The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Scots make pilgrimage to Balmoral
Show: Northern Ireland event hailed for quality of stock
It’s that time of year again when Scots take to the sky and sea en masse to make their annual pilgrimage to the Balmoral Show.
The event, which is the biggest of its kind in Northern Ireland, celebrates its 149th running and is staged this year with a twist.
Organisers RUAS have expanded the show to a four-day event to cater for increased public demand.
By adding a Saturday date to the line-up, the organisers hope overall attendance will exceed the 100,000 mark and allow more people that work or go to school a further chance to attend.
The sheep and cattle rings were a hive of activity boosted by the regular attendance of Scottish farmers keen to see the latest stock presented by the Irish.
Making their way over the Irish Sea for a one-day visit were Gordon Gray from Selkirk, with Richard Wood and Kevin Dempster from Tweedsmuir who are Texel and Beltex breeders.
The trio all voiced how good the sheep rings were at Balmoral Show – made all the better by fine summer weather.
Taking control of the Simmental ring was renowned Scottish breeder Iain Green, who runs the Corskie herd with family at Corskie Farm, Fochabers, Moray.
Also present was British Simmental Cattle Society chief executive Neil Shand who resides and farms at Methlick, Aberdeenshire.
Mr Shand said: “It’s a wonderful show of Simmental cattle here at Balmoral Show. I have enjoyed all the classes and pay tribute to all the breeders for presenting such good stock.”
Banchory Charolais breeder Neil Barclay, who runs the Harestone herd with his son Stuart, took control of the breed’s judging at Balmoral and was also impressed by the quality of stock.
Iain and Carla Barbour, from Annan, brought their children, Courtney, nine, Carmen, seven, and Callum, five, to the show for a two-day visit.
Mr Barbour, who runs Solway Bank Suffolks, said: “We have all been coming to the show for the past three years.”