First Scottish turf event for almost 15 years

The first Scottish event aimed at turf professionals for almost 15 years, The Scots Turf Show, opened its doors at Hamilton Park Racecourse on March 1st last week, with organisers saying visitors began to pour in an hour before official registration had even opened.

The trial show was devised by 17 industry companies, who said they wanted to give something back to the Scottish turf community by providing a local turf event, accessible to a vast swathe of groundsmen and greenkeepers from all areas of sport, that had never had the opportunity to attend a local industry event. 

 One visitor was David Roxburgh, head groundsman at Rangers Football Club who said, “Something needed to happen here in Scotland, I think it's been great. The fantastic turnout here hasn't surprised me because I think Scotland has been desperate for something like this. It needs a big show, and I think this could possibly be the forerunner of something great.”

Organisers say the number of registered visitors had risen above the target of 200with 287 attending on the day.

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Alan Thompson addresses the delegates

The day began with introduction to the idea behind the show by Alan Thomson of AllGrass and Richard Heywood of Campey Turf Care Systems. The guests were immediately engaged with two 20 minute speakers, Gary Smith senior agronomist from the STRI, quickly followed by Joe Shaw from SIS Pitches, before heading out into the spring sunshine for the outdoor exhibition area.

After a couple of hours of interaction with the exhibitors, the group enjoyed a lunch in the hospitality suite overlooking the magnificent race track at Hamilton Park. Then it was back to the marquee for two more short seminars, one from Kelly Marie Clarke agronomist from Origin and finally an introduction to Hamilton Park itself by Ashley Moon, managing director of Hamilton Racecourse.

The organisers said it is important to the companies behind this event to gauge the response of the visitors going forward, with a view to expanding the event significantly next year.

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One of the main drivers of the day, Alan Thomson from AllGrass explained,“Don’t get me wrong we are not reinventing the wheel here, but simply putting it on a different path and a path that can continue to build excitement for the Scottish and beyond markets. ‘Connecting the Industry’ this is something that Richard and I believe we can do and hopefully with the many ideas for the future we can achieve this.”

Organisers have announced 6th March 2024 as the date for next year's event.

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