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A record-breaking 195,400 visitors made their way to the 149th Royal Highland Show at Ingliston in Edinburgh last week to experience rural life at its most vibrant.
And west coasters made their mark among the exhibitors and prize winners – led by the people of Argyll and Bute’s islands.
The four-day show between June 20 and 23 attracted an entry of 1,101 cattle, 2,128 sheep and more than 2,200 horses.
Argyll and Bute was well represented in the sheep judging rings.
There was success for Brian and Janet Hill of Plan Farm on the Isle of Bute with their Hampshire Downs under the knowledgeable gaze of judge James Fletcher from Newtonards. A productive day of showing on Friday yielded a first prize for the Hill’s shearling ram, a first and second in the aged ewe class, fourth places for their shearling ewe and ewe lamb.
Their aged ewe winner went on to take the best female trophy, best bred by exhibitor and overall Hampshire Down champion.
J&M Turner, Kildalloig, Campbeltown, took home a second prize for the same Bluefaced Leicester shearling tup which was reserve male champion at the Highland in 2018 as a lamb.
There was also a fifth place rosette for their tup over one year and sixth place rosettes for a tup lamb and ewe lamb.
Andrew Campbell from Lochgoilhead secured fourth and fifth place in the coloured-type Bluefaced Leicester ring, while his ewe lamb and shearling tup respectively.
The native Hebridean showring also featured Argyll success, as Jeff and Enid Moore from the Isle of Mull took home a second place rosette for their shearling ewe and third for their ewe in milk (full fleece).
Greig Gillespie and his wife Jordan from Campbeltown won fourth for their blackface ewe lamb, while A&L Prentice from the Isle of Iona won a fifth place rosette for their blackface tup lamb.
The MacLean family of Tiree are stalwarts of the Highland show. The showring proved a happy hunting ground as Alasdair MacLean secured first in class with his Beltex ewe lamb and reserve female champion.
Among the cattle there was more success for Bute when Tom McMillan scooped the beef shorthorn champion’s rosette with his two-year-old beef shorthorn heifer Trowbridge Tessa Linsay. She won the overall championship fter winning her class and being awarded the best junior female and best female titles by judge Jack Ramsay from Mauchline,
She went on to be awarded reserve champion in the junior inter breed championship and in the beef cattle pairs, second reserve champion in the native inter breed team competition and fourth in the beef inter breed championship.
Among a strong showing of Highland cattle, Queenie Strickland’s Loch Awe-side Cladich fold took home a ticket with every animal they brought. Manager Stuart Campbell and 16-year-old assistant Alan Cameron won with their year-old bull calf at foot with dam Gheilder Ruadh 21st of Cladich, while getting third in the cow and calf class. Cladich also came second in the groups and senior bull Campbell Of Tilbouries was awarded a fourth prize.
The stunning heavy horse competitions once again provided a spectacle to behold. Rothesay’s Tom McMillan took home a sixth place for Redhill Alex, a four-year-old gelding.
Owned by Lorna and Fraser Boyd from Ardentinny, mare Jessicah of Wooplaw was fifth out of 21 in the ridden Highland Pony class. Jessicah then went onto win the St John Wells Trophy with her brother Dunedin Mascot for the best pair by the same sire. Both ponies are sired by Horse of the Year Show Champion Dunedin Marksman.
Lauren Paterson from Cove near Helensburgh was at the show with poultry. Of the four birds shown, the Patersons took first place in Any Other Colour male Pekin with a cuckoo (colour); first in Any Other Colour female Pekin with another cuckoo (colour); and second place in Black Pekin female class.
Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland chairman Jimmy Warnock said: ‘This year has been an incredible show as demonstrated by the record-breaking figures. What we offer is an authentic day out that is not manufactured, with the stars of the show the animals.’