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RHASS announces nine Technical Innovation Award winners in Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design

Media Release

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) has awarded one gold medal, three silver medals and five certificates of commendation under its Technical Innovation Award scheme for 2016, Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design.

The gold award, which is presented for continuous outstanding merit to a previous silver medal winner, has gone to: BD Supplies, Methven for its KVK Hoof Trimming Chute.

Designed to provide an optimum working posture for the hoof trimmer and minimum discomfort to the livestock, the KVK Chute construction is tried and tested. The chute is easy to use and guarantees the trimmer a correct working posture. To keep livestock healthy, hooves must be checked regularly and trim as necessary to ensure optimum comfort and yield.

The three Silver medals have been award to: Kverneland for its ‘2500 i-plough, a fully-mounted plough range that is perhaps one of the biggest innovations in farm machinery since development of the plough itself; Vicon for its ‘Vicon FastBale’, featuring a unique dual chamber design, Vicon FastBale keeps on baling when other machines are stopped. FastBale at a stroke renders all other baler-wrappers obsolete; and Water Powered Technologies Ltd for its ‘Papa Pump’, a patented Zero Energy Water Pump that utilises the flow of Natural water from a spring, stream or river source to pump some of that water to higher levels and pressures without the requirement for any electric or Fuels.

Lastly, the four certificate of commendation have been awarded to: Stewart Duncan for its ‘Lamb Feeding Machine’ designed to ease the feeding of orphan lambs, with each lamb getting a controlled amount of milk with no interference from bigger lambs; JFC MFG Europe, for its DBL9 Dumpy Tip-Over Drinker, an all-new 3.5 litre rotating drink bowl that allows the farmer empty the bowl by the press of a button; Massey Ferguson for its MF 5713 SL Tractor with ‘All-in-one’ system, a new genre of tractor that employs the latest refinement to the pioneering Selective Catalytic Reduction system (SCR); Quickfencer Ltd for its Quickfencer Woodprocessor, designed for the farmer or the estate who have their own Biomass Boiler or similar, who need to process large amounts of logs. With this machine shearing instead of sawing the logs dry out faster; and finally Kramer Werk Gmbh, for its Fully electric loader 5055e, a fully electric, emission free, all-wheel-steering 5055e wheel loader from Kramer with 80- volt technology.

As always, the awards, sponsored by the Hillhouse Quarry Group Ltd, attracted a high number of entries. With a remit to reward innovation in the design and manufacture of machines, equipment and appliances, the awards are the oldest presented by the RHASS, which gave its first “premium” for an implement in 1793 to a “new-invented plough of an improved construction adapted for the culture of Highland farms.”

RHASS Chief Steward John Mackie said: “These awards are to encourage and recognise innovation in the design and manufacture of machines, equipment and appliances which advance the effective and efficient practice of either agriculture, horticulture, equestrian, forestry, renewable energy or estate services. They are judged on individual merit and, as always, there was a wealth of entries that made it very hard to choose from.”

Richard Vernon from Hillhouse Quarry Group Ltd said: “Hillhouse has been delighted to sponsor the Technical Innovation Award at the Royal Highland Show with many excellent entries and winners over the years.   With 2016 being Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, it is with some pride that we continue to be associated with and supportive of the awards.”

Panel members were: C J Shepherd, E Brewis, R J Maitland, A C Stewart, J D McWilliam and W T Arnot








The Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) has announced the appointment of Alan Laidlaw as Chief Executive.

Alan (38) from East Lothian, will take over responsibility for RHASS, the Edinburgh based charity that contributes £250m to the Scottish economy through its events business and flagship event, The Royal Highland Show.

Currently Head of Property at The Crown Estate Scotland, Alan’s role will be to strengthen the Society’s influence in promoting and protecting the interests of land based industries on behalf of its 15,000 members.

He will also oversee the £20million investment in the 280-acre Royal Highland Centre site at Ingliston adjacent to Edinburgh Airport that attracts over 1million visitors each year.

The announcement comes just two weeks ahead of the Society’s 176th Royal Highland Show that is expected to attract in the region of 200,000 people over the four-day event (23 – 26 June).

A passionate advocate for engaging the next generation and strengthening the relationship between producer and consumer, Alan is particularly looking forward to working with the board of The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) to create a food literate generation through the charity’s extensive outdoor learning programme.

Commenting on the appointment, RHASS Chairman, Willie Gill said: “Alan’s commercial, business and property experience, combined with his obvious passion for the success of Scotland’s rural economy, makes him an ideal candidate for this position. He impressed us with his understanding and appreciation of the Society’s aims and objectives and gave us every comfort that he has the skills and drive to deliver our charitable aims.”

Alan added: “As a lifetime RHASS member and regular show-goer, I am deeply honoured and excited at the prospect of playing a pivotal role in the Society’s future. Attending the Show this year will be of even greater significance and it will be an ideal opportunity for me to look at the Show with fresh eyes before I take the reigns officially at the end of the summer.”

Alan has previously worked for Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Smiths Gore. He is an associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies, and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), RICS Scottish Rural Professional Group, and a director of the Oxford Farming Conference. He has contributed to the Scottish Government working groups on Community Ownership and New Entrant Opportunities on Public Land.

He is a family man with a keen interest in the outdoors, rugby and the countryside.



Alan Laidlaw