The Border Union Show is ready to open the gates for its annual agricultural show this weekend.
Held on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 July at the Borders Events Centre in Kelso, the event promises to be a highlight of the Borders’ events calendar.
The show is a celebration of rural life and gives visitors the chance to see livestock up close and personal from the huge Clydesdale and Shire horses to the cutest donkeys and goats. The show will welcome a staggering 998 sheep – some breeds that will be easily recognised like the Cheviot and Texel to some that are not so common like the Zwartable and Hebrideans. The Beltex Scottish National Show will provide hot competition for all the other breeds in attendance.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an agricultural show without the cattle. This year the show hosts two National Cattle classes; the Scottish National Simmental Show and the 2019 Scottish Limousin Grandprix.
John Mitchell, chief steward of the cattle sections said: ‘The show attracts visitors from across the world who will descend on Kelso and have the opportunity to see some of the best cattle Scotland has to offer. We know of one family travelling from New Zealand to the show. They already farm Simmental Cattle at home but want to see how it is done over here. The local farming community have pulled together and will provide an animal for them to show in the Young Handlers class, which is fantastic.’
Although the animals and livestock are a huge draw, they aren’t the only attraction at the two-day show. The food hall showcases the regions finest food and drink and will no doubt be a popular spot for visitors and they can pick up hints and tips from the professional chefs in the Cookery Theatre. Throughout the showground there will be over 200 trade stands selling everything from clothing and toys to homewares and plants.
A fantastic addition to the entertainment programme is the appearance of two of the world’s largest Monster Trucks; Big Pete and the Grim Reaper Monster Truck Display team will be in the Main Ring on Saturday 27th thrilling audiences with their amazing capabilities.
Those looking for more sedate entertainment will enjoy the Music Stage with its guest bands and local musicians or perhaps a wander round the Industrial Bake and Create marquee in which competitors flaunt their baking, creating and traditional skills.
Society chairman Neil Thomson said: ‘The Border Union Show is a terrific day out for everyone. A recent Facebook poll suggested one of the best thing about the show was the chance to catch up with friends and spend time with the family and I couldn’t agree more. There is so much to see and do. I mean, what more could you want? Friends, family, animals, food, drink, music, shopping and Monster Trucks – all in one spot! It doesn’t get much better than that.’
For those in the industry, there will be a chance to network with peers as well as attending the Show’s Friday business seminar snappily entitled From Grass to Gold where the theme is Embracing Change in Rural Business. In today’s economic and political climate, change is a daunting yet necessary topic of conversation in any agricultural business.
This year three of the Society’s partners alongside knowledgeable guest speaker, Oink Catering’s director Adam Marshall, and his son (also Adam Marshall) will openly and honestly be discussing the pros and cons of the changes businesses are facing. The discussion on embracing change, taking risks, and thinking outside the box is sure to make the seminar a must attend event for all future rural businessmen and women.
Last year the event’s organisers brought back the after-show party to great success. Mags Clark, the Society’s executive director said: ‘After show parties are a great addition for any agricultural show and we were thrilled to see the audience sharing our sentiments with a sell-out party last year. This time round, we’ve made the party bigger and better with the ever-popular Balancing Ducks providing excellent covers of old favourites and local DJ, DJ Pries Carsane playing non-stop hits to bring in the morning. It’s a great way to let your hair down and have some fun after a couple of great days at the show whether you have been exhibiting or visiting; who doesn’t love a good boogie?’
Society events coordinator, Marion Steven, said: ‘The event takes a huge amount of time and organisation and it is always a relief to see it come together in the last few days and weeks. We look forward to welcoming everyone down to the Show and we hope they enjoy it as much as we do..