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Plug pulled on Black Isle Show 2021 amid ongoing uncertainty over coronavirus crisis; Curse of Covid strikes again as major Ross-shire agricultural event cancelled for second year on the trot


By Hector MacKenzie

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The event usually attracts crowds of up to 25,000 each year over its duration and is a mainstay of the agricultural community.Dog agility demonstrations are amongst the many attrarctions.
Picture: Gary Anthony.
The event usually attracts crowds of up to 25,000 each year over its duration and is a mainstay of the agricultural community.Dog agility demonstrations are amongst the many attrarctions. Picture: Gary Anthony.

ONE of the biggest agricultural shows in the Highlands has been cancelled for a second year running due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Black Isle Farmers' Society announced today that the Black Isle Show – due to have been held on August 5 this year – has been cancelled.

It's another major blow for the farming and business community as the event traditionally provides the opportunity for social ties to be maintained and thousands of pounds worth of business to be concluded.

The early decision was taken in the interests of safety of trade stand holders, volunteers and the general public given ongoing uncertainty about how the crisis will pan out over the coming months.

The society's directors and general committee met virtually this week to discuss whether or not they thought the event, staged at Mannsfield, Muir of Ord, could go ahead or not.

President for 2021, Mrs Freida McKenzie, said: “Our general committee and directors were unanimous in making the sad decision to cancel the 2021 show.

"There had been a degree of optimism that the 2021 show may have been able to run, when the vaccination became available, but now being in a second lockdown the optimism has dwindled away.

"Safety has always been at the forefront of every event we hold, but particularly of our flagship event the Black Isle Show. Since we cannot guarantee the safety of our exhibitors, judges, trade-stand holders, volunteers and the general public, it is the correct decision to make. To invite a large gathering of people into the local cCommunity at this time is a risk too far.”

The group acknowledged that this decision could have been deferred but "they felt that taking a decision was the responsible thing to do".

Focus will now turn to preparing for 2022.

The event is traditionally held on the first Thursday in August. The date pencilled in now is Thursday, August 4, 2022.

Black Isle Farmers’ Society is a charity registered in Scotland and is a company limited by guarantee.

Black Isle Show has been held annually on the permanent site at Mannsfield since 1957 with the exception of 2001 when the show was cancelled due to the national foot and mouth outbreak, and in 2020 due to Covid-19.

Attendance at the Black Isle Show is usually around 25,000 visitors.

Related: Black Isle Show 2020 cancelled after directors meet

Black Isle Show stalwart takes up new post


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