Three generations of women from one farming family will show their Belted Galloways as part of our celebration of south-west Scotland
Dumfries & Galloway aims to tell the world about its amazing food, farming, coast, countryside and culture as the host region of the 2021 Royal Highland Showcase.
While Covid restrictions mean the public cannot physically attend the event (at The Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, outside Edinburgh from 14-20 June), the latest technology will stream the show right into people’s living rooms throughout Scotland and around the world.
The region will be promoted in many different ways. Plans include the creation of a giant 12 foot tall wicker Belted Galloway bull, a special garden created by military veterans at the showground and a photography competition.
Multi-coloured life size cut outs of cows will be displayed around Dumfries & Galloway itself so people can take “A Selfie With A Beltie” as tourism begins to return.
Livestock judging will also still be taking place at the showground, and among those representing Dumfries and Galloway will be Anne Bell (aged 82), her daughter Katie Keiley, and granddaughters Mollie (14) and Daisy (12).
All will be showing some of the region’s much loved Belties. For Mollie and Daisy it will be the first time they have shown at the Royal Highland Showground. However, their granny has a proud track record, having had four Supreme Champion Belted Galloways in the past.
Katie said: “We are all looking forward to this so much. My Mum has always been such an inspiration to all of us – thanks to her the whole family got the Beltie bug.
“And it will be very special for all of us to see Mollie and Daisy going into the ring at the Royal Highland Show for the first time with their own Belties.” (See case study for more about the family).
There will also be specially commissioned videos and other online activity to showcase some of what makes south-west Scotland such a special place.
Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) honorary president, the broadcaster and Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries Fiona Armstrong, says she is overwhelmed by the dedication and support of so many people who are working to make the event a success under incredibly difficult circumstances.
She said: “This is such a wonderful part of Scotland, with so much to offer – and full of remarkable people like Anne and her family.
“It is marvellous that they have been linked to the Royal Highland Show for three generations, and that her granddaughters will be taking part in the Showcase as we start to come back from Covid – after all, young women like these are the future for farming and the wider economy.
“It’s tremendous that we have this opportunity to showcase the region’s farming, food, drink, culture and tourism at a moment when we all hope that recovery is on the horizon. It will be a real boost for the region, and the whole of Scotland.
“And while the public can’t come to the showground this year, we will be doing all we can to take the fun and the atmosphere of the Highland Show direct into people’s own living rooms – whether they are in Scotland, the rest of the UK or anywhere else around the world.”
In normal times the role of host rotates between the country’s eight regions. But due to the exceptional circumstances the RHASS directors voted to allow Dumfries & Galloway to remain as the host region for 2021 and deliver its President’s Initiative.
The strapline for the 2021 show will be “Dumfries & Galloway – Let’s Grow Together” reflecting the region’s ambition to build on its many strengths and showing the interdependence of its different sectors.
Fiona added: “We also want to let people know that we are an important, forward-looking hub for rural business and agriculture. For example we’re not only the heartland of Scotland’s milk production and renowned for the exceptional quality of our beef, but are leading the way in livestock genetics and research into making our cows ‘greener’ while improving yields.”
Fiona and her presidential team are working with local businesses, military veterans, the Men’s Shed movement, Young Farmers and many others.
Bill Gray, RHASS Chairman, said: “We share Dumfries & Galloways disappointment that we will not be able to experience the beauty and vibrancy of this region at Ingliston this year but we are confident that it will be brought to life in glorious technicolour on laptops and screens across the globe as part of our Royal Highland Showcase.
“This is an exciting line up from a hugely ambitious Presidential Team and we are all looking forward to getting our ‘Selfie with a Beltie’ over the coming weeks.”
For full information follow the Showcase on social media @ScotlandRHShow.