize for heavy harrows, with a set of 6 leaf, and again for a set of 6 leaf in the light class. The prize for chain harrows was borne oif by Messrs Mason and Struthers, with imported goods. Whippletrees found a winner in Messrs Duncan with a very handy arrangement of the trees for three horse work. Six kinds of corn drills were shown, and a new make —the American Champion—exhibited by Messrs Robert Wilkin and Co, with 16 drills, took first, the M'Sherry with 12 hoes taking second place. Broadcast sowers found a px-ize taker in Reid and Gray, Duncan taking second, there being seven other entries. Mr George Booth took a first for his potato planter, and for a potato digger -which is a most ingenious contrivance. In horse rrkes, R. Wilkin and Co took the prize, and for house hoes Mr James Little secured first and second, again asserting the superiority of colonial manufacture. In vehicles the articles shown were really commendable, P. A D. Duncan getting a well merited first, for a farm cart, Reid and Gray for a farm dray ; a very handsome and well balanced town carrier’s cart by James Robertson caught the judges’ eye ; and Mr John Barrett got two first for a Whitechapel cart, and a single buggy, the latter being a particularly neat conveyance. In chaff cutters there were all sizes and descriptions shown, and farmers could suit themselves with those indespensable implements at prices varying from £6los to £BS, the last named being a very perfect portable machine, doing its work thoroughly, and having a compressor attachment for pressing the chafl’ in the bags. In connection with this machine a very handy four-horse engine was shown by Messrs Andrews and Beavan, also portable, and there is no doubt but any speculative inindividual in this district could make a good living by investing in- a plant of this description, as chaff well cut is a commodity hard to got hold of in Ashburton. Of steam thrashing machines there was a good show, the only new feature being an attachment for conveying the sheaves to the drum, thus saving the work of three men, a band-cutter being a part of the new patent. It looks practicable enough, but we should like to see a trial before recommending it. Some American combines were shown. They are much lighter in construction than the English ones now so well known, but do not look like standing the wear and tear connected with the work. We regret that want of space compels us to hold over our remarks on the colonial industries, but we will endeavor to give our readers a description of that most interesting part of the Show in our next issue.
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