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MIDDLEWICH AGRICULTURAL SHOW.

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MIDDLEWICH AGRICULTURAL SHOW. The annual show of the Middlewich and District Agricultural Society was held in favourable weather near Middlewich Station on Wednesday. This society is now about forty years old, and under the presidency of Colonel France-Hayhurst it receives the cordial support of all classes interested in the land. Springing from very small'* beginnings, it has made great headway, especially in recent years, but there is still ènty of scope for its operations to be extended, and the pro- moters may reasonably hope to see the dimensions of the show increase still further as years roll on. At present it is a compact and admirable little show in every way, favoured with an excellent site, and under the management of a very capable committee, thoroughly representative of the district from which the entries are drawn. On the present occasion the latter numbered about the same as last year, 1,260, and in every section, whether in horses, cattle, sheep, poultry, dogs, cheese, or butter, some really superior quality was displayed. Prizes to the value of £480 were offered, and when it is stated that ten years ago the money given amounted to only JE154, it will be seen what wonderful strides the society has made. The following gentlemen officiated as judges Cattle, Messrs. J. Parr, W. Coomer, and J. Lea; light horses, the Earl of Enniskillen, Major Tomkinson, and Messrs. G. Smith, and J. E. Reiss; turnouts and jumping, Colonel C. H. Franee-Hayhurst, Major Tomkinson, and Mr. C. Kay; heavy horses, Messrs. J. Bourne and J. Stuart; sheep and pigs, Messrs. J. E. Bourne and J. Farish; cheese, Messrs. J. C. Griffiths and F. Barratt; butter, Mrs. M. Blackshaw; roots and corn, Messrs. C. B. Davies and T. Balmer; fruit, Messrs. W. Nield and Fletcher; poultry, Mr. G. Furness; pigeons, Mr. A. M'Kenzie; dogs, Mr. T. H. Stretch. The secretarial duties were again efficiently dis- charged by Mr. Thomas B. Manley. Dealing first with the cattle, there were 54 entries, forming a capital collection all round. The dairy cattle were exceptionally strong in merit, and if there was one weak spot in the section it was only the cottagers' cows, which were but a mediocre lot. The championship for the best beast in the yard was carried off by Mr. Samuel W. Gould, of Lymm, with a grand dairy cow, which won equally high honours at the recent Cheshire Show at Crewe, and had not a very difficult task in overcoming the opposition it had to face. Mr. Gould was also first with a two-year-old bull, and a pair of yearling heifers, which thoroughly deserved their success. Mr. Thomas Parton, of Weston Hall, Crewe, was also well to the fore with his magnificent stock, securing two firsts, one for the best pair of dairy cows, and the other for the beat pair of two-year-old heifers, the latter being a superb pair, which were victorious at Burton, and were awarded two firsts at Crewe. In yearling bulls, though he had gained distinction at several shows this year, Mr. Parton had to give way to a last year's winner in the pesreon of Mr. John Hobson, Nantwich. Mr. Richard Clarke, Warburton Park, carried off a first prize with a bull calf, which shewed particularly good quality in type and character, and the remaining classes contained some very useful animals. There has been a wonderful improvement in recent years in the stamp of horses bred in the district, and many of the animals exhibited were good enough to compete at any show in the country. The entries numbered 145. The heavy section was well filled with animals suitable to the ordinary farm work, a special feature being the substantial nature of their build, and their general quality. In the open class for the best pair of horses for agricultural purposes, the winners belonging to Mr. Penning- ton, Bollington, were a splendid couple that had previously won honours, and were of a con- siderably more weighty stamp than the second pair. Mr. Schwabe, Altrincham, outdistanced the five other competitors who opposed him in the class for agricultural mares or geldings with