Wellies, waterproofs and brollies were essential tools for visitors to this year’s Grantown Show.
Despite the dreich conditions, which made the showfield and carparks a muddy mess, livestock and horse breeders from across the region turned out in droves.
The rain cleared up just in time for the coveted show champion of champions contest which was judged by former first minister Alex Salmond MP.
Donning tartan trousers, Mr Salmond took to the main showring to assess the beef, sheep and horse interbreed champions.
Describing the fixture as the “premier livestock show in Scotland” Mr Salmond gave the final nod to the beef interbreed champion from north-east young farmer Aileen Ritchie.
Ms Ritchie, who hails from Tamala, Burnside, Whitecairns, was left celebrating on her first visit to the Grantown Show when her 24,000gn Limousin cow Brockhurst Howzat lifted the top title.
By Wilodge Vantastic and out of Brockhurst Bolshoi, she was shown with her bull calf Ritchies Marley at foot. Prior to her Grantown win, she stood reserve interbreed champion at Echt and Banchory and reserve breed champion at Fettercairn.
Mr Salmond said the cow and calf outfit was “magnificent”.
“The configuration looks fantastic,” he added.
Beef and sheep interbreed judge Harry Emslie, who previously handed Ms Ritchie the beef interbreed rosettes, said the cow was an excellent example of the breed shown at her peak.
Mr Emslie, who hails from Kinknockie, Mintlaw, handed his reserve beef interbreed title to an Aberdeen-Angus cow and calf outfit from Donald Rankin, of Kilmaluag House, Duntulm, Skye.
Three-year-old Retties Lady Ruth N228, by Rawburn Elysium and out of all Lady Ruth, was shown with her heifer calf Kilmaluag Lady Ruth S348 at foot.
Stabled at Richard and Carol Rettie’s Aberdona Mains, near Alloa, she stood reserve interbreed at the Black Isle, and champion at the Highland, Yorkshire and Perth Shows this year.
In the sheep section, Mr Emslie awarded the top title to the leader from the Blackface section.
The home-bred gimmer, from Stephen Duncan of Achdregnie, Glenlivet, was described by the judge as “what the modern sheep industry is all about”.
By a £4,400 Tam Adams tup, and out of a home-bred ewe by a £6,000 Tam Adams, the gimmer was placed second to the reserve interbreed champion at Perth.
Standing reserve in the sheep section was a home-bred Suffolk gimmer from Robbie Innes, of Crossburn Farm, Newmill, Keith.
By Ballynacanon Commander and out of Burness Special One, she stood champion at Keith earlier in the week.
Aberdeen-Angus: Donald Rankin, Kilmaluag House, Duntulm, Skye, with three-year-old cow Retties Lady Ruth N228, by Rawburn Elysium and out of All Lady Ruth. She is stabled at Richard and Carol Rettie’s Aberdona Mains, near Alloa. She stood reserve interbreed at the Black Isle, and champion at the Highland, Yorkshire and Perth Shows this year. She was shown with her heifer calf Kilmaluag Lady Ruth S348, by Retties JFK. Reserve – A. and K. Rhind and Son, Newton of Struthers, Kinloss, with home-bred Aberdeen-Angus 22-month-old heifer Newton Struthers Jurenical, by Newton Struthers Erysium and out of Newton Struthers Junerica. She was champion at Nairn and the Black Isle and senior champion at the Black Beauty Bonanza and Stars of the Future. She also stood reserve native champion at the Scottish Beef Supreme Cattle Championship earlier this week.
Beef Shorthorn: Alvie Farm, Alvie Estate, Kincraig, Inverness-shire, with April-2015 born home-bred bull Alvie Jacobite, by Chaplin Duke and out of Grandtullybrae Yantara Trixy The 2nd. He was junior breed champion at the Highland and first in his class at the Black Isle. Reserve – Alison Watt, Birkenburn, Keith, with five-year-old cow Grandtullybrae Yantara Trixy The 4th, by Virginian of Upsall and out of Grandtullybrae Yantara Trixy. She was champion of the any other breed section at Banchory and reserve Shorthorn champion at Keith.
