Livestock numbers increase for Royal Highland Show

Almost 7,000 animals are making their way to the 174th Royal Highland Show, the UK’s premier agricultural show and supporter of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations.

Organisers of this year’s Show are preparing for what will be an exceptional exhibition of prize-winning animals, with entry numbers up across dairy cattle, sheep, dairy goats and horse sections.

The Highland Hall will cater for almost 1000 beef and dairy cattle and just shy of 1900 sheep will fill the five marquee sections located in the north of the showground. Exhibitors from the length and breadth of the UK will be arriving from the Monday of show week to settle their animals prior to the four-day event starting Thursday 19th June.

Sheep entry numbers are up by 100 to reach an 8-year high, with two breeds of particular note being Beltex with 231 entries, up by 21 and Hebridean with 77 entries up by 38.

According to Chief Steward of sheep, James Cullens, the numbers reflect trends in the industry. He said: “The Beltex is a breed that’s been around for a while now, but in recent times it has become more suited to the British landscape, hence its popularity. In terms of the Hebridean, it’s a slightly niche breed, but no doubt about it, it’s starting to tick boxes and is becoming well known. The fact that the breeders tend to be really enthusiastic helps the breed immensely.”

Reinforcing the Royal Highland Show’s positioning as Scotland’s largest equestrian event, horse entries have again increased on last yearacross both the heavy and light horse sections, up by 102 entries to 1713, with the Mounted and Moorland Ridden classes dominating with 212 entries. The Coloured Horse section has seen a significant jump - up by 33 to 178.

In cattle, just pipped at the post for the most represented breed, is the Shorthorn at 105, however, it is the Limousins that will dominate the cattle hall at 123 entries, up by 21 on 2013. Scottish breed entries in the cattle section have also seen a rise, with both Belted Galloway and Highland entries up to 28 and 95 respectively, giving their judges, Douglas Crighton and Angus MacColl, a wealth of quality stock from which to choose winners.

The Aberdeen Angus section, which this year has 88 entries, will be judged by Albert de Cogan from Co.Cork. Mr de Cogan’s senior bull just scooped the top honours in Aberdeen-Angus rings at the Balmoral Show.

Stephen Hutt, Chief Executive of RHASS, said: “The numbers speak for themselves and reflect the widely held view that the Highland is the place to exhibit, and hopefully, win. And winning is no mean feat, with the very best calibre of livestock on show. The equine numbers are also up with the cream of UK in hand and ridden horses and ponies coming to compete. The Royal Highland Show 2014 is shaping up to be an outstanding year.”

Full timetables are available on

BEEF CATTLE 955 (967) Shorthorn 105(111), Angus 88(101), Galloway 16(24), Belted Galloway 28(27), Highland 95(84), Hereford 33(48), Charolais 87(73), Simmental 87(73), Limousin 123(102), Blonde 35(43), British Blue 60(84), Salers 22(32), Commercial 76(62), Beef Breeder 83(80), Young Handlers 17(26)

DAIRY CATTLE 120 (117) Ayrshire/ Red and White 26/8(22/11), Holstein 47(47), Jersey 18(14), Shorthorn 21 (23)

SHEEP 1862(1762) Blackface 94(98), Ncc 93(88), Ncc Hill 55(52), Border Leicester 44(45), Suffolk 90(76), Cheviot 38(30), Bluefaced Leicester 111(107), Jacob 59(59), Texels 189(206), Ryeland 53(56), Charollais 69(78), Shetland 111(112), Rouge 22(31), Berrichon 24(25), Scotch Mule 73(63), Beltex 231 (210), Lleyn 36(51), Hebridean 77(38), Bleu Du Maine 29(39), Hampshire Down 52(42), Swaledale 55(44), Commercial 80(69), Zwartbles 85(70), North of England Mule 48(35), Young Handlers 44(38)

DAIRY GOATS 107(121) Adults 107(121), Kids 47(47), Milking 33(31), Pygmy 8(7), Goat Young Handlers 13

HEAVY HORSES 355(341) Clydesdale Male 35(39), Clydesdale Female 94(72), Highlands Male 56(55), Highlands Female 95(104), Shetlands 75(71)

LIGHT HORSES 1713(1611) Hunters in Hand 60(57) Hunters under saddle 133(139) Highland Ponies under saddle 75(69) M&M Lead Rein & 1st ridden 74(45) M&M under saddle 212(210) In hand riding ponies 28(30) Hunter Pony Breeding 23(17) Eriskay Cancelled

M&M In Hand (2012 excl connemaras) 43(46), Welsh A 85(88), Welsh B 40(39), Welsh C 25(35), Welsh D 49(46), Arabs etc under saddle 42(34), Arabs etc in hand 73(74), Ridden Ponies 39(29), Lead Rein & 1st Ridden 17(18), Working Hunter Ponies 121(98), Open Show Ponies 45(53), Riding Horses 36(53), Coloureds 178(145), Side Saddle 23(20) Donkeys 20(18), Ridden Clydesdales 18(18), Sport Horse 55(52), M&M Workers 114(95), Connemara in Hand 34(33), Show Hunter Pony LR & 1st Pony 23(19), Retraining of Racehorses 28(17)