Perth Show has been cancelled for a second year – but plans are afoot to live-stream livestock judging from the city’s South Inch on August 7 .
The event’s organisers, the Perthshire Agricultural Society, said they were “hugely disappointed” that Covid restrictions meant the annual showcase could not go ahead as normal, but insisted they would press ahead with an “online feast of farming and fun” that built on last year’s virtual show.
Society chairman, Mark Mitchell said: “Given the amount of hard work, planning and commitment that goes into organising the two-day event in Perth, cancelling the 2021 show is the last thing we wanted to do.
“But, in light of the government guidance, we believe this to be the correct course of action as the safety of all involved is our utmost priority.”
In a move that echoes plans by the Royal Highland Show to hold live judging from the show field, the Perthshire Agricultural Society’s focus has now turned to encouraging the farming community to get behind their plans for a virtual show, with livestock judged in conditions that are as close to the real thing as possible.
Last year’s virtual event attracted more than 240 entries which were judged in general sections, but this year the society is aiming to hold individual classes if the enthusiasm is forthcoming.
“Farmers enjoy competing and are proud of their show-ready animals so we want to give them a platform to display them to others – albeit virtually,” said Mr Mitchell.
“We’re also keen to see what the youngsters have been up to during lockdown so will host Young Handler classes to get them involved as well.
“The agriculture sector hasn’t stood still during the pandemic. Far from it. Farmers have been working flat out to keep the country fed and our crops and livestock tended and cared for.
“It’s been a busy and challenging time for everyone and we just want to put a bit of fun and competitive edge back into things with our virtual Perth Show.”
The show’s popular food events, including Perthshire on a Plate and other trade stand exhibitors are also expected to feature in the online version.
Meanwhile the Great Yorkshire Show has announced it is still ploughing ahead with plans to hold an extended four-day event on July 13-16 if the country moves successfully out of lockdown.