After almost two years absence from the showring, livestock enthusiasts have only days to wait until they can enter animals to be judged at the Royal Highland Showcase in June.
Entries will go live on the Royal Highland Show website on Friday April 16, and the closing date is four weeks later on May 14.
The organisers have credited the success of last year’s online Scottish Agricultural Show run by The Courier and The Press and Journal as evidence the farming community can adapt to new formats.
The showcase, which will be free for everyone to view, will take place over the week of June 14 -20th, and aims to mirror the annual Royal Highland Show (RHS) as closely as possible. It will include livestock judging, equestrian, food & drink and rural skills livestreamed from the Ingliston showground in Edinburgh to a global audience.
The full schedule has still to be released, but beef cattle and sheep classes will take place on the Monday and Tuesday, with heavy horse classes and forestry on the Wednesday and Thursday. Light horse (including HOYS qualifiers) will be judged on the Friday and Saturday and the show jumping will run from Thursday to Sunday. Saturday and Sunday will also see dairy calves and showmanship, poultry and sheep shearing take place.
The event will culminate in a highlights show on Sunday June 20 which will feature all of the best action from the week.
Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) chairman, Bill Gray said the organising team had been “energised” by the responses to the plans for the showcase
“The team has been working extraordinarily hard to ensure we can still carry out our charitable remit of supporting and promoting Scotland’s agricultural industries this year,” he said.
“Our exhibitors and their livestock are no doubt eagerly anticipating the opportunity to get back into the show rings, and we know that this will be an important event for the rural community to reconnect and come together after a tough year.
“For the first time ever, our classes will be livestreamed, meaning your livestock or business will be showcased to homes across the world. This is a unique opportunity to have a global shop window, and we encourage all of our show community to get involved.”
Members of the RHASS will get access to a private area where they will be able to view exclusive content from throughout the event.
Health and safety protocols and draft guidance in line with Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council will be available for competitors when they enter the competition, and overnight accommodation will be available for exhibitors for the night before their class, to enable those who need to travel from afar to compete.
David Stubbs, of AJR Farms at Ellon, the winners of last year’s online Scottish Agricultural Show in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, said he was looking forward to the showcase.
“While it was great to be able to participate in virtual shows last year, nothing beats the atmosphere of the show ring and we can’t wait to showcase our stock in person this year.”
Exhibitors, sponsors and trade stand holders can access more information at www.royalhighlandshow.org