a big mare possessing many praiseworthy points. The two-year-olds were not so conspicuous in merit, but in the yearlings a very smart filly that has previously achieved distinction, belong- ing to Mr. Thomas Hardy, Knutsford, again led the way, beating for second place a finely bred filly of a rather lighter stamp. An old favourite in the shape of a nine-year- old matron by English Pride, owned by Mr. Schwabe, was the best of the cart mares with foal at foot, beating Mr. Hardy's representative, which is not quite as accurate in conformation. Mr. Hardy, however, came out victorious in the foal class with a well- developed youngster. Passing to the light horses, which numerically were very strong (num- bering 105), the hunters, as might have been expected, were a fine lot. Mr. Geo. Hodson, Nant- wich, obtained a first prize with a well-sprung yearling gelding, which, when furnished, will make an excellent animal for cross-country work. In the two-yr-olds a brown gelding, the property of Mr. John Prescott, Middlewich, that has never been beaten was an easy winner, and vanquished for first place an animal that would have been more fittingly placed in the hackney class. The roadsters were as usual a little unsatisfactory, though an improvement was evident upon previous years. In the tenant farmers' class the winner was a chestnut mare owned by Mr. Thos. Bennion, of Barthom- ley, that gained a first at Crewe. She is a thick well-developed mare, but when shewn with her foal at foot, she only took second place, as her movement was not quite up to her usual form. A novice in the show ring was Mr. J. Chesworth's bay by Marengo, but he went well, and deserved the second place. The silver cup for three-year-old hunters was borne off by Mr. J. Prescott, with his stately brown mare Matilda, by Fenrother, a mare with a splendid shoulder, grand back and loins. She was first at Crewe and Tarporley. In ponies some sur- prise was expressed at the defeat of Mr. A. S. Day's well-known Lady Langford, but she failed to please the judges to the same extent as Silver Bell, a tightly-barrelled chestnut, with stjlish action and ability to travel. In cobs Mr. G. F. Brown, of Northwich, won comfortably with Wbitesocks II., who, like his sire, abounds in quality and style; and in weight-carrying hunters Mr. H. M. Wilson, Holmes Chapel, carried all before him with his chestnuts Sugar Stick and Pitchfork, who exhibited a fine turn for speed. Captain Featherstonhaugh, Tilstone House, Tarporley, also scored a triumph with a neat and well-balanced bay gelding, which beat Mr. Wilson's Blackie and Mr. Buckley's Safety, another taking gelding which captured the silver cup for ,rour-year-olds. In this class, as in several others, the competition was so keen that the judges had to test the qualities of the animals by personally riding them round the ring. Some excellent jumping formed the centre of attraction during the afternoon, the grand stand being well filled with the gentry of the district, and the enclosure being thickly lined with spectators. There was unfortunately a falling-off in the number of entries of cheese—40—and this is certainly one department of the show which we should like to see more flourishing. To com- pensate for the deficiency of numbers, however, the judges reported that the quality was better than had been seen for many years. Coloured cheese took the precedence, and this class contained the exact article re- quired by the general public, and therefore one commanding a better market price than the uncoloured. It was a notworthy coincidence that the first prize in each section went to Mr. Hobson, of Nantwich, with some rich, meaty cheese of good keeping character. Mr. Hopley, or Little Budworth, also won a first with an equally meritorious exhibit. Butter, too, was higtier in quality than at previous shows, the winning specimens being exceedingly firm and good in texture, and with the exception of about two lots which betrayed slight traces of rancidity, the whole of the butter was well made. The first prize' pats,' made by T. B. Manley, Middlewich, although only one point ahead of the nearest competitor, were distinctly the best