Livestock breeders and spectators from the north enjoyed a cracking day out at the Sutherland Show, held at Dornoch Links on Saturday, where a Highland pony was champion of champions.
It was the turn of industry stalwart and former United Auctions executive chairman David Leggat to pick the supreme animal and he found his winner in Shona Halford’s yeld mare from Muirside Steading, Brodie, Forres.
Leading the way after standing overall horse and ridden champion was Katrina of Strathmore, a nine-year-old yeld mare bred by Charlie McWattie.
She is by Strathmore Clover, bred out of Erin of Strathmore, and previously stood reserve champion at the Strathbogie Horse Show.
Also competing for the top title was the beef interbreed champion from Michael Robertson and family of Fodderletter Farms, Tomintoul.
This was Fodderletter Oscar, a 17-month-old Limousin bull by Whiskey Lord, which also scooped the same award here in 2017.
Bred out of the Spittalton Gold-sired Fodderletter Lily, he will be put up for sale at the bull sales in October.
The interbreed sheep championship was judged by former National Sheep Associaton Scotland chairman John Fyall, who farms near Newmachar.
He awarded the blue, white and red sash to a one-crop Blue Texel ewe from Dorothy Allison, Inver Bay, Lower Arboll. She was bought at Dingwall as a ewe lamb and runs alongside Dorothy’s 18-ewe Zwartbles flock and 17 Blue Texel cross ewes.
Saturday’s show also featured the usual grand parade of vintage tractors, cars and machinery, which attracted huge crowds, and a working sheepdog demonstration by veteran handler Jock Sutherland from Durness, Sutherland.
Pure native breed – TJ and G Maclean, 1 Raddery, Fortrose, with yearling Aberdeen-Angus heifer Raddery Purdey U215, by Weeton Diamond Mine. She was shown as a calf at the Black Beauty Bonanza. Reserve – Hamish Polson, Rowanfield, Strathpeffer, with three-year-old home-bred cow Spittleshore Prim, by Hallington Edition. She was shown with her four-week-old bull calf Spittleshore Premier, by Spittleshore Precision.
Pedigree cattle – Michael Robertson, Fodderletter Farms, Tomintoul, with 17-month-old Limousin bull Fodderletter Oscar, which was interbreed beef champion. He is by Whiskey Lord, a bull which also stood interbreed champion at Sutherland in 2017, and bred out of Fodderletter Lily. Destined for the October bull sales. Reserve – Michael Robertson with Goldies Nell, a September, 2017-born Limousin heifer bought in May. She is by Goldies Fortress.
Highland cattle – Tordarroch Estates, Farr, Inverness, with three-year-old heifer Heather 12 of Tordarroch, by Moluag of Kilpatrick. She stood champion here last year. Reserve – Andrew Macphee, Birchlea, Achterneed, with two-year-old heifer Robina Dubh 14 of Cailaich, by Neili Kirkibost of Ardbhan.
Commercial cattle – The Fraser family, Easter Clune, Lethen, Nairn, with 15-month-old Limousin cross heifer Miss Dynamite. Bought from breeder Brian Harper, Greenwells, Falkirk, at the Royal Northern Spring Show, where she stood second, she is by Huntershall Falipo. Reserve – Mark and Debby Munro, Invercharron, Ardgay, with eight-month-old Limousin cross heifer Red Alert. She is by Powerhouse Lynx and was on her first outing.
Crofters’ cattle – Ian Grant, Seaview Cottage, 50 Lonemore, Gairloch, with an 18-month-old Limousin cross heifer, by Haltcliffe Donnie and bred by Donnie Dalgetty, Cabrach. Reserve – Donald Morrison, Burnside, Kinlochbervie.
Young Farmers’ calf competition – Georgia Fraser, Little Croy, Inverness. Reserve – Gemma Wark, Balaldie Farm, Fearn.
NCC Lowground – Aidan Henderson, 8 Morayfield, Castletown, with a home-bred gimmer by Oldfield Tornado, out of a Midcalder ewe, on first outing. Reserve – Aidan Henderson, with a ewe lamb by Oldfield Tornado, out of a ewe bred by Hilliclay, on first outing.
