Despite a top show of quality pedigree livestock – many of them champions at shows throughout the north-east this summer – it was the commercial entries which took top positions in both the cattle and sheep sections at a sun-soaked Tarland Show on Saturday.
The panel of breed judges deliberated long and hard over the interbreed cattle section before coming down in favour of the cross heifer, You Beauty, from Blair Duffton, of 2 Bogie Street, Huntly.
This 22-month-old Limousin cross has already had a great show season, taking Scottish championship at Keith, champion of champions at Fettercairn and championships at New Deer and Echt. Bred by Andrew Anderson, of Smallburn Farms, You Beauty was bought at the Thainstone Spectacular last year for £3,100. She is by the French sire Brian. Asked what the future was for the heifer, Mr Duffton said: “She’s for sale!”
The reserve cattle interbreed championship went to Michael Durno, of Auchorachan, Glenlivet, with his Charolais bull Deunawd Jeff. Senior champion at Stirling Bull Sales last October, he was bought for 13,000gns.
Over in the sheep lines, despite strong pedigree entries in the Suffolks and Texels in particular, the champion emerged as the Cross Sheep leader, a Half-bred gimmer from commercial producer Alan Miller, from The Lurg, Midmar. This one was bought at Caithness in a pen of 20 as a lamb last autumn and is Aimster bred. It was champion at Echt and first at Turriff this season.
The reserve sheep interbreed was a Suffolk one crop ewe from Faith Miskelly, aged 9, of Corrybrae, Kildrummy. A Strathisla Stifler daughter, the ewe was bought at last year’s Dark Diamonds Sale at Carlisle as a gimmer.
The groups of three cattle section saw more glory for Mr Duffton, with his trio of commercial cattle taking the honours. The team comprised of the champion You Beauty and a heifer and a stot, both bought from Lloyd Fowlie, of Guise, Alford.
The beef pairs competition for cattle bred by the exhibitor went to British Blue commercial crosses from Barry Paterson, of Cairndale Croft, Sauchen.
Aberdeen Angus: Wendy Willox, of Home Farm, Drumminor, Rhynie, with March 2015-born heifer Strathinver Bonnie, by Mountjoy Poldark and out of home bred cow Strathinver Bianca.
Reserve: Wendy Willox with March 2015-born twin heifer Strathinver Bella, by Mountjoy Poldark and out of Strathinver Bonnie Maid.
Charolais: Michael Durno, of Auchorachan, Glenlivet, with bull Deunawd Jeff, by Allanfauld Chieftain and out of Penfold Australienne. Bred by Will Owen and bought at Stirling in October 2015 for 13,000gns.
Reserve: Scott and Kerry Smith, of Bankhead, Portlethen, with seven-year-old cow Forgeron Ella, by Forgeron Bogart and out of Bonnykelly Trixie. Champion at Echt and Banchory.
Blonde d’Aquitaine: Graeme Anderson, of Beltie Cottage, Glassel, Banchory, with 29-month-old bull Glassel Jasper, by Strathisla Glen and out of Ardmore Astra. Champion at Echt, Turriff and Keith and reserve at Banchory.
Reserve: Not awarded.
Limousin: Aileen Ritchie, of Tamala, Whitecairns, with April 2014 heifer Emslies Jiggywithit, by Dinmore Goldcrest and out of Emslies Erotic.
Reserve: Aileen Ritchie with November 2013-born Goldies Inchantress, by Kerpico Germander and out of Goldies Etollie. Champion at Angus, Fettercairn, New Deer and Turriff.
Highland: Ian Adams, of 24 Beech Tree Road, Banchory, with three-year-old heifer Frangag Dubh of Cladich, by Seonaidh Mor of Ardury and out of Frannag Donn 10th of Torloisk. Champion at East Club, Banchory, Echt and New Deer. Reserve at Keith and Turriff.
Reserve: Leys Castle Estate, Inverness, with two-year-old heifer Dosan 30th of Leys by Jock of Lyntoun and out of Dosan 17th of Leys. Champion at Fettercairn, Nairn and Grantown.
British Blue: G and J Greenlaw, of Balgairn Farms, Mulloch View, Dinnet, with December 2015-born bull calf Greenlaw Kovu, by Twyning Ash Vaughan and out of Tweeddale Galaxy. Bought inside dam. Champion at Banchory.
Reserve: G and J Greenlaw with six-year-old cow Orkwolf Blues Freda, by Gamin des 3 Frontieres and out of Hennli Catrin. Second at Echt and Banchory.
Any other pure breed: Scott and Kerry Smith, of Bankhead, Portlethen, with rising two-year-old Simmental heifer Forgeron Cornflower, by Forgeron Dexta and out of Lopemede Cornflower.
Reserve: D and J Hardie, of Gates of Birslawsie, Midmar, with yearling Shorthorn bull Birselawsie James. First at Banchory and third at Echt.
Cross cattle unhaltered: G and J Greenlaw, of Balgairn Farms, Mulloch View, Dinnet, with a cow with heifer calf at foot.
