Family spectacle appeals to young and old

  • Horsing around: Santiago Ponte age 1 ˝, with father Ricardo Ponte, saying hello to

For many Bermuda families, the annual Ag Show is a multi-generational affair.

For more than 35 years, Warwick resident Anne Cherry has been involved with the show — both professionally and personally.

In 1981, she marked her first visit to the show as then exhibition secretary, working at the event for the 20 years that followed.

Since 2001, she has volunteered with the equestrian events after her retirement.

Many of the faces at the show over the years have remained the same, she said.

“It’s a community thing,” Ms Cherry said of the show. “It brings a lot of people together.”

The equestrian events, and the show in general, are multi-generational, she said.

“You have grandparents riding, and you’ve got grandchildren riding,” Ms Cherry said.

Dennis Cherry, Anne’s son, said he competed in equestrian events at the show as a child, from the age of “probably seven to 17”.

At this year’s show, he is helping to fundraise for Beyond Rugby, a programme with which he volunteers.

The group is currently raising money to send youth players on tours to the United Kingdom and the Bahamas. The father-of-three said his children would be coming to the event with their school classes today.

“They’ve drawn some pictures, and they’re hanging up to be judged,” he said. He said he planned to stay involved with the show in the coming year.

“I think it’s a brilliant event.”

OBA MP Jeff Sousa, member of the event’s executive committee, pointed to the Truran family as another example of successive generations of island families contributing to the show, with current course designer Ian Truran’s father, Peter, serving in the same capacity before him.

“This is stuff that’s generational, and it’s really great to see that,” Mr Sousa said. “You have to keep that tradition alive, because if you don’t, it’s lost.”

The Warwick West MP said he had personally been “intimately involved” with the show for more than four decades. Like Cup Match, the event is part of Bermuda’s cultural fabric, he said.

“I truly do personally believe that agriculture has been significant in the progression of Bermuda,” the MP said.

“And we never can forget that, because it has an important part in our history.”

Ms Cherry said her favourite part of the show takes place on Friday, when possible future equestrian event participants — some as young as two — are led into the arena atop horses.

“They’re just so tiny,” she said.

“Their legs hardly go over the side of the horse. It’s really cute.”

This year’s event, on through Saturday at the Botanical Gardens, is the second organised by Ag Show Ltd, formed through a public-private partnership between show supporters and the Government of Bermuda.

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