Exhibitors and spectators braved treacherous underfoot conditions to celebrate all that is best in Orkney livestock at the Orkney County Show, in Kirkwall, on Saturday.
Four inches of rain in July followed by another two inches already in August, including a steady downpour in the 48 hours before the show, turned the Bignold Park into a quagmire. Strong winds on Friday saw the 30ft x 150ft crafts marquee detach from its moorings and take off high into the sky in an image which has gone viral on Facebook.
But it was largely dry overhead on show day and the muddy conditions failed to deter show-goers.
Show president David Scarth said the show marked the culmination of show week in the islands and provided an opportunity for farmers to showcase the positive contribution – both economically and socially – that farming makes to Orkney.
Keen competition in the beef cattle classes saw top honours go to a Beef Shorthorn for the first time in 30 years with the Charolais champion standing reserve.
The overall winner, the five-year-old bull, Pentland Emperor, from Merven and John Lennie, of Nearhouse, Tankerness, carried off the Beef Shorthorn championship and swept all before him to take the top interbreed award.
“He took the eye whenever he walked into the ring,” said interbreed judge John Elliot Sen, of Roxburgh Mains, Kelso, owner of the renowned Rawburn Aberdeen-Angus herd.
The Lennie’s Shorthorn bull, a son of Chapelton Wildfire, won the reserve overall interbreed championship for previous owner, C E Robertson, of Inkstack, Barrock, Caithness, at the Caithness County Show two years ago.
The reserve from Ronnie Baillie, of Biggings, Toab, the first to win the interbreed championship with a non-native bull at the show away back in the 1970s, was a home-bred 18-month-old bull, Ballieston Jagger, an AI son of the 30,000gns Balmyle Bollinger, which earlier won the Charolais and continental championships.
This promising youngster is headed for the bull sales at Stirling in October. The reserve award deprived Mr Baillie of his eighth interbreed championship at the show.
Mr Baillie and his sons, Rognvald and Magnus, also stood reserve for the exhibitor-bred interbreed group of three award, which was won by a trio of Aberdeen-Angus from Phyllis Hepburn, of Messigate, Tankerness.
An April-born Limousin cross heifer calf from brother, Jim Baillie, of Sebay, Tankerness, was named cross-bred coloured champion and went on to take the overall cross cattle championship. This Limousin cross by Goldies Idol and out of a Limousin cross cow, was reserve cross cattle champion at the East Mainland Show the previous week. It is being retained for breeding.
In a double success for Sebay, on Balfour, who maintains his own suckler herd on the farm, walked away with the cross-bred championship for black or blue polled cattle with another by the same sire, a February-born heifer calf out of a British Blue cross cow. This shapely calf, cross and overall cattle champion at the East Mainland Show, is one of five calves Balfour is consigning to Aberdeen and Northern Marts’ Spectacular show and sale at Thainstone Centre on August 26.
In the sheep section, the overall championship went to a new Charollais flock established last year by Alton and Vera Copland, of Overhouse, Harray.
Their winner was a gimmer bought last year as a ewe lamb for 2500gns at the Aberkinsey dispersal in Wales.
Reserve was the Texel champion, a Haddo-bred gimmer by Garngour Vintage from L S Flett and Co, of Nistaben, Harray. This one, bought at the Aberdeen Christmas Classic at Thainstone last December, was also breed champion at Dounby.
A six-year-old yeld mare, the Irish-bred Downhill Snowflake, from J D and D M Smith, of Holburn, Holm Branch Road, Kirkwall, chalked up its fifth championship in the Clydesdale horse section to repeat her success at East Mainland, where she was champion horse and reserve overall.
Beef Shorthorn: J M Lennie and Co, of Nearhouse, Tankerness, with five-year-old bull Pentland Emperor, by Chapelton Wildfire and out of Pentland Laura. Breed champion at East Mainland Show last week. Reserve interbreed champion at Caithness Show two years ago for breeder E C Robertson, of Inkstack, Barrock.
Reserve: Bruce and Shona Slater, of Newbigging, Dounby, with April-born heifer calf Queennamoan Cassie, by Rowanberry Donatello and out of Greenburn Cassie.
Aberdeen-Angus: Stewart, Colin and John Davidson, of Skaill, Sandwick, with two-year-old heifer Skaill Estella P117, by Blelack Black Rock and out of earlier Skaill Estella. In calf to Rawburn Jackson Eric.
Reserve: Messrs Davidson with 16-month-old bull Skaill Thor R197, by Skaill Double A Willie Boy and out of Skaill Tibby. Reserve at West Mainland.
Charolais: Ronnie and Agnes Baillie and sons, Rognvald and Magnus, Biggings, of Toab, with 18-month-old home-bred bull Ballieston Jagger, AI son of the 30,000gns Balmyle Bollinger, and out of Ballieston Elizabeth.
Reserve: Vince Taylor and sons Callum and Steven, of Hall of Herston, South Ronaldsay, with 16-month-old heifer Herston Lilly, AI son of Blelack Digger and out of Caithness Grace.
