All roads lead to Thainstone for 25th Aberdeen Christmas Classic

Last year's sheep sale topped at 4,200gn for a Texel from Robbie Wilson's Milnbank flock

Farmers, butchers and livestock enthusiasts from all over Scotland and beyond will gather in the north-east next week for the Aberdeen Christmas Classic.

The event, now in its 25th year, takes place at the Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, on Monday and Tuesday.

Organised by Aberdeen and Northern Marts (ANM) in conjunction with the Aberdeen Fatstock Association and with support from Northlink Ferries, the event comprises shows and sales of prime cattle and sheep, pedigree beef bulls, Texel, Suffolk and Beltex sheep, and the Rising Stars Exhibition Calf Show.

The first day of the event features the cast sow competition, shows and sales of pedigree Texel, Suffolk and Beltex females, judging of Young Farmers’ sheep and prime cattle, and finally the Rising Stars calf show.

Tuesday features shows and sales of prime cattle and sheep, a show and sale of pedigree beef bulls and stock judging competitions.

A total of 60 prime cattle are entered forward with judges James and Ross Allan of Malcolm Allan Ltd at Larbert, Stirling, tasked with assessing the haltered entries and Ian Sim of Kincraig, Brechin, given responsibility for the unhaltered classes.

In the Young Farmers prime cattle and sheep contests, Jamie Scott of John Scott Meats (Paisley) Ltd will act as judge, while Wilson Peters, of Cuilt Farmhouse, Monzie, Crieff, will judge the Rising Stars exhibition calf show.

The prime lambs contest has attracted an entry of 140 for judging by Sam Carlisle of Border Meats, Lockerbie, and an increased number of entries are forward for the pedigree sheep section.

These include 140 Texels, 60 Suffolks, 50 Beltex, 15 continentals and five Charollais. The event will also feature the dispersal of the Westerton flock of Texels from J. S. Youngson, Westerton Farm, Cullerlie, Echt.

The pedigree sheep judges are: Keith Hourston, Skelbister, Orphir, Orkney, for the Texels; Robbie Innes, Crossburn, Keith, for the Suffolks; and Rory Machray, Balboa, Daviot, for the Beltexes.

In the pedigree bulls section, entries include 13 Limousin, 10 Charolais, nine Simmental, three Aberdeen-Angus and one Saler. The pre-sale show will be judged by Mr W. Stewart of Greenfold, Bridge of Marnoch, Huntly.

ANM Group executive director, John Gregor, said: “We are looking forward to celebrating this, the 25th anniversary of the Christmas Classic and welcoming everyone, including exhibitors, customers, sponsors and the general public to Thainstone Centre.”