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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Highland Show wows the crowds
Cow at Royal Highland Show, Ingleston near Edinburgh
Participants have to look their best
Scotland's biggest event in the farming calendar has got under way with livestock at the centre of attention.

An estimated 140,000 people are expected to visit Ingliston Showground, near Edinburgh, over the next four days for the Royal Highland Show.

The event gives the farming community the chance to discuss the state of the industry.

But commuters face a travel headache with the A8000 - a vital link between the Forth Bridge and central Scotland motorways - struggling to cope with the increased traffic.

The winner will need the eyes and skill of a marksman
Edwin O'Hara
Golden Shears World Council

The Royal Highland Show made a return last year following the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Run by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, the annual event is designed to promote the regeneration of rural Scotland.

More than 100 of the world's top shearers and wool handlers will take part in the Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships - which is being held in Scotland for the first time.

Edwin O'Hara, chairman of the Golden Shears World Council, said he was expecting a keen contest.

He said: "The winner will need the eyes and skill of a marksman, the stamina of a marathon runner and the ability to outsprint his rivals."

Travel headache

An estimated 6,000 sheep have been drafted in to be sheared at speed.

The Highland Show will also feature large exhibitions of livestock from across the UK including beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, horses and ponies.

Meanwhile, police are warning motorists to allow extra time for their journeys due to the increased volume of traffic.

Lothian and Borders Police say approaches to and from the showground, especially the M8 at Newbridge, M9 from Stirling, A8000 from the Forth Road Bridge and the A8 will be busier than usual.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Willie Johnston reports
"It is farming's big event"



SEE ALSO:
Royal Highland Show returns
20 Jun 02  |  Scotland
Royal Highland Show cancelled
11 Apr 01  |  Scotland
Plans for Highland event go ahead
29 Mar 01  |  Scotland
Disease claims Black Isle show
03 May 01  |  Scotland


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