Bring out the bunting – Scotland’s summer show season is back in business!
There’s only one place to be on July 3 and 4, and that’s in the action-packed showground of the online Scottish Agricultural Show.
After months of mourning the lack of social gatherings, fierce competition in the livestock rings, shiny machinery displays and tempting arrays of food and drink, The Press and Journal and The Courier have partnered with the Royal Highland Show to create a virtual event that will encompass all the essential elements for a great couple of days out.
And unlike normal summer shows you won’t need your wellies “just in case” as the sun is guaranteed to shine all day!
To bring the showground to life we’re calling on cattle, sheep, horse, goat and poultry producers to video their top stock which will be judged online by some of the country’s most respected livestock breeders. There will be classes for the main breeds, young handlers will have their own sections, and all the videos will be posted on the show website for everyone to view.
There are full instructions on how to take part at www.scottishagriculturalshow.co.uk so get involved, start halter training that heifer or walking your goat. You’ve got until midnight on June 19 to enter and stand a chance of winning 2020’s only show in town.
We’ll have a beer tent where you can meet up with folk, and while you might not be able to touch all the new tractors and combines, the country’s main dealers and businesses will have trade stands to pore over while you wait for the judging to be completed. We’re not forgetting farming heritage either, which will be represented with a class for vintage machinery.
The food and drink tent will act as a shop window for all our top-class agricultural produce, and chefs will give cookery demonstrations and offer tips on how to make the most of Scotland’s delicious larder.
And once you’re inspired to start baking you’ll find all the details of how to enter the cake competition on the website.
DC Thomson is throwing all its weight behind organising Scotland’s first virtual agricultural show, a move which the company’s head of newspapers, Richard Neville, said was in response to a desire from readers and advertisers for a way of maintaining some sort of show presence this summer.
“We hope that all exhibitors and entrants enjoy the experience and hopefully it will show that there can be a digital alternative to even the oldest and most traditional events in our packed agri-business calendar,” he said.
Getting the mighty Royal Highland Show’s unqualified support has been a huge boost, and one of the show directors, farmer Kay Adam from Angus, gave the online event her enthusiastic backing.
“Excellent judges have been lined up to take part and I hope many of the breeders who had hoped to parade in the shows this summer will feature on the small screen in this show,” she said.
Our main sponsor is EQ Accountants, one of the leading providers of accountancy, tax and business advice to Scotland’s agricultural industry. Also on board so far are Rural Scotland (champion of champions), ANM Group (beef cattle), Samaritans (sheep), Netherton Tractors (trade stands), Angus Timber Cabins (dogs), Mackays Dundee (baking), Red Poppy (food tent), Bon Accord Soft Drinks (drinks tent), Balgownie (vintage tractors), Stewart’s Resort (leisure tent), Gin Bothy (horses) and 71 Brewing (beer tent).
EQ partner Graeme Davidson emphasised how much the agricultural community would miss the traditional show season this summer.
He added: “We enjoy welcoming clients and friends to our stands at the Fife, Angus and Turriff Shows. We’ll miss that this year but hope that the virtual show provides a way of supporting those communities in an interesting and innovative way.”
Showcase animals and help children’s education charity
Animals entered in the online show will be paraded to a worldwide audience, so it is the perfect place to showcase your stock this summer.
It costs just £5 to enter an animal in a class, and all the money will be donated to the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), the charity which does great work in helping children learn about Scottish food and farming.
For the individual cattle, sheep, goats and horses entries, videos will need to be uploaded to YouTube, and we have tips from the individual section judges on the www.scottishagriculturalshow.co.uk website on how they want stock to be presented and shown.
For the dogs, vintage tractors and baking competitions we just need a photograph, and the details of these classes will be on the website next week.
Application forms are available to be downloaded now and entries need to be in by midnight on June 19.
In the cattle section there are classes for males and females for the following breeds: Aberdeen Angus, Beef Shorthorn, AOB native, Charolais, Commercial cattle, Limousin, AOB Continental, Holstein, Ayrshire and Dairy AOB.
There are also two young handlers classes, for children up to and including 10 years of age, and a senior class for 11 to 18-year-olds.
The sheep section has male and female classes for Blackface, Suffolk, Texel, Beltex, Bluefaced Leicesters, Commercial, any other breed, and two young handlers’ classes.
The goat classes comprise White adult female, White goatling, Coloured adult, Coloured goatling, Pygmy adult, Pygmy goatling, Boer adult female, Boer goatling and two young handlers classes.
Over in the heavy horse lines there are classes for male and female Clydesdales, Highland, Shetland and two young handlers classes. Other horse classes include a mixed Mountain and Moorland class for large and small breeds, excluding Highland and Shetland; Riding pony or Hunter pony; Hunters of any age; pure-bred or part-bred or Anglo; and coloured native/cob/traditional non-native.
The equine section will also include young handlers classes.
The poultry section has classes for bantams, water fowl, rare breeds and eggs.
Prizes will be confirmed on the website and on social media in the coming weeks.