Drymen Show, 2019

Hello everyone, it’s Tom here popping in to tell you about my latest photographic assignment – the 2019 Drymen Show.

In 2017, as part of a project for my darkroom and film photography course at City of Glasgow College I set about documenting – and celebrating – the people, the animals and the work involved in putting on Scotland’s oldest one day agricultural event. This project ultimately became my first issue of the Ootlier Zine: a collection of images which I feel really capture the atmosphere of the event, and of which I’m very proud.

David Steel, the Show Committee Chair, also enjoyed my work and recently asked me if I’d be willing to photograph the show again for 2019 in an official capacity. I was very honoured to be asked. The Drymen show has been held here since 1816 and it is an important annual occasion for the agricultural community of Strathendrick – where I live. Everyone loves the Drymen show, and David and his team work extraordinarily hard each year to ensure its success, rain or shine. I feel really happy that I, as a local photographer, can do my bit by documenting this important rural event.

The focus of my work for the day was capturing the action in the main showfield at Kendrick bridge which was busy with the agricultural livestock judging . . .

Including cattle

. . . sheep

. . . and magnificent Clydesdales.

The competition was fierce and the judges had many difficult decisions to make – but I think if I’d been judging, these little guys might have been overall champions!

This year the show prizes were were awarded by Jennifer McAllister and Raymond Irvine from BBC’s This Farming Life , accompanied by Scotland’s very own celebrity sheep, Valais Blacknose, Elfie (well known to all viewers of the programme).

Of course there’s more to the Drymen show than the livestock judging. There are falconers

…light horse riding events, crafts, baking, children’s art and writing competitions, and the many other things you might, and might not, expect at a country show. This year featured a carved stick competition for the first time, with some wonderfully skilled and ornate work on display.

… musical interludes were provided by champion piper Donald MacKenzie

And show visitors were treated to the remarkable spectacle of the Drakes of Hazard – a talented Indian runner duck and sheepdog display team.

look at those ducks go!

Rain appeared at lunchtime (much needed in our part of Scotland after a peculiarly dry May)- but while it may have turned into a dreich afternoon, Drymen show spirits were not dampened one bit!

If you are interested in seeing more of the prize winners, you can see a full gallery of my images of this year’s Drymen show here

Thanks for reading