butter. In sheep Mr. Parton swept the boards with his noted short-woolled rams and ewes, which accounted for four firsts. There was a remark- ably fine display of fruit, and an increase had to be reported in both dogs and pigeons. In the latter Mr. Joseph Lewis, of Cotebrook, Tarporley, of Crystal Palace fame, was, as usual in the front rank. THE LUNCHEON. A large company sat down to luncheon under the presidency of Colonel France-Hayhurst, who was supported by the Earl of Enniskillen, Mr. Christopher Kay, Mr. J. E. Reiss, Mr. George Egerton Warburton, Mr. John Birkett, Mr. George Garfit, Mr. James Tomkinson, Mr. Waldegrave Griffith, &c. In the course of a short toast list, the President proposed the toast of Prosperity to the Society.' He remarked that it was founded about forty years ago, and had sprung up from very small beginnings. Ten years ago the entries num- bered only 285, and the prize money amounted to £ 154, so it would be seen how the society had grown during the last decade., Referring to Mr. Gladstone's speech as to the tremendous sum expended upon imported butter and eggs, he said he thought it was a scandal and a shame that our farmers and poultry growers should allow some twelve or fourteen million pounfls sterling to go every year into the pocket of the foreigners. It seemed that unless British farmers took more kindly to co-operation, they would suffer grievous loss in competition with. the foreigner, backed up and protected as he was by his own paternal Government. As to cheese, in the face of the desire of the British public for long-keeping cheese, surely the Cheshire farmer was sharp and shrewd enough in his own business to pro- duce that article, and so hold his own against Cheddar, Stilton, American, and other makes. Bad seasons had no doubt been experienced in the north, but he said without fear of contra- diction that the Cheshire farmer did not really know what agricultural depression was. Farmers in the midland and eastern counties did possess that knowledge to their cost, parti- cularly in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex, where they had been practically ruined. The Cheshire landlords were doing, and would continue to do in the future, everything they possibly could to aid their tenant farmers, and that was why such an undeniably good feeling existed between them in the eounty. He was sure Lord Ennis- killen, who had known the Cheshire farmer for many years, would join him in hoping that the time might come when the Cheshire farmer would be in a position to say he was ready and willing to have a good day's fox-hunting with the Cheshire Hounds, as he used to do in the days of old. (Applause.)—Mr. Reiss, whose name was coupled with the toast, suitably responded, referring to the excellent work accomplished by the society in the improvement of stock in the district. A great deal of good would be done in the neighbourhood—and it would be a kind of acknowledgment from those bunting gentlemen who did not spend a copper in the county-if they would only sell to the farmers at a cheap rate broken- down mares, which, while no longer suitable for cross-country work, were free from hereditary disease.—Mr. James Tomkinson, in submitting the health of the President, remarked that everyone knew that there was no estate upon which things were more splendidly carried out and on which advantages were more liberally given to the tenants, than upon the estates of Colonel France-Hayhurst. (A pplause.) Atter the President's reply, Mr. John Birkett proposed the healths of the judges.