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Turriff Show – Scotland’s largest two-day agricultural show – cancelled due to coronavirus

By David Porter

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This year's Turriff Show, Scotland’s largest two-day agricultural show, has been due to uncertainty in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The north east event, which attracts almost 24,000 visitors annually, was scheduled to take place on August 2-3 at the Haughs, Turriff.

Turriff Show president Alan Gaul
Turriff Show president Alan Gaul

The decision to cancel the show was made following a digital vote by Turriff District Agricultural Association (TDAA) committee members.

“It is with heavy heart that I have to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Turriff Show,” says show President Alan Gaul.

“I’m sure that our decision will not come as a huge surprise given that many other shows scheduled for this summer have already unfortunately been cancelled.

"We have been monitoring all UK and Scottish government guidelines and updates on a daily basis and our decision has not been taken lightly.

"We are not alone with the decision we’ve had to come to, and we empathise with all other events in the same situation.

“Plans for the 2020 event were well underway and we were looking forward to hosting the Scottish Limousin Club’s National Grand Prix, as well as introducing Bridgend Aggregates as our new main sponsor and welcoming back all our loyal exhibitors and visitors.

“There is so much hard work and dedication that goes in to organising an event like this and for Turriff, the success over the years has been down to the continued support of the local community and businesses and we have no doubt that this will continue in the future.

“We have been extremely lucky over the years, with the last full show cancellation in 2001 due to the foot and mouth outbreak.

"Prior to that, the cancellation was during the war years.

The 2019 overall cattle champion and Turriff show champion of champions Sterling FCUK Impuls from Reece and Andrew Simmers, Keith
The 2019 overall cattle champion and Turriff show champion of champions Sterling FCUK Impuls from Reece and Andrew Simmers, Keith

In 2019 over 24,000 visitors made their way to Turriff Show to see the large turnout of top-quality livestock, experience a variety of activities, over 300 exhibitor stands and new EQ Food and Drink Pavilion, which hosted 50 stands featuring some of the best produce throughout Aberdeenshire, wider Scotland and beyond.

Mr Gaul added: “The cancellation of Turriff Show and indeed many other shows across the country will be a huge test for our agricultural industry, but I am hopeful of some positive outcomes, with the opportunity to collaborate and help build strong connections.”

He added that all exhibitors, judges and sponsors would be contacted in the weeks ahead and thanked members, judges, exhibitors, sponsors and the community for their expressions of support.

“Support from members, trade stand holders, sponsors and the general public has been excellent.

"We will be looking at ways to keep the 2020 Turriff Show spiritalive through our social media platforms over the coming months and encourage people to engage with us by sharing their Turriff Show memories using the hash tag #TurriffShowMemories.”

Mr Gaul concluded by highlighting the importance of following the guidelines put in place by the UK and Scottish government during this lock down period and thanked all front line workers on behalf of the Show.

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all of our key frontline workers including farmers, NHS staff and local businesses who are working around the clock under difficult circumstances to ensure our country stays safe and well.

"We encourage everyone to stay home, stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you all to the Turriff Show in 2021.”

MP for Banff and Buchan, David Duguid said: “This will have been a very difficult decision for the show committee.

“However, I am sure that people will understand given the ongoing uncertainty over Covid-19.

“A huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes to deliver the Turriff Show each year.

“It is a sensible decision to call a halt to that now, rather than wait until it is too close to the time of the show.

“This virus and the measures required to fight it have had an enormous impact on our way of life.

“But the Turriff Show will be back next year and it will continue to be a great success.”

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