The Aberdeen-Angus breed put on its best show yet at the 18th Black Beauty Bonanza at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie.
Organised by the North East Aberdeen-Angus Club with Glenrinnes Farms as main sponsor – the show attracted more than 100 entries from leading herds throughout Scotland.
“It was an excellent show of cattle with outstanding champions in each of the four sections,” said judge Jim Ford, procurement manager with meat processors A K Stoddart, which sources 250 Aberdeen-Angus cattle a week for the company’s meat plant and also has his own pedigree herd in the Borders in partnership with Ian Watson.
In particular, he picked out the yearling heifer champion from Donald Rankin’s herd in Skye as one “anyone would wish in their herd” and the bull calf champion from N. F. Massie and Sons, Blelack, Dinnet, Aboyne, as one which “caught the eye whenever he came into the ring”.Mr Rankin’s winning heifer, Weeton Princess Chartreuse R467, an 18-month-old daughter of Retties JFK M195 out of Blelack Princess Chartreuse G793, was brought out by Richard and Carol Rettie and son Jamie, who run a successful livery on a farm near Alloa preparing bulls of all breeds for show and sale.
The couple are due to move to Perthshire shortly and scored a double success when their own home-bred heifer, the 15-month-old Retties Lady Ruth R329, by Duncanziemere Edwin J311 and out of Wall Lady Ruth E397, stood second in the same class as Mr Rankin’s champion and followed right through to stand reserve for the yearling heifer championship.
The promising young bull calf from Blelack was paraded by Haley Massie, daughter of Graeme Massie, and added to the haul of championships won by the Massie family at the show over the years.
More is likely to be heard of their winner, Blelack Blackadder S640, a nine-month-old son of Hallington Principal M367 and out of Blelack Blackbird M934, at next year’s bull sales.
Running a close second to the Blelack bull to take the reserve bull calf championship was the February-born Ballindalloch Black Bear S476, from the Ballindalloch herd of Oliver and Clare Russell on Speyside. Sired by the home-bred Ballindalloch Earl N397 out of Ballindalloch Black Barbara K333, the bull was paraded to success by Susan Johnstone, wife of Ballindalloch farm manager David Johnstone.
Enjoying a highly successful day, the Retties also won the heifer calf championship for David Lucas and daughter Sian Sharp from Cheeklaw, Duns, and the yearling bull championship for H. B. and I. Hodge and Son.
The Cheeklaw herd is due to be dispersed next year as a result of the retirement of Mr Lucas who moved to the Borders from Wales more than 20 years ago. His winner the 10-month-old Cheeklaw Polly S540, is a daughter of Cardona Proud Punch L752 and out of Cheeklaw Portia M430. The Hodge family’s 19-month-old bull, Wyddial Blackbearfd R112, is a son of Rawburn Lord Ross C216 and out of Blelack Blackbird F528.
North-east herds stood reserve for both awards – the reserve heifer championship going to Hamish and Margaret Sclater’s Deveron herd from Denhead of Dunlugas, Turriff, and the reserve yearling bull championship to M. Bruce and Partners, Logie, Ellon.
The Deveron winner was the April-born, Deveron Estorella S553, by Deveron Eames P471 and out of Deveron Estorella P462, and the Logie winner, Logie Edition R548, a 20-month-old son of Rawburn Enoch L309 out of Logie Elvira L139.
The coveted McCombie Trophy for the best pair of calves, presented by the McCombie family in memory of the late Charles McCombie, a former chairman of the north-east club, was won by the family themselves with two first prizewinners by stock bull, Blelack Master Bugle L634, while the Shand Trophy, presented by Doug and Agnes Shand of Schivas Ythanside, for the best pair of yearlings went to two third prize yearling bulls from John Grant, Middlefield, Forres.
Jan 1-Feb 28: 1 and heifer calf champion, David Lucas, Cheeklaw, Duns; 2 Donald Rankin, Skye; 3 Neil Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford.
March 1-13: 1 and 2 C. and A. McCombie, Auchincrieve, Rothiemay; 3 R. and C. Rettie, 3 Aberdona Mains, Alloa.
March 15-April 8: 1 Schivas Estates, Ythanbank, Ellon; 2 Wendy Willox, Home Farm, Druminnor, Rhynie; 3 C. and E. McCombie.
April 15-May 12: 1 and reserve heifer calf champion and 2 Hamish and Margaret Sclater, Denhead of Dunlugas, Turriff; 3 Robert Galloway, Cardona, Doune.
Yearling heifers: 1 and yearling heifer champion Donald Rankin; 2 and reserve yearling heifer champion R. and C. Rettie; 3 Neil Wattie.
Jan 2-Feb 18: 1 and bull calf champion N. F. Massie and Sons, Blelack, Dinnet, Aboyne; 2 Alasdair Locke, Glenrinnes Farms Ltd, Dufftown; 3 K. and M. Howie, Cairnton, Lumphanan.
Feb 20-March 15: 1 and reserve bull calf champion Ballindalloch Home Farms, Ballindalloch; 2 M. Bruce and Partners, Logie, Ellon; 3 Schivas Estates.
March 16-25: 1 C. and E. McCombie; 2 and 3 Ben McCombie, Auchincrieve, Rothiemay.
March 30-April 13: 1 Ray Gardiner and Craig Smart, Newton Smiddy, Lyne of Skene; 2 Hamish and Margaret Sclater; 3 A. and K. Rhind and Son, Newton of Struthers, Kinloss.
April 14-May 12: 1 Neil Wattie; 2 Robert Galloway; 3 Hamish Sclater.
March 4-17: 1 and reserve yearling bull champion M. Bruce and Partners; 2 Alasdair Lockie; 3 A. C. Grant and Son, Middlefield, Forres.
April 5-June 23: 1 and yearling bull champion H. B. and I. Hodge and Son, Bankfoot, Perth; 2 Hamish Sclater; 3 A. C. Grant and Son.
Heifers – J. and A. Strathdee, North Retanach, Rothiemay.
Steers – 1 Robert Marshall, Glenrinnes Farms, Dufftown; 2 Wendy Willox; 3 J. and A. Strathdee.
Pair of bull calves – C. and A. McCombie; reserve – Robert Galloway.
Pair of yearling bulls – A. C. Grant and Son; reserve – Donald Rankin.
Small herds award – Glenrinnes Farms Ltd.
Senior – 1 Gemma Wark, Newton of Idvies, Forfar; 2 Eoin Cumming, Moncur, Inchture; 3 Mark Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford.
Intermediate – 1 Nicola Howie, Cairnton, Lumphanan; 2 Graham Rhind, Newton of Structhers, Kinloss; 3 Euan Robertson, Stonehaven.
Junior – 1 Andrew Reid, Logie, Ellon; 2 Rhona Rhind, Newton of Struthers, Kinloss; 3 Murray McRobert, Mains of Throsk, Stirling.