Reserve: James Strachan, of New Mains, Glenkindie, Alford, with a cow with bull calf at foot.
Cross cattle, haltered: Blair Duffton, of 2 Bogie St, Huntly, with You Beauty, a 22-month-old Limousin cross heifer bred by Andrew Anderson, of Smallburn Farms. Bought at Thainstone Spectacular for £3,100. Champion of champions at Fettercairn, champion at New Deer, Echt, Keith.
Reserve: Barry Paterson, of Cairndale Croft, Sauchen, with British Blue cross September-born twin heifer calf by Solwayview Firecracker.
Carcase cattle on hoof: Steven Smith, of The Byre, Sunnyhill Croft, Turriff, with a home-bred 16-month-old heifer out of a Limousin cross cow.
Reserve: Steven Smith with a 16-month-old Charolais cross heifer by Clanaboggan Charlie and out of a British Blue cow.
Blackface: Charlie McIntyre and Gemma McIntosh, of Upper Croft Na Garn, Boat of Garten, with a Gosland bred shearling tup by a £20,000 Allanfauld and out of a ewe by a £9,000 Auldhouseburn. Reserve at Turriff and male champion at Grantown.
Reserve: Charlie McIntyre and Gemma McIntosh with a one crop ewe by a Blackcraig sire. Crofters champion at Black Isle and breed reserve at Dornoch.
Suffolk: Faith Miskelly, of Corrybrae, Kildrummy, Alford, with a one crop ewe by Strathisla Stifler and out of a Balquain dam. First at Fettercairn, New Deer, Turriff and reserve overall champion at Banchory.
Reserve: Judith Lorimer, of Cadgerford, Kingswells, with a ewe lamb by Ballynacom Boss and out of a Strathisla Fencer ewe. Reserve at Fettercairn and reserve female at Banchory and Turriff.
Texel: W, J and M Hunter, of West Cairnhill, Culsalmond, Insch, with a gimmer by Garngower Ultimatum and out of a Rohan bred ewe. Full sister to Hunters Wellies which sold at Lanark to Springwells. Second at Echt and Keith.
Reserve: Jemma Green, of Corskie, Garmouth, with a two crop ewe by Tieglum Tornado and out of a Milnbank ewe. Reserve at Grantown and Nairn.
Any Other Breed: W, J and M Hunter with Hunters Alicia, a Blue Texel lamb by Jonsland Wifi and out of a Turbo import. Champion at Banchory and reserve at Keith.
Reserve: David Miskelly, of Corrybrae, Kildrummy, Alford, with a Cynefin bred Zwartbles gimmer bought at the Premier sale in Carlisle.
Cross sheep: Alan Miller, of The Lurg, Midmar, with an Aimster bred gimmer bought at Quoybrae as a lamb. Champion at Echt and first at Turriff.
Pair of carcase lambs on hoof: Grant Dinnie, of Bridgeton, Muir of Fowlis, Alford.
Reserve: D and W Moir, of Cairness Farm, Peterhead.
Sheep Young Handlers: 1 Faith Miskelly, 2 Hannah Lorimer.
Clydesdales: Norman Christie, of Roadside, Kinnellar, with seven-year-old mare Anguston Amber, by Old Greenlaw Lochy and out of Anguston Amy. Champion at Banchory, Fettercairn, Echt, New Deer and Turriff.
Reserve: Vic Peterkin, of Mergie House, Rickarton, Stonehaven, with yearling filly Bogton Holly, by Bogton Druid and out of Phesdo Marjory. First at Fettercairn and second at Angus and Echt.
Highland ponies: Lynne Macdonald with two-year-old filly Ruby May of Coynach, by Balmoral Lomond and out of Morven of Coynach. First at Banchory and Turriff.
Reserve: Sarah MacIntosh, of Greystone, Blackhill, Peterhead, with eight-year-old ridden gelding Lochewe Magnus, by Mac Talla of Ben Aslig and out of Bidwell Tristar May. Now qualified for Blair Castle, champion ridden at New Deer and Banchory and novice ridden and in hand at Angus.
Shetland: Irene Spence, of Suievale, Middle Steading, Alford, with five-year-old mare Warrackston Tamara, by Scammels Criterium and out of Tay of Hutton.
Reserve: I Bruce, of 2 Bailee Cottage, Burghill, Brechin, with two-year-old filly Glasterlaw Opal, by Stow Viscount and out of Anastasia of Auckhorn. Junior champion at Stallion Show in March.
Fiona Smith and family, of Broomhill Farm, Dunecht, with the pure Toggenburg goatling Talana Pippin, by Willow River Schwartz and out of Talana Pixie. First at Forfar Goat Show, Angus and Turriff.
Reserve: Fiona Strachan, of Backhill of Camaloon, Auchterless, with Elvis, a seven-month-old Pygmy Goat by Marshview Edwin and out of Moorview Mera. First at Turriff, Echt and Pygmy Goat show at Thainstone.