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Livestock breeders show enthusiasm for return to the show ring

Judging will be live streamed across the globe during the Showcase in June.
Judging will be live streamed across the globe during the Showcase in June.

June’s Royal Highland Showcase will see  more than 1100 cattle, sheep and goats from across the UK judged at Ingliston and live streamed to a global audience.

The event’s competitions manager, David Tennant, said the large number of entries highlighted the eagerness of competitors to return to the show rings.

“The country’s livestock and Scottish produce will truly be on the world stage this year, with classes livestreamed online and available to watch around the world,” he said.

“In common with other show years, some classes will not take place due to the minimum number of entries not being achieved, however we hope to see Swaledale, Scotch Mule, Cheviots and more breeds back in the ring for 2022.”

Entries have been received for 241 beef cattle, with British Limousins leading the field with 37 entries, followed by Highland cattle with 33. There will also be 21 Aberdeen-Angus, 18 British Charolais, 17 Herefords and 16 Belted Galloways.

The dairy section has attracted 78 entries, with classes in dairy showmanship (28), Holstein dairy calves (32) and coloured dairy calves (18).

The Showcase dairy classes have attracted 78 entries.

In the sheep rings entries total 775, with Texels out in front with 96.

The Shetland breed is close behind with 77 entries, and  63 Blue Texels will be shown. Other classes which have seen significant entry numbers include Beltex (55),  Zwartbles (46) and traditional type Bluefaced Leicesters (41).

There are 84 entriesin the goat classes, including competitions for dairy adults (39), dairy kids (15), pygmy (7), Boer (18) and goat young handlers (5).

Meanwhile, the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) has awarded the 2021 William Young award for cattle breeding to Alasdair Houston of Gretna House Farms at Gretna Green.

Alasdair Houston (L) of Gretna House Farms  has been awarded the 2021 Sir William Young Award for his exceptional contribution to the world of cattle breeding.

The Gretnahouse herd is one of the most influential in the national Charolais herd book, and the farm added a renowned Aberdeen-Angus herd in 2011.

RHASS chairman Bill Gray said:  “Anyone in the livestock breeding world who hears ‘Gretnahouse’ instantly recognises it as a mark of quality, integrity and the passionate production of top-quality animals.

“Alasdair has been the driving force behind his fantastic herds, not to mention his contribution to the tourism and hospitality sectors, and it outstanding what he has achieved in a relatively short space of time. On behalf of RHASS, we wish him huge congratulations for this richly-deserved award.”

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