On top of a busy week of clinical commitments, members of the Practice spent last week preparing for Honley Show.

As one of the biggest days in the diary for the local farming and animal owning community, Honley Show is an important day for the Practice.

For many years now, Donaldson’s have been proud to be the official show Vet. This means that one of our Vets is at the Showground from first thing in the morning till last thing at night to deal with any emergencies that might crop up. Over the years, our Vets have been called on to see to everything from horses that have been injured in the dressage ring and cattle that are lame after transport to dogs that have been locked in cars in the carpark. The official Show Vet never knows what they may be asked to attend.

In addition, for the last few years, the Practice has had a display marquee in the Trade Stand area which showcases the work of the Practice and allows the visitors to the show to chat with our Vets and Nurses. We have had fun events for children and a variety of animals on the stand to interest the whole family.

All week we have been busy pulling together all the equipment and display materials we needed and have been keeping a watchful eye on the weather forecast which looked decidedly unsettled. Usually we pitch the marquee on Friday in preparation for the Saturday morning but with high winds predicted, we took the decision to arrive early on Saturday instead.

We took a trip up to the showground on Friday to deliver the first load of equipment and the mud in the entrances was daunting. Tractors had been pulling exhibitors on and off the showground all day but the organisers had done a fantastic job of preserving the ground in the public areas. The volunteers who organise the show were their usual upbeat selves despite their obvious concerns about the weather. They had spoken to the Met Office and the predictions were that the rain would ease overnight.

I was planning a dual role for the day, helping to set up and man our stand and also showing my own sheep and pigs. I got up at 4.45 am and, with a car full of display material, I loaded my livestock onto my trailer. I met the rest of the Donaldson’s team who were in a variety of vehicles with trailers at the gates to the showground at 6.00 am.

The advice had been that the gates would open at 6.00 for those involved in the set up but, as time passed, we became increasingly concerned. The rain had continued all night and the wind howled around the group of traders as they waited at the gate. At 6.45, the message came through that the committee had been forced to cancel the show as the risk to health and safety was just too great.

After all the work that the committee members of the Honley Show Society had put in to the preparations, it must have been a devastating decision.

Our group dispersed. I took my livestock home, then journeyed back to the showground to collect the equipment that we had delivered the day before. The disappointment on the faces of the organisers was clear to see.

For the last few years, the weather at the show has been fabulous and the attendance has been tremendous. We will definitely continue to have our presence there in future years. We would especially like to thank Katie and Martin Green who help to organise the Trade Stand area for the Honley Show Society and have done a sterling job over the years.