-The Earl of Ennis- killen, in acknowledgment, said the class of horse now bred by the Cheshire farmer was one of which he might well be proud. He had observed an exceedingly marked improvement during the past 28 years. When he first came among them, there was not a horse in the county bred by a farmer worth a row of pins- (laughter)—but now he could challenge any- body to point to a county where such beautiful home-bred horses were to be found. He con- cluded by expressing the hope that they should have a jolly good hunting season.' The following were the principal awards :— HORNED CATTLE. For the best bull, two years old and upwards: 1, Samuel W. Gould, Foxley Hall, Lymm; 2, William Furber, Baddiley Hall, Nantwich; 3, Richard Hull, Edleston, Nantwich; r, T. Parton, Weston Hall, Crewe c, John Prescott, Kinderton, Middlewich. Best bull, under two years 1, John Hobson, Coole Lane Farm, Nantwich; 2, Thomas Parton; 3, John Siddall, Oakhanger Hall, Crewe. Best bull calf, under one year1, Richard Clarke, Warburton Park, Heatlay, Warrington; 2, Thomas Parton 3, John Siddall. Best pair of dairy cows, in milk or in calf: 1, Thomas Parton; 2, George Moreton, Kinderton Hall, Middlewich; George Cooke, Clayley Hall, Chester. Best dairy cow in milk: 1, Samuel W. Gould; 2, George Cooke; 3 and h c, George Moreton c, Thomas Parton. Best pair of two-year-old heifers, for dairy pur- poses 1 and 2, Thomas Parton, Weston Hall, Crewe h c, William Bowers, Nantwujh. Best pair one-year-old heifers, for dairy pifirposes 1, Samuel W. Gould, Foxley Farm, Lymm r, George Bell, junr., New Tree. Farm, Lower Peover. Best pair of heifer calves, under one year: 1, Samuel W. Gould 2, Richard Hull, Edleston, Nantwich. Extra prize given by Mr. E. H. Moss, for the best bull calf, under one year: 1, John Prescot, Kinderton, Middlewich. Cottagers' Cla.ssesBest cow, in calf or milk: 1, George Byrami Wim- boldsley, Middlewich; 2, W. Buckley, Wimbolds- ley; 3, Edwin Meachin, Moston. Best heifer, under two years old: 1, Alfred Garner, Tetton, Middlewich; 2, Thomas Owen, Paradise Green, Church Minshull; h o, Edwin Meaohin. Best fat pig 1 and 2, W. Dickinson, Yatehouse,Middle- wich; h c (twice), W. Ankers, Middlewich^. HEAVY HORSES. Best pair of horses for agricultural purposes 1, N. Pennington, Spode Green Farm, Bollington 2, John Richardson, Home Farm, Bradwall. Best mare or gelding for agricultural purposes: 1, C. Schwabe, Arden, Altrincham;, 2, Exors. of Mary Littler, Three Greyhounds, near Knutsford; 3, William Thompstone., Siddington, Chelford; c, Samuel Trelfa, Weaver Wood, Winsford. Beat two-year-old mare or gelding: 1, John Owen,dive, Winstord; 2, John Richardson, Hill Top, Warm- ingham, Sandbach; 3, Mrs. A. Ravenscroft,the Cape, Plumbley, Knutsford; c, John Barratt, Love-lane, Bechton, Scholar Green. Best one- year-old mare or gelding 1, Thomas Hardy, Mere Hall Farm, Knutsford 2, A. Pennington, Bollington, Altrincham; 3, Mrs. A. Ravenscroft; h, c, W. Shore, Byley, Middlewich, and Thomas Hardy. Best cart mare, with foal at foot: 1, C. Schwabe 2, .Thomas Hardy; h, c, W. Lea, Minshuil Vernon, Crewe. Extra prizes given by Mr. E. Moss, of Ravenscroft Hall, Middlewich—Best cart foal: 1, Thomas Hardy 2, W. Wilding, Teddon, Middlewich; r, C. Schwabe; c, John Beckett, Betchton Stud, Rode Heath, and John Owen, Clive, Winsford. Extra prizes given by Mr. H. M Wilson, the Hermitage, Holmes Chapel-Best mare, served this season by Dunsmore Cupid 1, Samuel Trelfa, Weaver Wood, Winsford; 2, Mrs. A. Ravenscroft; 3, I, Rutter, Little Budworth, Tarporley. For the best foal by Dunsmore Cupid; 1, I, Rutter; 2, T. G. Yarwood, Kinderton Lodge, Middlewich. LIGHT HORSES. Best gelding or filly over one year and under two years 1, George Hodson, Marsh Farm, Nantwich 2, Richard Leach, Leftwioh Hull Farm. Best two- year-old gelding or filly 1, John Prescot, Kinder- ton 2, John Knowles, Lostock Gralam; r, H. F. Pilling, Mere Brow, Weaverham. Best gelding or filly over three years old and under four years old 1, Wm. Hesketh, Cholmondeston; 2, John Prescott, Kinderton; r, George Piatt, Oak Tree Farm, Eaton, and Mrs. Betsy Jones, Cholmondeston. Best roadster of any age, mare or gelding, confined to tenant farmers only: 1, Thomas Bennion, Cherry Tree Farm, Barthomley; 2, J. Chesworth, Yew Tree Farm, Acton; r, Alfred Charlesworth, Wettenhall Cottage, 'Winsford. Extra prizes given by Mr. W. Jones, of Blakemere, Northwich—For the best mare suitable for breed- ing hunters, with foal at foot: 1, Richard Leech, Leftwich Hall Farm. Extra prizes given by Mr. J. E. Reiss-Best three-year-old mare or gelding suitable for a hunter 1, John Prescot, Kinderton; 2, Mrs. Betsy Jones, Cholmondeston, Winsford h c, William Hesketh, Cholmondeston. Beat four- year-old mare or gelding, suitable for a hunter: 