THE 180-year-old Largs Agricultural Show has been saved - after members of the horse section rode to the rescue.

We recently reported that organisers had pulled the plug on the popular farmers show due to Covid-19 and lack of new blood behind the scenes.

However Debbie Creighton Barnes and sister Ashley have now taken the reins to form an emergency committee and resurrect the annual event at Ardgowan Estate.

Debbie, 37, of Leitchland Farm near Inverkip, said: "It was understandable that the previous committee were looking to stand down after doing a power of work and running such a successful show for so many years.

"My sister and I run the horse section at the show and we thought there was too much history to let it go.

"Ever since my childhood that second Saturday in June is very special. I have so many happy memories of it and we felt it was important to protect that heritage."

There won't be a show this year to allow the committee to establish themselves and start fundraising to bring the show back in the summer of 2023.

Debbie added: "Hopefully by then there will be a clearer picture in terms of the Covid situation too.

"It would have been too sad to lose something like this.

"I have spoken to a number of young farmers in the area who have shown an interest. We are keen to bring it back in exactly the same format and grow it year on year, as well as getting the villages of Inverkip and Wemyss Bay more involved.

"We are also looking to broaden out its appeal to make it of interest to everyone, not just those with a keen interest in farming."

Debbie says the new committee are beginning from scratch financially.

She explained: "We are on the look-out for donations from people and any companies in the area who are willing to support us. "We will be running fundraising events during the year as we need to build up the funds so we can bring the best possible show to the area in 2023.

"I think the setting at Ardgowan is beautiful and it is such a friendly show full of community spirit. It is even more important now that the gala days in Wemyss Bay and Inverkip are no more - this is the last one standing.

"We took over the running of the horse event in 2019 and it was a really successful first show. We probably had our biggest turn out in 15 years for the section and then Covid happened."

Debbie has put out an appeal for new committee members to come forward and bolster the group.

She said: "We would love people to volunteer. They don't need any farming experience to come on board."

To get involved, contact Debbie on 07815 571507.