Highland: Leys Castle Farm, Estate Office, Leys Castle, Inverness, with two-year-old home-bred heifer Dosan 28th of Leys, by Jock of Lyntown and out of Dosan 16th of Leys. She was champion at Nairn and Fettercairn, and reserve at the Black Isle. Reserve – J. and M. McConachie and Son, Culfoichmore, Grantown, with four-year-old bull Jacob of Benmore, on his first outing. He was bought at Oban two years ago from Emma Paterson in Crianlarich.
Simmental: W.J. and J. Green, Corskie Farm, Garmouth, with January-2015 born home-bred bull Corskie Gingersnap, by the 45,000gn Bel Dhu Capercaillie and out of Corskie Winola. He stood champion of champions at Echt, breed champion at Nairn, New Deer, Turriff and Keith, and junior interbreed champion at the Highland Show. Reserve – D. and R. Durno, Auchorachan, Glenlivet, with two-year-old bull Team Fergus, by Boswell Cracker and out of Team Sequin 2nd. He was bought in Stirling last October for 9,000gn when he stood reserve senior champion. He was reserve male champion at the Highland and reserve champion at Keith on Monday.
Charolais: John and Raymond Irvine, Inverlochy, Tomintoul, with December-2013 born bull Kilbline 1 Instigator, which was bought in Ireland last year for 7,000 euros. By Oscar and out of Kilbline Ursula, he was beef interbreed champion at Turriff and the Black Isle, reserve interbreed champion at Keith, and male Charolais champion and part of the champion interbreed pairs at the Highland Show in June. Reserve – John and Raymond Irvine with home-bred six-year-old cow Ballindalloch Favour, by Lochend Apache and out of Ballindalloch Charmaine. She stood reserve champion at Nairn, Black Isle, Keith and the Highland.
Limousin: Aileen Ritchie, of Tamala, Burnside, Whitecairns, with Brockhurst Howzat and her bull calf Ritchies Marley. Howzat was bought at the Red Ladies Sale in December for 24,000gn and is by Wilodge Vantastic and out of Brockhurst Bolshoi. She stood reserve interbreed champion at Echt and Banchory and reserve breed champion at Fettercairn. Reserve – Mr and Mrs Stephen Irvine and Sons, Braehead, Drummuir, Keith, with March-2015 born home-bred bull Anside Lord, by Powerful Irish and out of Anside Hope. He was reserve champion at Keith on Monday.
British Blonde: Alison Watt with home-bred two-year-old in-calf heifer Strathisla Joy, by Bridge Elmo and out of Strathisla Brandy. She was reserve at Echt last month. Reserve – Alison Watt with six-year-old cow Strathisla Ellen, by Super and out of Strathisla April. She was champion at Banchory and reserve at Turriff.
Any other breed: Garry Patterson, Upper Forgie, Aultmore, Keith, with January-2015 born British Blue heifer Trencrom Kwality Street, by Boherard Lantona and out of Trencrom Ex Factor. She was bought at Carlisle in May for 3,500gn and stood reserve at Turriff and Keith. Reserve – Garry Patterson with a home-bred British Blue yearling heifer called Aultmore Klassy, by Aultmore Gangsta and out of College Valley Gemma.
Commercial: Mark and Debby Munro, Invercharron, Ardgay, with Kiss My … , a September-2015 born home-bred heifer by the AI British Blue sire, Tweeddale Guinness, out of a home-bred Limousin cross cow. She was the supreme overall at Latheron, Caithness and Sutherland, and cross cattle champion at Nairn. Reserve – Gordon Hendry, Heads of Auchinderran, Keith, with a home-bred January-born Charolais cross heifer called Ginger Spice, which stood champion at Turriff, and first at Angus, Echt, New Deer and Nairn. She will be sold at the Thainstone Spectacular later this month and was crowned reserve commercial champion at the Scottish Beef Supreme Cattle Championship earlier this week.
Young handlers: Rachel Davidson.
