Prospects are looking good for a bumper Echt Show on Saturday.
The North-east agricultural show season is getting under way with Echt among the early starters.
Cattle entries are up slightly this year and the show is the compulsory event for the North East of Scotland Aberdeen Angus Club’s competition.
Sheep numbers have risen with an encouraging entry in the Any Other Breed section which is split into native and non-native sections.
The North of Scotland Texel Club is also having its compulsory show at Echt and there has been a strong response from Texel breeders.
Numbers are up in the horse section with competitors coming from as far afield as Forres, Aberlour, Strathpeffer and Fife.
This is possibly because Echt is now a qualifier for the National Pony Society of Scotland’s show which is held at Blair Castle in August.
Echt Show secretary Marion Miller said: “The focus of the show this year is on sheep.
“One of our most prestigious trophies is presented on a three-year cycle to the champion from the cattle, horse and sheep lines and this year the recipient is the overall sheep champion.
“The visitor can follow sheep-related themes throughout the showfield - see the sheep and lambs being judged in the rings, watch the North East of Scotland Sheep-Shearing Championship, see the wool being spun in the heritage tent and learn about the now defunct Garlogie Woollen Mill, which was once a major employer in the area, producing high-quality wool from the sheep raised in locally.”
New interpretation boards depicting native breeds and rural skills will complete the ‘educational’ aspect of the show, complementing the fun children can have in the educational tent while learning at the same time.
An additional attraction this year, funded by Aberdeenshire Council, is a craft and heritage marquee where visitors can learn about the history of the area, dowsing, the show - in its 164th year - and the local Young Farmers movement, celebrating its 90th anniversary.
The busy programme of events gets under way with livestock judging at 9am.