DJMKDW Britain's Queen Elizabeth II watches one her ponies compete in Highland Class at Royal WIndsor Horse show in grounds of WIndsor

Highland Show reveals its judges for 2020

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland has announced next year’s judges for the competition.

The RHASS is ending 2019 on a robust note following a third year of investment in the showground at Ingliston, clocking up record attendance at the Royal Highland Show and welcoming over one million people at over 200 events at The Royal Highland Centre.

A planned three-year £15 million investment programme into the Society’s 120-acre site adjacent to Edinburgh airport was announced in 2017 and is nearing completion following significant modernisation to utilities, upgrading of existing event facilities and the construction of its £5 million conference and membership facility which will be launched in Spring 2020.

RHASS has delivered on its charitable remit with an increased provision of grants and awards exceeding £330,000 during 2019, including funding travel bursaries and providing over £225,000 to its educational charity, the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET). The Royal Highland Show is also a key focus in the Society’s provision of its charitable remit.

In addition, a wide-ranging programme of initiatives and individuals were supported by the charity alongside regular beneficiaries including RSABI, SAYFC, RASC and the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.

The year has also seen significant planning around RHASS’ flagship event, the 180th Royal Highland Show which is shaping up to be the most sustainable one to date. Advance tickets were launched in December prior to a planned increase to ticket prices in early next year.

The Queen with Balmoral Erica in the Highland class at Royal Windsor Horse Show

According to Alan Laidlaw, RHASS chief executive, the early-bird ticket offer will end on 1st January 2020. He said: “We wanted to give showgoers the opportunity to snap up tickets at 2019 prices before the increase which is reflective of the escalating costs associated with an event of this quality and complexity.”

The 180th Show is shaping up to be a spectacular event, with special events planned for the landmark year including the opening of the new Members’ Pavilion, a fashion show and the celebration of the Lincoln Red breed as it marks its 125th anniversary.

Bill Gray, RHASS chairman, believes it will not be long before the success of the Show means that the Society will need to consider limiting ticket sales for Saturday – the Show’s busiest day. He said: ‘As we retain our regular visitors and open up the Show to new audiences, we need to ensure that the visitor experience delivered exceeds expectations.

‘With growing numbers attending at the weekend, this becomes challenging, so we need to consider ways we can manage numbers on each day. This won’t happen for this year but is likely to feature in the coming years. The reality is that if we keep growing, we may have a sell-out of our world-class customer experience on Saturdays – the busiest day of the show.’

RHASS directors also gave their support to a root and branch review of transport and travel to the RHS following the successful pilot of its public transport plan in 2019 which saw over 40,000 visitors leaving the car at home and travelling to the show via bus, tram and train.

New for the 2020 Show is a comprehensive bus travel plan which will transport showgoers from major towns and cities throughout Scotland, providing a realistic alternative to car journeys.

Alan explained: ‘The RHS has an ongoing commitment to improving its sustainability and environmental credentials and we will continue to promote its excellent public transport links as the “Best Way to get to the Show”. Our aim is to set the standard in sustainable travel for the event and would welcome all our visitors to “enjoy a dram and take the tram”, “let the train take the strain” or “avoid any fuss and take the bus!” ‘

Last year over 50,000 day visitors parked at the showground during the four days and according to chief executive Alan Laidlaw, this level of parking is simply not sustainable as the Show grows.

He said: ‘We have invested significantly in ensuring the Show is as sustainable as possible through recycling, reduced energy and water consumption as well as reducing food miles by sourcing local produce. The final piece in the jigsaw is to reduce the environmental impact of travelling to and from the showground and the time has now come to take bold steps to actively discourage the use of cars as the primary mode of travel.

‘Without doubt the biggest source of frustration amongst visitors is around travel time. The reality is that these roads are already congested due to heavy traffic coming to and from the city and the airport every day and it is not realistic to expect an additional 12,500 cars per day not to have a significant impact.

‘We have allocated significant resources to collaborate with public transport operators to streamline getting to the showground by bus, train or tram. Feedback from users who have used this service has been overwhelmingly positive so we will build on this for the 2020 show and beyond. However, for those who absolutely need to take the car, then advance parking tickets are available via the Show’s website.’

Alan concluded: ‘By incentivising public transport we can support a change in behaviour that will secure the sustainability of the show.’

Louise Allan and Melanie Alford with Texel ram Midlock You’re The One (AKA Stan), getting ready for the 2018 Royal Highland Show

The judges are:


Overall Young Handlers – Ms Sarah Jane Jessop & Mr Dougie McBeath, Bannockburn, Stirlingshire.


Beef Native Breeds Inter Breed Team Championship – Mrs Audrey Anderson, Arbroath, Angus.

Beef Breeder Competition & Junior Beef Inter Breed Championship – Mr Michael Durno, Ballindalloch, Banffshire.

Beef Inter Breed Team Competition and Overall Beef Inter-Breed Championship – Mr Esmor Evans, Mold, Flintshire, Wales.

Beef Inter-Breed Pairs Competition- Mr Kenneth Veitch, Drumlone, Co. Fermanagh, N Ireland.

Beef Young Handlers – Mrs Tracey Nicol, Perth, Perthshire.

Beef Shorthorn – Mr Donald Biggar, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire.

Aberdeen Angus- Mr Alistair Cormack, Chirnside, Berwickshire.

Galloway – Mr Alan McClymont, Yarrow, Selkirkshire.

Belted Galloway- Mr Ian Park, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham.

Highland- Mr Donald MacNaughton, Kelty, Fife.

Hereford- Mr William McLaren Jnr, Auchterarder, Perthshire.

British Charolais- Mr Chris Curry, Morpeth, Northumberland.

British Simmental- Mr Joe Wilson, Newry, Co. Down.

Beef Limousin- Mr Mike Massie, Ellon, Aberdeenshire.

British Blonde – Mr David Knight, Bristol, Avon.

British Blue- Mr Mark Hartley, Nelson, Lancashire.

Salers – Mr Glen Welsh, Cumnock, Ayrshire.

Lincoln Red – Mr Scott Donaldson, Carlisle, Cumbria.

Commercial Cattle – Mr Wilson Peters, Crieff, Perthshire.


Overall Dairy – Mr Jimmy Hodge, Eyemouth, Berwickshire.

Ayrshire & British Red and White – Mr Iain McLean, Bushmills, Co Antrim, N Ireland. Holstein-

Mr John Garnet, Milnthorpe, Cumbria.

Jersey- Mrs Anna Stable, Ulverston, Cumbria.

Dairy Shorthorn- Mr Dan Stamper, Carlisle, Cumbria.

Any Other Breed – Mr Glyn Lucas, Carlisle, Cumbria.

Dairy Calf and Showmanship- Mr Michael Yates, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire.


Overall Sheep Inter Breed Championship – Mr Clark Stewart, Cupar, Fife.

Overall Sheep Pairs Inter-Breed Championship & Young Handlers Classes – Mr William Dunlop, Dunbar, East Lothian.

Suffolk – Mr Gordon Mackie, Forfar, Angus.

North Country Cheviot – Mr John McClymont, Leven, Fife.

Blackface – Mr Alastair McArthur, Biggar, South Lanarkshire.

Lleyn – Mr John Morton, Penrith, Cumbria.

Ryeland – Mr Aled Morgan, Crymych, Dyfed, Wales.

Commercial Sheep – Mr Robert Struthers, Carluke, South Lanarkshire.

Border Leicester – Mr Richard Evans, Wrexham, Clwyd, Wales.

British Berrichon – Mr Clive Morse, St Clears, Carmarthenshire, Wales.

Jacob – Mr Scott Robertson, Dufftown, Banffshire.

North Country Cheviot Hill – Mr Hugh Wilson, Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway.

Cheviot – Mr David Goodfellow, Hawick, Roxburghshire.

Texel – Mr Robert Wilson, Turriff, Aberdeenshire.

Hampshire Down – Mr Jonathan Barnard, Crediton, Dorset.

Swaledale – Mr Joe Nattrass, Alston, Cumbria.

Bluefaced Leicester – Traditional Type – Mr John Dykes, West Linton, Peeblesshire. Bluefaced

Leicester – Crossing Type – Mr Alec Brown, Dumfries, Dumfriesshire. Charollais – Mr Alan Kennedy, Dumfries, Dumfriesshire.

Hebridean – Mr Helen Brewis, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.

North of England Mules – Mr Geoffrey Porter, Richmond, North Yorkshire.

British Rouge – Mrs Jayne Tannahil, Coleraine, Co Londonderry, N Ireland.

Beltex – Mr David Thornley, Swadlincote, Derbyshire.

Zwartbles – Mrs Caroline Anderson, Ingoe, Northumberland.

Scotch Mule – Mr Billy Kerr, Maybole, Ayrshire.

Bleu Du Maine – Mr Samuel Small, Randalstown, Co Antrim, N Ireland.

Shetland – Mr Brian Ridland, Evie, Orkney.

Blue Texel – Mr Clive Richardson, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, N Ireland.

Dairy Goats, Kids, Milking & Boer Goats – Mr Andrew Morrey, Montgomery, Powys, Wales.

Hunter in Hand & HOYS Hunters Under Saddle – Weights and Small (Conformation) -Miss Ros

Hargreaves, Lancaster, Lancashire.

HOYS Hunters Under Saddle – Weights and Small (Ride) – Mrs Joli Smith, Dorstane, Herefordshire.

HOYS Hunters Under Saddle – Working Hunters (Conformation) and HOYS Ladies Side Saddle (Conformation) – Mr Michael Maryan, Midhurst Sussex.

HOYS Hunters Under Saddle – Working Hunters (Ride) and HOYS Ladies Side Saddle (Ride) – Mrs Rebecca Harvie, Godalming, Surrey.

Hunters Under Saddle – Novice Hunters (Conformation) – Mr Michael Maryan, Midhurst, Sussex.

Hunters Under Saddle – Novice Hunters (Ride) – Miss Michaela Bowling, Accrington, Lancashire.

Sports Horse in Hand- Mr Thomas Brash, Linlithgow, West Lothian.

Retraining of Racehorse Final (Conformation) – Mrs Jennie Loriston-Clarke MBE FBHS, Stockbridge, Hampshire.

Retraining of Racehorse Final (Ride) – TBC

Highland Ponies Under Saddle (Conformation) – Mrs Audrey E Barron, Arbroath, Angus.

Highland Ponies Under Saddle (Ride)- Mrs Katherine Bowling-Hartenfield, Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire.

Welsh Mountain Ponies (Section A) – Mrs Julie Perrins, Wakefield, Yorkshire. Welsh Ponies (Section B)- Miss Ann Bale-Williams, Wrexham, Clywyd, Wales.

Welsh Ponies Cob Type (Section C) & Welsh Cobs (Section D) – Mrs Sharon Charlton, Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire, Wales.

Mountain & Moorland Ponies in Hand – Miss Lizzie Briant, Chippenham, Wiltshire.

Connemara – Mr Matthew Lawrence, Bristol, Somerset.

Pony Breeding Mrs Jane Etheridge, Saxmundham, Suffolk.

Riding Horses & Novice Riding Horses – Miss Marion MacLennan, Croy, Inverness.

Arabs Anglo Arabs & Part Bred in Hand – Mrs Melanie Gaddas-Brown, Stockton-on-Tees,

Durham. Arabs Anglo Arabs & Part Bred Arabs Under Saddle – Mr Nigel Fuller, Rawreth, Essex.

Cobs (Confirmation) – Mr Thomas Brash, Linlithgow, West Lothian.

Cobs (Ride) Miss Diane Brash, Linlithgow, West Lothian.

St Johns Wells Trophy Mrs Sylvia Ormiston, Ballater, Aberdeenshire.

Mountain & Moorland in Hand Overall (Waxwing Trophy) Mrs Jane Etheridge, Saxmundham, Suffolk.

HOYS Supreme in Hand Championship Qualifier Mr Nigel Hollings, Blackburn, Lancashire.

HOYS Mountain & Moorland Working Hunter Ponies (Conformation) Mrs Barbara Gibb, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire.

HOYS Mountain & Moorland Working Hunter Ponies (Jumping) Mrs Glenis M Cockbain, Keswick, Cumbria.