Blackface: Stephen Duncan, Achdregnie, Glenlivet, with a home-bred gimmer by a £4,400 Tam Adams tup and out of a home-bred ewe by a £6,000 Tam Adams. She stood second to the reserve interbreed champion at Perth on Saturday. Reserve – Glenrinnes Farms Ltd, Estate Office, Glenrinnes Lodge, Dufftown, with a home-bred ewe by a £1,400 Lurg and out of a home-bred ewe. She was champion at the Black Isle last week and was shown by shepherd Charlie McIntyre.
Texel: Jemma Green, Corskie Farm, Garmouth, Fochabers, with home-bred shearling tup Corskie Wise Guy, by Aman Vyrnwy and out of a Strathbogie ewe. He stood first at Keith on Monday and was part of the interbreed group of three yesterday. Reserve – Jemma Green with a Milnbank-bred two-crop ewe which was bought in Carlisle two years ago for 750gn. She is by Teiglum Tornado and stood reserve champion at Nairn.
Other pedigree sheep: Raymond Baynes, Blackford, Croy, Inverness with a Moss Vale-bred Bluefaced Leicester shearling tup which was bought in Kelso last year. He stood reserve at Nairn. Reserve – Graeme Gordon, The Haugh, Ballindalloch, with a Midlock-bred Bluefaced Leicester gimmer bought in Dingwall in February for 550gn. He was on his first outing.
Suffolk: Robbie Innes, Crossburn Farm, Newmill, Keith, with a home-bred gimmer, by Ballynacanon Commander and out of Burness Special One. She was champion at Keith on Monday. Reserve – Keith Ingram, 2 Balloch View, Grange, Keith, with a one-crop ewe bought from Jim Innes’s Strathbogie flock. By Ballynacannon Commander, she was bought at the Christmas Classic in December for 1,600gn where she stood Suffolk champion.
Cross: Lewis Smith, Towiemore Farm, Keith, with a Mule gimmer on its first outing. She was bought in September last year as a ewe lamb for £148. Reserve – Gavin Breathet, Woodside Croft, Blackpark, Ardersier, Inverness, with a home-bred Texel cross one-crop ewe.
Jacob: Adam Christie, Birchfield, Glass, Huntly, with a home-bred two-crop ewe called Adamski Becky, by Blackbrook Dragon and out of a Raeknowes ewe. Reserve – Jennifer Milton, Newtown of Auchindachy, Keith, with a March-born home-bred tup lamb called Cairdswood Dinozzo, by Firthview Ptolomy and out of a Coldrife ewe. He was first at New Deer and second at the Black Isle.
Zwartbles: Brenda Scott, Burnside Farm, Marypark, Ballindalloch, with a home-bred gimmer by a Cynefin tup and out of a home-bred ewe. She was reserve female champion at Echt and New Deer. Reserve – Jim Mair, Hollies, Seaview, Dunmore, Beauly, with a home-bred ewe lamb called Hedgefield Denise, by home-bred tup Hedgefield Brick Top and out of Hedgefield Petal. She was second at Sutherland.
Young handlers: junior – Faith Miskelly; senior – Adam Christie.
Clydesdale: Ian Young, Wellheads, Clochan, Buckie, with home-bred yearling filly Arradoul Ceilidh, by Redcastle Brelee Majestic and out of Arradoul Symphony. She was champion of champions at Turriff, and native horse champion at Echt and New Deer. Reserve – Louise Tulloch, 2 Brodieshill Cottages, Alves, Forres, with two-year-old filly Kilbuick Midnight Lexi.
Highland: Karen Smith, Alltnacriche, Carrbridge, with 2009-born gelding Bunnahabhain of Alltnacriche, by Mac Talla of Ben Aslig and out of Ellen of Blair Hussey. Reserve – K. White, 9 Easter Street, Caiplich, Kiltarlity, Inverness, with yeld mare Elspeth of Altmhor.
Shetland: Christine Forbes, 1 Dullanbank, Dufftown, with seven-year-old mare Merkisayre Dally, which stood reserve at New Deer last month. Reserve – Derrick Findlayson, Hillcrest, Duncanston, by Dingwall, with Ferintosh Pogy.