1, John Buckley, Rose Cottage, Worleston 2, Samuel Trelfa, Weaver Wood, Winsford; h c, John Ravenscroft, Calveley. Silver medal given by the Hunters' Improvement Society Best roadster, mare or gelding 1, Seymour H. Munro, M.D., Nantwich 2, George Rodger, Newton Bank, Preston Brook; h c, James Laithwood, Alcumlow Farm, Astbury. Best mare for road purposes, with foal at foot: 1, W. H. Norbury, Rode Heath; 2. Thomas Bennion, Cherry Tree Farm, Barthomley. Best pony, not exceeding 13! hands, mare or gelding: 1. E. Noden, Seabridge, Newcastle 2, Alfred S. Day, Berkeley Stud, Crewe; h c, J. Leah, Willaston, and Seymour H. Munro, M.D. Best oob over 13| hands, but not exceeding 14J hands, mare or gelding 1, G. F. Brown, Brook Bank, Northwich; 2, Captain W. H. France-Hayhurst, Bostock Hall, Middlewich. Best hunter, mare or gelding up to not less than 14 stone: 1 and 2, H. M. Wilson, The Hermitage, Holmes Chapel; 3, W. Marshall, Mere House, Weaverham. Best hunter, mare or gelding under 14 stone: 1, Captain Fetherstonhaugh, Tilston House, Tarporley; 2, H. M. Wilson; 3, John Buckley, Rose Cottage, Worleston. Jumpers (open): 1, T. Roberts, Ranelagh-street, Liverpool; 2, H. Jagger, Moorehead Stud Farm, Emley, Wakefield; 3, Jerome, Sutton Coldfield. Jumpers (local); 1, G. P. Hodson; 2, W. H. Astles 3, Lewis, Oakmere. Turnouts (open).-I, Seymour H. Munro, M.D., Nantwich; 2, George Rodger, Newton Bank, Preston Brook; h c, E. Noden, Seabridge, New- castle. Turnouts (local): 1, W. Marshall, Mere House, Weaverham; 2, Seymour H. Munro, M.D.; h c, George Rodger. Turn- outs (Tradesmen and Farmers): 1, Joseph Chesworth; 2, Joseph Lewis, Cotebrook, Tar- porley h c, Thomas Bennion, Cherry Tree Farm, Barthomley. Cob Turnouts: 1, George Bodger, Preston Brook; 2, Joseph Lewis, Cotebrook, Tarporley; c, G. F. Brown, Stapley House, Nant- wich. Pony Turnouts 1, Alfred S. Day. Berkely Stud, Crewe; 2, Seymour H. Munro, M.D., Nant- wich h c, J. B. Price, Crewe. PIGS. Brawn, over 12 months: 1, A. L. Goodson, Knutsford; 2, J. Barratt, Betchton. Brawn, under 12 months: 1, H. D. Mariott, Cranage; 2, J. Barratt. Sow and pigs 1, J. Johnson, Nantwich 2, J. Barratt. In-pig sow 1, J. Prescott; 2, H. D. Marriott. Pair gilts, littered since January 1, 1897: 1, J. Barratt; 2, S. Charlesworth, Crewe. SHEEP. Long-woolled ram, any age 1, J. Cheers, Barrow; 2, J. E. Ward, Crewe. Short-woolled ram, any age 1 and 2, T. Parton, Crewe. Three long-woolled ewes, any age 1, J. Cheers; 2, J. E. Ward. Three short-woolled ewes, any asre 1 and 2, T. Parton. Three long-woolled ewe lambs 1, J. E. Ward; 2, J. Cheers. Three short-woolled ewe lambs 1, T. Parton. Long-woolled ram lamb: I, J. E Ward: 2, J. Cheers. Short-woolled ram lamb 1, T. Parton. CHEESE. Best four coloured cheese, any weight: 1, John Hobson, Coole Lane Farm, Nantwich; 2, John Dutton, Swanley Hall, Nantwich; 3, Joseph Ankers, Cholmondeley; r, John Dutton, junr., Bridgemere Farm, Nantwich v h o, W. B. Clarke, Towns Green Farm, Alpraham; h c, Peter Dutton, Hoofield Hall, Huxley; Samuel Holland, Wood- hey Hall, Nantwich; and William Houlbrook, Wettenhall. Best four uncoloured, cheese, any weight: 1, W. H. Astles, Swanlow Farm, Darn- hall 2, T. Charlesworth, Baddington; r, Harry Denson, Poulton v h' c, Mrs. Watson; Breaton Park, Hargrave; Richard Hull, Edleston, Nant- wich and John Hobson; h c, Thomas Greenway c, Evan Langley, Ridley Bank, Tarporley. Best four coloured or uncoloured cheese, not exceeding 401bs. weight each: 1, Henry Hopley, Little Budworth: 2, Seymour A. Bonnell, Coos Farm, Audlem; 3, Joseph Platt, Tilston; r, Samuel Evans, Woodhouse Farm, Tattenhall; v h c, Henry Brett, Burwardsley, Tattenhall; h c, Samuel Greenway, Eaton, Tarporley. BUTTER. Best 41b. butter, 16ozs. each slightly salted 1, T. B. Manley, Newton Fields, Middlewich; 2, Mrs. France, Spurstow; 3, Mrs. G. Harding, Spurstow; 4, Thomas Harding, Alley Bank, Alpraham; 5, J. Barratt, Love-lane, Betchton; v h c, Thomas Jackson, Near Schools Aston, Iuxtra, Mondrum; and Mrs. C. Stubbs, Moss-lane, Leighton h c, H. B. Clarke, Alpraham and. Miss S. Kettle, Tilstone Fearnall.; o, Mrs. Barnes, Alpraham.

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