Royal Highland Show enjoys record year

Royal Highland show enjoyed a record year.
Royal Highland show enjoyed a record year.
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IT was a record-breaking year for the Royal Highland Show as thousands of visitors flocked to enjoy a celebration of rural life.

The annual event, now in its 177th year, saw 190,000 people visit Ingliston over its four-day period for a showcase of Scotland’s farming, food and rural culture.

Young cattle handlers, Kirsty Clark, 11, and Robbie Clark, nine, help comb the tail of an Aberdeen Angus cow. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Young cattle handlers, Kirsty Clark, 11, and Robbie Clark, nine, help comb the tail of an Aberdeen Angus cow. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Over £8 million is estimated to have been spent on shopping at the show, which featured machinery, gardening equipment, clothing, food, art, crafts and homewares.

This year’s line-up also included around 6000 farmyard animals, with the show expected to generate £47m for the Scottish economy.

Alan Laidlaw, Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland chief executive, said: “This year’s show has been a huge success, which is in no small part due to the support we receive from volunteers, exhibitors and the public.

“It has been an inspiring four days soaking up a great atmosphere and seeing everyone getting so much out of the experience, whether it is exhibiting livestock, tucking into great food or exploring new things in the RHET Discovery Centre. Roll on next year.”

Royal Highland show - Lucy Watson 9 from Cumbria with swaledale sheep

Royal Highland show - Lucy Watson 9 from Cumbria with swaledale sheep

This year’s show focussed on the event’s Aberdeenshire roots to mark the time when it moved around the country prior to settling permanently at Ingliston in 1960.

In the specially-created Aberdeenshire Village, food and tourism were the key themes highlighting the diversity of the area. Visitors were able to enjoy Scottish produce at Scotland’s Larder Live, the show’s very own food and drink festival.

There was also a dedicated programme of activities for young people, as well as equestrian events featuring some of the nation’s most accomplished riders.

This year’s show featured a record-breaking 408 heavy horse entries, while also drawing in its highest number of sheep in ten years with 2000 entries. A further 1100 cattle also took part.

More than 1000 trade exhibitors turned out for the event, which also included musical entertainment and educational workshops.

A special guest came in the form of MasterChef winner Gary McLean who tantalised show-goers with his Recipes with a Twist bakes, for example blood orange carrot cake.

And political heavyweights could also be spotted in the crowd, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson, Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie and environment secretary Michael Gove.

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk