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Showcase spotlight on D&G

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Showcase spotlight on D&G

THREE generations of women from one farming family will show their Belted Galloways as part of a celebration of south-west Scotland.

Dumfries and Galloway is the host region for the 2021 Royal Highland Showcase and will use the opportunity to tell the world about its food, farming, coast, countryside and culture.

While Covid restrictions mean the public cannot physically attend the June event at The Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, the latest technology will stream the show right into people’s living rooms throughout Scotland and around the world.

And the region will be promoted in many different ways: plans include the creation of a giant 12 foot tall wicker Belted Galloway bull, a special garden created by military veterans at the showground and a photography competition.

Multi-coloured life size cut outs of cows will be displayed around Dumfries and Galloway itself so people can take “A Selfie With A Beltie” as tourism begins to return.

Livestock judging will also still be taking place at the showground, and among those representing the region will be Anne Bell, her daughter Katie Keiley, and granddaughters Mollie and Daisy.

All will be showing some of the region’s much loved Belties. For Mollie and Daisy it will be the first time they have shown at the Royal Highland Showground, however, their granny has a proud track record, having had four Supreme Champion Belted Galloways in the past.

Katie said: “We are all looking forward to this so much. My mum has always been such an inspiration to all of us – thanks to her the whole family got the Beltie bug.

“And it will be very special for all of us to see Mollie and Daisy going into the ring at the Royal Highland Show for the first time with their own Belties.”

Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) honorary president, Fiona Armstrong, who is also Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries, said: “This is such a wonderful part of Scotland, with so much to offer – and full of remarkable people like Anne and her family.

“It is marvellous that they have been linked to the Royal Highland Show for three generations, and that her granddaughters will be taking part in the Showcase as we start to come back from covid – after all, young women like these are the future for farming and the wider economy.

“It’s tremendous that we have this opportunity to showcase the region’s farming, food, drink, culture and tourism at a moment when we all hope that recovery is on the horizon. It will be a real boost for the region, and the whole of Scotland. We will be doing all we can to take the fun and the atmosphere of the Highland Show direct into people’s own living rooms.”

Anne Bell with her trophies for her Galloway cattle, won at the Royal Highland Show and other agricultural shows.
Pictured in her house near Dalbeattie, Dumries and Galloway.
Photography from: Colin Hattersley Photography –

The strapline for the 2021 show will be “Dumfries and Galloway – Let’s Grow Together” reflecting the region’s ambition to build on its many strengths and showing the interdependence of its different sectors.

Fiona added: “We also want to let people know that we are an important, forward-looking hub for rural business and agriculture. For example, we’re not only the heartland of Scotland’s milk production and renowned for the exceptional quality of our beef, but are leading the way in livestock genetics and research into making our cows ‘greener’ while improving yields.”

RHASS chairman Bill Gray said: “We share Dumfries and Galloway’s disappointment that we will not be able to experience the beauty and vibrancy of this region at Ingliston this year, but we are confident that it will be brought to life in glorious technicolour on laptops and screens across the globe.”

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