The Highland Cattle Society has taken an innovative approach to overcome the difficulties being faced by lockdown for show goers – it has organised a ‘virtual’ show with the entry money going to charity.

Its efforts for RSABI (Scotland) and RABI (England) had reached a total of £630 after their initiative caught on with members from all over the UK and Europe, who supported eight classes ranging from from calves to senior bulls. The cattle did not have to be ‘dressed’ for a show or even on a halter, so it gave opportunities for all members to participate and show off their cattle.

The judging was in the hands of Stuart Campbell, stockman at the Cladich fold, Dalmally, Argyll, and Daniel Rowbottom, of the Kelby fold, in Lincolnshire.

The overall championship was bagged by the Caradog fold, from Wales, with their cow, Marina of Borland, whilst settling for the blue and white ticket was the bull, Rob Ruadh of Gartchonzie, from the Allanfearn fold, based in Ross-shire.

Commenting on the photographic competition, Mr Campbell said: “In some classes we had more than 20 entries, far more than in a normal show. We were so pleased with the standard of cattle, many of which we would not normally see. It was really difficult to choose the winners. We have also learnt to use some new technology – not normally used when judging cattle!”

The show was sponsored by Direct Rosettes, in Perthshire, which was delighted to help all three charities. Breed secretary, Anne- Marie Thomson, said: “It is so important that Highland cattle genetics are preserved for the future and as many cattle as possible are registered with the society. In the future, our cattle will be important in the move towards environment and conservation based schemes, having a dual role of producing high quality beef, generating an income from poor quality land, as well as conserving and enhancing the biodiversity of the UK.”

In August, the Highland Cattle Society will be running a young handlers show, the only stipulation is that the young handler must be showing a pedigree Highlander and be able to submit a short video. So, get hold of a pedigree Highlander and start your preparation!