This weekend has seen the Foire des Reproducteurs in Boussac for Charollais sheep and cows. It’s an annual event and finally, after six years of meaning to, we got round to it yesterday. It’s held at the large agricultural halle in the town, pretty much the only thing that ever seems to happen there apart from another animal foire in April.

First the Charollais cattle. These are large white cattle reared for meat. The breed originated around Charolles in France, quite possibly as early as the ninth century although  there are no records of the breed until the sixteenth century. Charollais cattle were popular at the Lyons market at that time.

We saw some splendid specimens on display. The ones we see daily in the fields around here are usually muddy up to their knees and have dirty backends since there’s the windscreen wiper effect of the tails on, well, you don’t need me to tell you.

Beautifully clean bums!

And some of them were colossal.

Judging the bulls

Next up the sheep. They were very large too, much bigger than my two Charollais girls.

They have pinky faces with white 'eyebrows'

A couple we saw had strange pink lumps on the tops of their heads between their horns. I’ve had a look online but can’t find anything out about that and whether it’s meant to be there or not! Although quite tall, they’re relatively dainty sheep that are renowned for their fine bone structure.

Can you see the lump?

And there were a few other critters on display too. Some tiny ouessant sheep …

pigeons …

poulty …

and some rabbits.

We spent a happy half hour pottering round and I’ll certainly go along to future editions. It was fascinating – but not for this fella, who found it all rather exhausting!