MAXVILLE — If the clock could turn back 130 years, try to imagine the cattle show at the Maxville Fair, farmers from the outlying areas would converge on Maxville, walking behind their cattle, taking them to the grounds to be shown.
The cows and bulls would be taken right out of the barn or pasture and shown “as is.” Compared to present day preparation where each animal is washed many times, clipped to perfection and taught to lead so that they march along with their leadsman with poise and grace. They are housed in barns, instead of being tied to fences outside. There were certainly no halters and farmers would throw a rope around the horns and show them that way.
The breeds shown in the early years were the Durhams, Ayshires, Holsteins and Jerseys. Very few of the animals were registered so grades were also shown in great numbers. In a newspaper dated 1891 the crowd at the Maxville Fair cattle show was reported to be over 2,000 people.
For many years the show was held in front of the old barn in a beautiful tree-lined area. This was a most appealing show-ring, but as the fair dates were moved up to the end of May, weather conditions were unpredictable and many times the exhibitors had to show in the rain or very cold weather. Thus, negotiations were started with the Arena Board and the show was moved indoors to the ice surface of the arena.
The Cattle Committee of the Kenyon Agricultural Society (KAS) is to be commended for its ongoing commitment to hosting a world class event. Make sure to check it out at the Maxville Fair Holstein Show on Sat., June 23.