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Cattle made a welcome return at the Selwyn Spring Show at Leeston on Saturday.
After cattle classes were cancelled at last year's show in the wake of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, beef and dairy cattle were back at the Leeston Showgrounds and had more room to move.
Chris and Pauline Prattley, who farm nearby in Killinchy, were pleased to be able to bring their Ayrshire dairy cows to the show.
''We all knew we weren't allowed nose-to-nose contact in the ring,'' Mrs Prattley said.
The Prattleys started their Hatherleigh Ayrshire stud in 1995, after they purchased their farm at Killinchy, near Leeston.
They now milk 750 cows, including 160 Ayrshire stud cows.
Kevin and Penny Harmer, who also farm at Killinchy, were pleased to be able to enter some of their lowline cattle, winning reserve champion all breeds beef cattle and champion miniature with their 750kg 9-year-old lowline bull named Fil, which stands for ''first in line''.
''We're very pleased to see the cattle back, though it's not big numbers,'' Mrs Harmer said.
The Harmers will be at the New Zealand Agricultural Show at Christchurch next month with a team of five lowline beef cattle competing in a section of 35 lowlines.
The couple has been breeding lowlines since 2000 and recently downsized from 70 breeding cows to 20.
''They're easy to handle and normally have a very quiet temperament,'' Mrs Harmer said.
The sun came out for Selwyn Spring Show on Saturday after last week's rain, and show visitors were out in numbers in spite of the muddy conditions.
The Ellesmere A&P Association's 149th annual show had its usual range livestock, including sheep, cattle, poultry goats and alpacas, along with horse competitions, arts and crafts, vintage machinery, trade displays and plenty of sideshow amusements.
-By David Hill