Limousin: Liam Muir, of Upper Onston, Stenness, with yearling heifer Ampertaine Larissa, by Sympa and out of Carmorn Caria.
Reserve: R and J Johnston, of Hewan, Shapinsay, with bull by Springsett Eddy.
Other pure-bred continental: A and A Foubister, of Netherton, Holm, with four-year-old home-bred British Blue cow Grahamshall Grace, AI son of Empire D’Chain and out of Grahamshall Grace. Champion last year.
Reserve: Keith and Marion Eunson, of Braebuster, Deerness, with five-year-old pure-bred but unregistered British Blue bull bred by Balfour Baillie, of Sebay, Tankerness. By Auchenlay Cole and out of Oxcroft Addora.
Cross-bred (coloured): Jim Baillie, of Sebay, Tankerness, with home-bred April-born Limousin cross heifer calf by Goldies Idol.
Reserve: Liam Muir with home-bred 17-month-old Limousin cross steer Curly Doddie, by Millbrow Felsman and out of Limousin cross cow. First and butchers’ cattle champion at West Mainland.
Cross-bred (black or blue polled): Balfour Baillie with home-bred February-born Limousin cross heifer calf, by Goldies Idol, and out of British Blue cross cow. Overall and cross cattle champion at East Mainland.
Reserve: M and A Lennie, of Seaview, Sanday, with Limousin cross heifer calf by Dyke Elite.
Young handlers: Tegan Spence, Saither Dounby. Second at West Mainland.
Border Leicester: J D Wilson, Tofts, St Ola, with ewe.
Reserve: J D Wilson with ram lamb.
Suffolk: J Scott and Sons, of Claybraes, South Ronaldsay, with aged ram.
Reserve: J Scott and Sons with ewe.
Texel: L S Flett and Co, of Nistaben, Harray, with Haddo-bred gimmer by Garngour Vintage and out of ewe by Strathbogie Smoky Blue. Bought at Christmas Classic show and sale at Thainstone last December for 550gns. Champion at West Mainland.
Reserve: L S Flett and Co, of Nistaben, Harray, with shearling ram.
Cross: Sheena Coghill, of Muce, Birsay, with two-crop ewe by Veltigar Texel sire and out of Charollais ewe. Champion at West Mainland.
Reserve: Sheena Coghill with same-way bred ewe lamb.
Cheviot: Jim Baillie with ram lamb.
Reserve: J R and A P Cromarty, of Sultigeo, Stenness, with shearling ram.
Charollais: A and V Copland, of Overhouse, Harray, with gimmer bought for 2,500gns as a ewe lamb at Aberkinsey dispersal in Wales.
Reserve: Sheena Coghill with ewe lamb by Wernfau Orlando and out of home-bred ewe.
Beltex: A and C Copland with gimmer, Orkney Aerial, by 6,000gns Cornstain Whistler and out of Orkney Twinkletoes. Interbreed champion at West Mainland two years ago. Shown by eight-year-old Scott Sinclair, of Strathborg, Sandwick.
Swartble: Nancy Fergus, of Gridigar, Deerness, with home-bred March-born ram lamb Copinsay David, by Speyside Bigfoot and out of home-bred gimmer.
Reserve: G and C Flett, of Leary, Birsay, with gimmer.
Any other pure-bred: Iain Laird, of Yeldabreck, Burray, with ewe lamb.
Male: Marcus Scholes, of Strathgary, Craigiefield Road, St Ola, with ram lamb.
Prime lambs: Jim Baillie.
Shetland: Jim and Marion Slater, of Millquoy, Stenness, with five-year-old home-bred yeld mare, Millquoy Jade, by Kanteburgh Sir William and out of Millquoy Jenny. Shown by Susie Manson. Overall horse champion at West Mainland.
Reserve: Hools Shetland Pony Stud, of The Brough, Toab, with three-year-old filly Hools Janet, by Wells Masterclass and out of Merkisayre Poppy. Reserve overall horse and Shetland champion at East Mainland, reserve female and reserve junior champion at the Royal Highland and native breed and Shetland champion at Sutherland.
Miniature: Amanda McLennan, of Garth, St Ola, with two-year-old Robinsbrae Starlight.
Clydesdale: J D and D M Smith, of Holburn, Holm Branch Road, Kirkwall, with six-year-old Irish-bred yeld mare Downhill Snowflake, by Carniff Ambassador and out of Garleton Betty, winning her fifth championship at the County Show. She has previously won the overall horse championship and was overall champion at East Mainland. Champion at Forfar as a two year old.
Goats: Heather Croy, of Glenavon, Deerness, with male.
Reserve: Heather Croy with first kidder.
Poultry: D A MacIsaac, of The Blebe, Hoy, with Bantam cock.
Reserve: Bryan Taylor, of Colvanton, Upper Crantit Road, Kirkwall, with White Drake.
Junior: L MacIsaac with waterfowl.
Reserve: Jack Walls, of Biggings, Holm, with any large breed.
Children’s pet: Isaac Dearness, Heather Lea, Toab.