“THE ROYAL Highland Show is a shop window for the best quality livestock in the world and Scotland can puff out its chest and say we can produce whatever you need.”

Those were the words of RHASS chairman Jimmy Warnock, speaking with The Scottish Farmer ahead of the upcoming show.

Celebrating its 179th year, the RHS will take place on June 20-23 at the Royal Highland Centre, just outside of Edinburgh, proving as ever to be one of Scotland’s most iconic events, showcasing the very best of rural Scotland.

Mr Warnock was pleased to report that preparations are all going smoothly: “We have had a massive amount of entries in our livestock sections and have also been inundated with requests for trade stand size increases and more trade stand space. There have never been more enquiries for the Thursday regarding school visits than we have had this year, which is fitting given the Royal Highland Education Trust are celebrating 20 years at the show.

“It is so important for kids to get out of the classroom and away from blackboards to experience rural life,” he continued. “We have a job to do to showcase our industry not just as a farming arena but as an environmental space that everyone should come and enjoy.”

Spectators are in for a special treat this year as Ingliston is gearing up to break a world record in the main show ring on the Friday evening: “There will be fantastic entertainment in the rings this year which will be unique and second to none,” he enthused. “The Clydesdales will will put on a special display with the old machinery that was horse-drawn to gather crops and food stuffs on the farm. On Friday evening we are having an attempt on the world’s biggest eightsome reel and to do this we are looking for 40 sets of eight to take to the ring and join in the ceilidh display,” he urged.

The spectacle will look to celebrate the talent in the rural industry with an exciting show of Scottish culture with highland dress, kilts, pipes and drums all on display.

“Music is a great means of communication and we wanted to do something special and unique to Scotland. It’s a great opportunity to exhibit the fantastic facilities available at Ingliston as Edinburgh grows its tourism market and moves the Fringe out nearer to Ingliston in the future. We also have new pavilion going up, which will be roofed by the show and from next year will be available for conferences and weddings,” he explained.

Mr Warnock went on to highlight the importance of presenting the best of Scottish to our international guests:

“Over the past five years there has been quite a lot of business done in the livestock field, with live animals, semen and embryos going abroad, mainly to Europe but further afield to Australia, New Zealand and South America,” he explained. “We want Edinburgh to be seen as the gateway to Scotland and I want Ingliston to open its gates to our many international visitors and to the public that visit Scotland every year and see the very best of our food and drink, livestock, machinery and competitions. We welcome everyone with open arms to see what rural Scotland can portray as an industry at the very top of the rankings in the world,” he concluded.