HAILED as one of the top ten shows in the country, the Usk Farmers’ Club held its annual Usk Show on the 120 acre site near Gwernesney, celebrating the very best of Monmouthshire farming and rural life writes DES PUGH.

The show is unique in that only cattle and sheep from Monmouthshire farms can take part in the section, however, with temperatures as hot as Greece, there were some changes to the scheduled programme.

The highlight of the show, the Grand Parade of award-winning farm animals, was cancelled on vet’s advice and the usual run out of the Curre and Llangibby horses and hounds in the main ring was also withdrawn. But some quick thinking by the committee members led to changes to the programme, one of which may now become a regular feature of the popular show.

A tug-o-war between tractors and children took place in the main ring much to the delight of the youngsters who dug their heels in against a compact tractor. Winning that one, a vintage tractor was next, again another loser, and then for the finale, a John Deere 6140R was brought in and everyone and anyone was invited into the main ring to see if they could beat the behemoth. Some say they saw her wheels spin.

Cider and ice cream vendors had a roaring trade as temperatures crept up to 30 degrees, but the Usk committee had laid on water stations around the site.

Winners of the large Agricultural Trade Stand was Cwmbran-based Fitzgerald, fresh from their win at the Royal Welsh. Small Non-Agricultural Trade Stand went to first-timers Haze Wholesale Flowers from Woolaston and the Best Craft Marquee Exhibitor went to Monmouth’s Secret Walled Garden, located at Troy House. Owner Louise Smith is Wales’ only artisan perfumerer.

This year saw the end of Caroline Turners’ tenure as livestock secretary after 23 years.

Event Manager and Show Secretary of the Usk Farmers’ Club Ltd, Nia Osbourne said: “Thank you to everyone who came and supported Usk Show this weekend. We hope that you had an enjoyable day. The weather certainly brought its challenges again this year and we hope you understand that we had to be a little flexible with our timetabling to accommodate the welfare of the animals on the showground (as well as our stewards who were also getting a little hot and bothered!).

“Entries in all sections were up this year, especially in the livestock and horse classes. The trade stands were of a spectacular standard this year with some amazing displays from local businesses and charities, with some of them already starting to discuss their plans for next year!

“Thank you to all our volunteers who helped stage, run and organise the show. For those who are not aware, the show is run almost entirely by volunteers. We have one paid member of staff and well over 500 volunteers who help us put on the event – without them there certainly wouldn’t be a show, so a massive thank you to each and every one of you.

“We look forward to seeing you all again on Saturday 14th September 2024,” she added.