NCC sheep hill farmers – Hughie Mackenzie, Badanloch Estate, Badanloch, Kinbrace, with a three-shear tup named Whitehope Loup The Dyke, bought for £9,500 at Lairg. He is by Attonburn Rebus, out of a Whitehope ewe and stood reserve male champion at the Highland Show. Reserve – Hughie Mackenzie, with a home-bred four-crop ewe by North Lochnaver Nomand, out of a home-bred ewe, on its first outing.
NCC sheep hill crofters – Rosemary Cameron, Thistle House, Portskerra, Melvich, with a home-bred gimmer by East Clyne Very Choosey,
out of a home-bred ewe. Reserve – R Cameron, with a home-bred two-shear tup named Thistle Wee Willy Winky, by Torniosh Proper Menac.
Beltex – Thomas Maclean, Caberfeidh, Upperton Farm, Glenurquhart, with a home-bred shearling tup on its first outing. He is by the 600gn Cromwell Bentley and out of a home-bred ewe. Destined for sale at Carlisle in August. Reserve – John Scott & Partners, Fearn Farm, Fearn, with a two-shear tup on its first outing named Dooley Caspian. Bought at Carlisle last year, he is by a Belgium tup named Scooby Doo, out of Corra Top Totty.
Texel – Allan Chisholm, Wester Moy, Urray, Muir of Ord, with a home-bred gimmer on its first outing by Arkle Ying Yang, out of a Knock Vantastic ewe. Reserve – John Forbes, Boultach, Latheron, with a home-bred gimmer on its first outing by Cambwell YFC, out of a home-bred ewe.
Suffolk – Lee Dunn, Corriemount, Muir of Ord, with a four-crop ewe on its first outing bred by Bardnaclavan and purchased from Leanne Matheson. Reserve – Lee Dunn, with a tup lamb bred out of a gimmer from Graeme Christie, which was bought in-lamb to Lakeview Rolo at the Christmas Classic.
Shetland sheep – Isla Mackintosh, West Knockbain, Mains, Munlochy, with a three-shear tup Raedykes Magnus, which was North of Scotland Shetland champion here last year. Bought as a tup lamb from Ian and Lesley Carnegie. Reserve – Deborah Richardson, Rosebank House, Clashmore, Dornoch, with home-bred St Finbars Toxy.
Blackface – Robert Flett, Blackpark Croft, Height of Docherty, with a gimmer, by a £75,000 Dalchirla, bought from Auldhouseburn at UA, Stirling.
She is owned in partnership with Peter Junor. Reserve – Robert Flett, with a home-bred tup lamb by an £18,000 Glenrath, out of an Auldhouseburn ewe by an £85,000 Elmscleugh.
Zwartbles – Liam and Ryan Sharp, The Paddock, Drumtemple Croft, Gorthleck, with a gimmer named Olbre Firecracker, bought as a ewe lamb at Carlisle. She stood at the Highland. Reserve – Liam and Ryan Sharp, with a two-shear tup, by Donbraid Big D, bought privately from the Bissett family, Mariain. He was reserve male champ at the Scottish National show.
Cross sheep – Gavin Breathet, Woodside Croft, Blackpark, Ardersier, with a Texel cross Suffolk ewe lamb by a tup purchased at Thainstone last year.
Any other breed – Dorothy Allison, Inver Bay, Lower Arboll, with a one-crop Blue Texel ewe which stood interbreed sheep champion. She was bought as a ewe lamb at Dingwall. Reserve – Dorothy Allison, with a Blue Texel tup lamb bred out of the champion.
Clydesdales – Eric and Miranda Johnstone, Highfield Circle, Muir of Ord, with four-year-old mare Ord Destiny, by Eskraggen Earnest, out of Ord Envy. Reserve – Shina Johnstone, Muir of Ord, with mare Redhill Gyp.
Highland ponies – Shona Halford, Muirside Steading, Brodie, Forres, with nine-year-old yeld mare Katrina of Strathmore, which was champion of champions. Bought from breeder Charlie McWattie last year, she is by Strathmore Clover, out of Erin of Strathmore. Reserve – Mr and Mrs A Munro, with foal.
Shetland ponies – EB and SA Knight, with 12-year-old home-bred stallion Hjaltland Thor, by Hartside Tarragan. Reserve – Reece McLeod, Dornoch, with nine-year-old brood mare Hjaltland Hirta, by Fanella of Houland.