Moray’s biggest agricultural show played host to a massive pipe band celebration as enthusiasts defied the elements to attend its opening day yesterday.
The inclement weather had an impact on numbers but it wasn’t bad enough to deter scores of people from attending the Keith Show, which is one of the oldest events of its kind in the north-east.
Event secretary, Tina Craib, said: “Although it’s been grey, people have still been showing up.
“In the morning there were few people, but it picked up quite a bit after lunch. We started seeing some great crowds since then.”
The Strathisla Pipe Band chose the farming event as an appropriate setting to mark 100 years of playing to the public, and 300 pipers from 10 bands took part to celebrate.
The group itself has about 30 members, who hail from Keith as well as Dufftown, Elgin and Buckie.
The bands marched from the car park, up the hill and into the main arena before marching back and forth in the ring.
Pipe major, Keith Morrison, has been in the band for 50 years and spoke of his pride at yesterday’s performance.
He said: “The bands had a very good time, it was a great social event and the day has gone really well.
“This is our way of saying thank you for the support we have received over the years.”
Ms Craib added: “The bands were really popular and they sounded amazing.
“There were pretty big crowds down at their rings, and everyone really enjoyed themselves.”
People also got the chance to see show jumping, a mini-major pony show and a pet parade.
Optimistic pet owners brought their furry friends for the contest, where Blueberry the German wirehaired pointer was awarded the coveted first place prize.
Ms Craib said: “The event is something the town of Keith can be very proud of hosting.
“Our mini-major was also very popular and we’re looking forward to all the activities and events on Monday.
“We’ll have our popular Scottish Beef Supreme Cattle Championship.”
Last year, a Charolais named Battleford Lola from Garry Patterson of Aultmore, Keith, and Blair Duffton from Huntly won the title.
Moray MP Douglas Ross last night commended the organisers who ensured the show went on in the face of the adverse conditions.
Mr Ross said: “The weather has not been favourable, but we have to give credit to the organisers who have invested the time in putting this together regardless of the conditions.
“The numbers look like they’re down from last year and it’s unfortunate that it’s due to the weather.
“It’s disappointing that we have had heavy rain, but the forecast is looking better for the second day.
“I hope more people will show up on the second day and have a great time.”