As the winter show season gets into top gear, following yesterday’s AgriScot and with the major primestock shows all falling in the next three weeks, I reflected last night on the trip home from Edinburgh on the relative success of AgriScot and the Royal Highland Winter Fair.
Held just a week apart in the same venue the fortunes of the two couldn’t, from an outsiders viewpoint, be more contrasting.
Yesterday’s event, aimed squarely at large scale, professional producers drew a massive crowd to the equally massive turnout of tradestands. And from what I heard and saw both visitors and standholders alike were there to do business.
All the main suppliers were there and the crowd coming through the door was impressive to say the least.
Looking ahead to next week’s Royal Highland Winter Fair is, sadly a less exciting prospect. While I have no doubt there will be a first class show of stock in the rings at Ingliston, I don’t expect there to be much a showing of trade stands and the crowd, if experience can be relied on, is bound to be smaller.
So, despite all the historic reasons against it, there can for the future success of at least one of these events only be one answer, combine the two into one great show. Some other commentators have suggested the fact that the two exist is testament to the strength of Scottish farming. I disagree, it is in fact testament to the inability of some parties to bury historic prejudices. Come guys get round the table again and set the wheels in motion for one big show worthy of the industries you’re serving.