Side Saddle Miss Shelley Zonis, Wicham Cheshire.

HOYS Show Hunter Ponies and Show Hunter Pony Lead Rein & First Ridden (Conformation) Mrs

Caroline Nelson, Kelso, Roxburghshire.

HOYS Show Hunter Ponies and Show Hunter Pony Lead Rein & First Ridden (Ride) Mrs Janet Hoyle, Bury, Lancashire.

Show Ponies and Show Pony Lead Rein & First Ridden Mrs Karen Slight, Cockburnspath, Berwickshire.

HOYS Mountain & Moorland Lead Rein & First Ridden (Conformation) Miss Lizzie Briant, Chippenham, Wiltshire.

HOYS Mountain & Moorland Lead Rein & First Ridden (Ride) Mrs Heather Prescott, Ormskirk, Lancashire.

HOYS Junior Mountain and Moorland Ridden Pony (Conformation) Mrs Jane Etheridge, Saxmundham, Suffolk.

HOYS Junior Mountain and Moorland Ridden Pony (Ride) Mrs Julia Woods, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

Donkeys in Hand Mrs E Lewis, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

HOYS Working Hunter Ponies (Conformation) Mrs Joyce Colthart, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.

HOYS Working Hunter Ponies (Jumping) Mrs Sandra Bucknell, Reading, Berkshire.

HOYS Part-Bred Ridden (Conformation) Mr Chris Bartram-Lawton, Heath, Cheshire.

HOYS Part-Bred Ridden (Performance) Mr David Barton-Lawton, Heath, Cheshire.
HOYS Mountain and Moorland Ponies Under Saddle – Fell, Dales, Highland, Connemara, Welsh

Section D (Conformation) Mr Robert Parker-Jones, Telford, Shropshire.

HOYS Mountain and Moorland Ponies Under Saddle – Fell, Dales, Highland, Connemara, Welsh

Section D (Ride) Mr Erik Mackechnie-Guire, Moreton Morrell, Warwickshire.
HOYS Mountain and Moorland Ponies Under Saddle – Welsh Section C, B & A, New Forest,

Dartmoor, Exmoor, Shetland (Conformation) Mrs Heather Prescott, Ormskirk, Lancashire. HOYS Mountain and Moorland Ponies Under Saddle – Welsh Section C, B & A, New Forest,

Dartmoor, Exmoor, Shetland (Ride) Miss Pat Rennie, Drymen, Stirlingshire.
HOYS Coloured Horses & Ponies Under Saddle (Ride) Mr Nigel Fuller, Rawreth, Essex.

HOYS Coloured Horses & Ponies Under Saddle (Conformation) Mrs Rebecca Hodkinson, Preston, Lancashire.

Coloured Horses & Ponies in Hand Mrs Nicola Pargeter, Northallerton, Yorkshire. HEAVY HORSE

Clydesdales In Hand Males Mr Colin Brown, New South Wales, Australia. Clydesdales In Hand Females Mr Max Marriot, Victoria, Australia.

HOYS Ridden Clydesdale (Conformation), Clydesdale Young Handlers & Stockmen Miss Audrey Lamb, Wigton, Cumbria.

HOYS Ridden Clydesdales (Ride) Mr Richard Telford, Eyemouth, Berwickshire. Highland Ponies In Hand Males Mrs Jean Connell, by Auchtermuchty, Fife.

Highland Ponies In Hand Females Miss Anne Mitchell, Denny, Stirlingshire.

Shetland Ponies In Hand Ms Wendy Toomer Harlow, Nr Basildon, Essex. Miniature Shetland Ponies In Hand Mrs Carol Hodder, Yeovil, Somerset.

The Sanderson Trophy Mrs Elizabeth Sibbald, Dollar, Clackmannanshire.


Harness Grooming & Decoration Mr Alistair Ferguson, Bankfoot, Perthshire

Working Native Pony in Harness Mrs Sylvia Ormiston, Ballater, Aberdeenshire. Heavy Horse Turnouts Mr Owen Garner, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.


Shetland Pony, Highland Pony and Private Driving (HOYS Qualifier)

Mrs Heather Noad, Oldbury-on-Severn, South Gloucestershire.