Video highlights: 2019 Highland Show draws record crowds

It’s been a record-breaking year for the Royal Highland Show, which welcomed a whopping 195,400 visitors through its gates in just four days.

Delivering an estimated £65 million in economic benefit to Scotland, the four-day event attracted the highest attendance in its 179-year history.

Senior politicians including the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and MP David Rutley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Defra were among those to head to Islington this week, as well as more than 700 international visitors who flew and sailed to the showgrounds.

2019 show in numbers

Over 30,000 children were welcomed to the Showground for free as part of RHASS’ charitable remit, alongside 1,101 cattle, 2,128 sheep and over 2,200 horses.

All four days saw increases in footfall compared to 2018. Sunday saw the biggest uplift with the sun welcoming out an extra 2,500 visitors. Saturday also proved even more popular than usual with an extra 2,000 people compared to last year.

£170,000 in prize money and 280 trophies (collectively valued at £2 million), were distributed to award-winning livestock exhibitors, agri-food producers and agri-manufacturers.

Food producers, such as Wales’ South Caernarfon Creameries and Hamilton firm Peter Equi & Sons Ltd., were amongst the winners, with the Scottish Championships including categories for products such as cheese, butter, ice cream, bread and honey.

Main Ring attractions included the ‘Shindig at the Show’ – where 300 dancers performed an Eightsome Reel – a Clydesdale Celebration and a re-enactment of The Borders Riding of the Marches.

The shingdig – which started off as an idea from a young member – just missed out by around 30 people on being officially recognised as the largest in the world, but organisers are hopeful for next year

Commenting on the success of the 179th show, Royal Highland and Agricultural Society
of Scotland (RHASS) chairman Jimmy Warnock said: “This year has been an incredible show as demonstrated by the record-breaking figures.

“What we offer is an authentic day out that is not manufactured – animals are the stars of the show.

The backbone of the show is our staff and directors who have worked tirelessly and collaboratively to deliver an incredible event loved equally by those working in the agriculture industry, and those who simply enjoy the country’s best from the farmers and producers.

Celebrating its 20th year, the educational arm of RHASS – the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) – had another successful show with over 7,200 children visiting on Thursday and Friday.

An estimated 30,000 are expected to have visited over the four days, with children aged 15 and under admitted to the show for free.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced that the agri-education charity is to be supported by the Scottish Government, alongside Education Scotland, Soil Association and the Food and Drink Federation, as part of the Government’s Good Food Futures programme.

The President’s Initiative at the 179th Royal Highland Show celebrated the Borders unique heritage and culture, which included a recreation of the Common Ridings in the Main Ring, while also promoting responsible countryside access.

Click here to catch up on the rest of AgriLand’s 2019 Royal Highland Show coverage.