Last week I had the pleasure of presenting the prizes in the "Childrens Pet on a Lead" competition at Nidderdale Show. Now you can't say that the children of Nidderdale aren't an imaginative lot for among the dogs of all shapes and sizes that were led into the ring were both rabbits and a couple of pigs. Last year, I have it on good authority, there was even a hen strutting it's stuff.
|and pretty girls|
Kids are kept off school to ride their ponies, show their pens of sheep or in my class - lead their pets round the ring.
The 2 classes - under 9's and over - attracted plenty of entries. One dad was roped in to help control a particularly keen eyed collie who set his sights on the rabbits - or dinner as he called them - and one stage mum hissed instructions from the side but otherwise the kids did a great job of presenting their pets.
The judge, a professional brought in from the dog show, treated her task with the utmost seriousness, asking each child questions about their pet then watching as they trotted them round the ring. She chose an Aaaah factor winner from the under 9's group - a tiny girl with an even tinier ginger pig and a very smart pre-teen with her black labrador from the older class. She did the tricky bit then I got to step forward and pin on the rosettes.