The Royal Highland Showcase from 14-20 June will see stock classes judged live in the showground under strict Covid protocols without an audience – but with thousands expected to tune-in online.
Show organisers, the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), said that all online access would be free to viewers, with four livestreams providing nine hours of action on each of the seven days.
It also said that there would be hours of on-demand content which could be accessed throughout show week, providing high quality programming and background detail on many aspects of the show and which will also include aspects of the country’s vibrant culture including music, traditional crafts and rural skills.
The organisers said that food lovers would also be well catered for -with a host of well-known celebrity chefs set to present live cookery demonstrations.
The chefs selected for the cookery shows have all featured at previous shows and will present a range of dishes from across Scotland.
The RHASS said that the delivery of the event followed detailed planning in collaboration with the Scottish government to develop an event that showcased the best of farming, food and rural life, both for a domestic audience and internationally, reinforcing Scotland's reputation as the ‘perfect stage’ for major events.
“Our farmers never stopped through the pandemic and neither will we. We know how much the show means to our members, the wider agricultural community and the show-going public,” said RHASS chairman, Bill Gray who added the event would act as a bridge between the no-show year of 2020 and the planned 180th show in 2022, the bicentennial anniversary of the first show.
With the Scottish government providing £750,000 towards the staging of the event, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said the event would highlight the best of Scottish agriculture and rural to an international audience.
“I can’t wait to witness this one-of-a-kind event that will highlight to the world the fantastic and sustainable work that our farmers, crofters and rural producers do.”
The organisers this week revealed that over 1,100 entries had been confirmed for the showcase, a figure which compares with over 3,000 at the 2019 show.
The beef cattle lines have 241 entries - with the best supported classes including British Limousin with 37, Highland Cattle close behind at 33, Aberdeen Angus 21, British Charolais 18, Hereford 17, and Belted Galloway 16.
Sheep entries total 775, including Texels with 96 entries, Shetland sheep at 77 and Blue Texel 63 Beltex 55, Zwartbles 46 and Bluefaced Leicester Traditional Type 41.
Meanwhile, 84 goats are also registered as are 78 in the dairy cattle section.