One of Scotland’s leading prime beef and lamb carcase competitions is celebrating its 25th anniversary later this year.
Scotland’s Premier Meat Exhibition was introduced by the Scottish National Fatstock Club and late Scotbeef managing director Ian Galloway in 1992.
It was designed to complement the club’s long-running annual pre-Christmas prime stock show, LiveScot, and allow animals to be judged on the hoof and then on the hook.
“The competition was a completely new concept which farmers grasped with both hands and were eager to get involved with,” said club chairman Hugh Dunlop.
“Today the competition is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and there’s nothing on the same scale anywhere in the UK.”
Each year, the contest attracts a huge entry of top prime cattle and sheep from beef and lamb producers across Scotland and the north of England.
Last year the champion title in the beef section was given to a 379.8kg home-bred Charolais cross Limousin heifer, by Carradale Glenlivet, from James Hunter, and his son, Derek, of Luckenburn Farm, Slamannan, Falkirk.
Reserve went to an Orkney-bred 369.2kg steer, which also won the Aberdeen-Angus championship, from Euan Fettes, Braes of Enzie, Buckie.
Both champion lamb and reserve were Beltex from R Hall and Son, Inglewood Edge, Dalston, Carlisle.
The main sponsor for the event is retailer Marks and Spencer, which hosts a celebratory lunch and prize-giving following the contest alongside farmers, industry representatives, government officials and members of the agricultural press.
The event also attracts international visitors and each year members of the Milan Butchers Association, present a trophy for the best carcase suitable for the Italian market.
The Jean-Marie MacQuet Trophy is also presented for the champion export lamb.
For the past three years the contest has also included young livestock producer classes to encourage the next generation of beef and lamb producers into the industry and help educate them in the skills of livestock production and what the market requires.
Chief steward, Alan Turnbull, said: “These new classes have met with great success and entries have doubled since 2013.
“It has provided young producers with an outlet to learn from established exhibitors as well as inspire them in their future careers.”
The club said it hoped to attract a large entry this year to mark the competition’s silver jubilee.
Live judging will take place at Caledonian Marts, Stirling, on Wednesday, November 15.
Slaughter, dressing, grading and judging will follow at Scotbeef’s state-of-the-art meat plant at Bridge of Allan, near Stirling, where the Premier Meat Exhibition will take place on Saturday, November 18.
The fatstock club’s annual LiveScot winter show takes place on Saturday, November 25, at Lanark Market.