The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), organisers of the Royal Highland Show, has announced the judges for the 2016 event.
The task of placing around 7000 head of the country’s top cattle, sheep, horses, goats and poultry will be in the hands of 48 judges from Scotland, 49 from England, eight from Wales, six from Northern Ireland and one from the Republic of Ireland.
In the sheep rings, Cheviot Society member James Irving, of Mountbenger, Selkirk, will select the Overall Inter Breed Champion. Champion Charrolais breeder Herbie Kennedy of Parkgate, Dumfries will judge the Overall Sheep Pairs Inter-Breed Championship and Young Handlers. Meanwhile, other judges in the sheep competition include: Show Manager of the Royal Three Counties Show, Doreen Smillie-Gray, who will be looking after the Ryland category; David Jackson, Pole Farm, Lochgoilhead who will be judging the fiercely fought Blackface section and Nicholas Robinson, Hexham will be responsible for the Bluefaced Leicester (traditional type), both categories being the most popular in 2015.
In the dairy rings, the job of judging the Overall Dairy will be carried out by Edward Crank, Village Green Farm, Chester. The Davidson family is overseeing the majority of the Dairy judging line up for 2016: Keith Davidson, Halmyre, Castle Douglas will judge the Ayrshire & British Red and White; Keith’s brother, Brian J Davidson, Errolston, Gretna has the Hosteins; and Keith’s daughter, Katie Davidson, Myrtle Cottage, Haugh of Urr, will be casting her expert gaze over Dairy Calf and Showmanship.
The mammoth task of selecting the Overall Beef Native Inter Breed Team Champion 2016 will be in the very capable hands of Irishman V J Wallace, Trinaltinagh House, Garvagh, Londonderry. Other Inter Breed Beef judges include: Beef Breeder & Beef Junior – Michael Robertson, Fodderletter Farms, Tomintoul; Inter Breed Pairs – a member of one of Scotland’s iconic farming families, James K Goldie, Orchard Cottage, Clarencefield, Dumfries; and the Inter Breed Team and Overall Beef Inter Breed falls to a great supporter of the Show, and Simmental breeder, Gerald W Smith, Drumsleed, Fordoun, Laurencekirk.
There will be 36 sections in 2016 for the Light Horses, nine of which are HOYS qualifiers. All classes will be judged by some of the most experienced and well-respected individuals in the equine industry, including Chris Hunnable, who is well known in the hunter world and who regularly shows competitively himself. Two other top-drawer equestrian judges, David Bartram and Christ Lawton, will be taking judging responsibilities in the riding horses section.
In the heavy horses, Clydesdale judging will fall to two breeders from well known studs, Neil Christie, Dalern, Dalfoil, By Glasgow and William Clark, Pitlandie, Stanley. Linda Impey, Chelmsford, Essex and John A Reid, Inverurie, will oversee the Highland classes, both showing regularly themselves. The Native harness class will be judged by retired Invercauld Estate gamekeeper Peter Fraser, Abergeldie, by Ballater, one the country’s leading authorities on deer.
As always, the 2016 Poultry classes will be sharply contested, with some of the UK’s top billed poultry experts judging the four categories.
The main lists for sheep, beef and dairy cattle, goats, light and heavy horses, turnouts and grooming are below.
Supported by RBS, the 176th Royal Highland Show will take place at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh, on June 23-26 2016.