A record 188,449 visitors flocked to The Royal Highland Show this weekend – an increase of almost 10,000 on the 2014 attendance figure (178,569) and 805 more than the last record attendance at Ingliston – 187,644 in 2010.
As always, the main focus was on around 7000 of the UK’s finest livestock, with over £225,000 of prize money and 280 trophies worth around £2,000,000 awarded.
Following closely behind in terms of popularity was the Show’s brand new food offering, Scotland’s Larder Live! Featuring over 120 of the finest food and drink exhibitors from across Scotland and the UK, Scotland’s Larder Live brought to life the main consumer message of ‘farming equals food’ and was a lively, stimulating, informative and interactive area full of smells, sights and samples.
HRH Princess Royal made a visit to the event on Friday (19th June), meeting with the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth (RASC), of which she is patron, followed by a visit to the Army’s stand, the Royal Highland Education Trust’s Education Centre (RHET) and also cast her expert eye over the Royal Highland Centre’s brand new Olympic standard all-weather show jumping ring.
Over 30,000 children attended the Show for free over the four days to learn about food, farming and the countryside, at the Royal Highland Education Trust’s Education Centre.
Joining the huge crowds, the BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, Claire Hastings, BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson and some of Scotland’s finest chefs including Nick Nairn, Lady Claire MacDonald, Jacqueline O’Donnell and Adam Handling, along with a number of political figures including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Richard Lochhead MSP, attended Scotland’s largest outdoor event which contributed £47.1M to the Scottish economy in 2014.
With a focus on the Stirling area, including the Forth Valley and the Trossachs, this year’s Presidential Initiative, led by Sir Michael Forsyth, centered on making moves to improve communications in rural areas. The initiative included a seminar attended by the Chairman of O2, the Managing Director of BT Scotland and the Chief Executive of Stirling Council as well as the European Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner.
Commenting on the success of the 175th Show, RHASS Chief Executive, Stephen Hutt, said: “Once again the Royal Highland Show has lived up to its reputation as one of Scotland’s most enduring and iconic events. Along with being the place to experience the best of farming, food and rural life, it is also still very much the place to ‘do business’, with trade space selling out in record time this year.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our exhibitors, sponsors, staff and visitors, without whom the Show wouldn’t be able happen, and who enable the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) to carry out its charitable remit of promoting and protecting the interests of land based industries here in Scotland.”
Final figures – 2014 in brackets: Thursday 42,941 (38,393); Friday 47,990 (46,377); Saturday 56,202 (52,826); and Sunday 41,316 (41,063). Total 188,449 (178,659)