Despite some horrendous wet weather on the lead up to the event, exhibitors and spectators enjoyed a good dry day at Grantown Show yesterday, where a young Aberdeen-Angus bull from Neil and Mark Wattie, was presented the overall show champion of champions award.
With near record breaking entries in the sheep and horse sections, and a bigger than normal line-up of cattle, the competition was steeper than ever, which first saw the interbreed beef judge, Harold Murray, Turriff, tap forward the all black ahead of the commercial champion.
“I was looking for animals with smaller carcases to meet the demands of the market place and the top two winners are perfect examples of that,” said Mr Murray, a noted former cattle showman in the north-east.
“It was a difficult job selecting the top winners, but the Aberdeen-Angus is a great bull, full of breed character and one that has a great future ahead of him, while the commercial champion is almost just as good,” added Mr Murray, who now hires out bulls.
Overall champion of champions as selected by deputy lieutenant, Fergus Laing, owner of Glenbeg Estate, was Tonley Excel.
The 17-month-old bull was put forward by the Aberdeenshire father and son duo from Mains of Tonley, near Alford.
A son of Nightingale Perry, bred from Tonley Ester, this youngster was shown fresh from winning the junior interbreed bull title at the Turriff Show on Monday.
Just pipped at the post for the supreme beef title yet again were Blair Duffton and Rebecca Stuart from Huntly and Insch, with their well-known show heifer, I’ll be There.
This 14-month-old Limousin cross heifer not only boasts six championships from six shows under her belt, but also several interbreed and reserve titles.
Bred by Stuart Raeburn and sired by Lorenzo, she was bought at the Royal Northern Spring Show at Thainstone in February, from the Robertson family, Fodderletter, after standing pre-sale champion.
I’ll Be There and her commercial herd mates, Cinnamon and Dancing Queen from the same home, were back in business in the interbreed groups too, winning the supreme overall again.
The blue and white sash went to Limousins from the Robertsons from Fodderletter Farms.
The Robertsons also won the interbreed confined championship with their reserve champion from the Limousin section.
This was 23-month-old heifer Goldies Nell. She was bought at Carlisle in May and is a daughter of Goldies Fortress.
Standing next in line to her to lift the runner-up sash was the reserve Aberdeen-Angus.
This was an in-calf heifer from Ballindalloch Estate, shown by David and Susan Johnstone. Named Ballindalloch Black Bee, she is by Ballindalloch Earl.
The busy sheep lines saw the winner from the biggest section take the supreme overall.
Interbreed sheep judge, Jimmy Sinclair, Heriot, found his show stopper in a Blackface ewe from Stephen Duncan and son Stephen’s Livet south-type flock.
Previously unshown, she is by a £1,300 Midlock and bred from a ewe by a £2,800 Elmscleugh.
Coming a close second and reserve overall was the Texel champion.
This was another previously unshown ewe, this time from Jemma Green from Corskie Farm, Garmouth, Fochabers.
Her winner, a daughter of Holylee Acrobat, is bred from a Milnbank female by Strathbogie Untouchable.
Mr Sinclair also placed the interbreed groups of three amongst the sheep and found his supreme in a trio of home-bred Suffolks from Irene Fowlie’s Essie flock based near Strichen.
This was made up of the reserve breed champion, Essie Zulo, a two-shear ram and a ewe and gimmer by the retained ram, Essie Warrior.
Texels from Jemma Green’s 30-ewe Corskie flock, bagged the reserve interbreed title in the groups.
Aberdeen-Angus – Neil and Mark Wattie, Mains of Tonley, with the 17-month-old bull, Tonley Excel, a Nightingale Perry son out of Tonley Ester. He was reserve male champion and interbreed junior bull at Turriff and is destined for the bull sales at Stirling in October. Reserve – David and Susan Johnstone of Ballindalloch Home Farm, Ballindalloch, with Ballindalloch Black Bee, a two-year-old in-calf heifer by Ballindalloch Earl out of Ballindalloch Black Betty. Reserve at Black Isle.
Beef Shorthorn – Glenrinnes Farms, Dufftown, Huntly, with Smallburn Katie, an April 2016-born heifer bought at the Smallburn dispersal. Junior champion at the Highland in 2018, she is by Culdrochie Front Rank and was paraded due in September, by stockmen Glen Dean and Jack Shaw. Reserve – Alison Watt, Birkenburn, Keith, with the yearling heifer, Strathisla Felicity Madonna, by Declan of Craigiebank, out of Holmeere Felicity, a heifer bought at Stirling.
Highland – Leys Castle Farm, Inverness, with the three-year-old heifer, Duchess of Black Glen, bred by Grant Hyslop and bought at Oban in 2018. Second to the champion at the Black Isle, she is by Lachlan of Lagg, out of Duchess 1 of Merkland and was brought out by Dale Scott. Reserve – Valerie Thomson, Clackriach Cottage, Maud, with the nine-year-old cow, Heather 8 of Tordarroch, a Craig of Tordarroch daughter out of Heather 11 of Innisard, shown with heifer calf at foot. Bought as a four-year-old at Oban, she is a former reserve winner at Turriff and New Deer.
Simmental – Michael Durno, Auchorachan, Glenlivet, with Auroch Hudson, a rising three-year-old bull bought at Roscommon in March 2018. He is by Klitgardens Emil, out of Auroch Danica and was on his first outing of the year. Reserve – MacPherson Family, Blackford, Croy, with Blackford Jethro, a March 2018-born son of Blackford Galaxy, out of Blackford Bramble. Champion at Nairn.
Charolais – John and Raymond Irvine, Inverlochy, Tomintoul, with Inverlochy Nadine, a 27-month-old heifer by the former Highland Show champion, Kilbline Instigator out of Inverlochy Debbie, on her first outing. Reserve – Billy and Gary Wright, Lagavaich, Glenlivet, with the seven-year-old cow, Lagavaich Hermine, the reserve female champion at the Highland in 2015 on her first outing of the year. A big winner in previous years, she is by Lochend Apache and bred from Cyglen Shirley, a cow bought at Duncan MacGregor’s Corrie dispersal.
Limousin – Richard and Kathleen Davidson, Corsairtly, Keith, with Corsairtly Oswald, a 17-month-old bull by the privately purchased Ronick Inspector out of Corsairtly Janelle. Reserve interbreed champion at Echt and Nairn, he was also breed champion at Turriff, Black Isle and New Deer. Reserve – Robertson Family, Fordderletter Farms, Tomintoul, with Goldies Nell, a 23-month-old heifer bought at Carlisle in May, by Goldies Fortress. She was female champion at Nairn, reserve at Dornoch and reserve female at the Black Isle.
British Blonde – Alison Watt, Birkenburn, with the two-year-old heifer, Strathisla Maxine, by Strathisla Hero out of Strathisla Esther. Champion at most of the north-east shows. Reserve – Alison Watt with Strathisla Joy, a four-year-old cow shown with her bull calf foot. A daughter of Bridge Elmo out of Strathisla Gloria.
Any other pedigree beef breed – Sarah Balfour, Easter Fodderletter, Tomintoul, with the five-year-old in-calf British Blue cow, Newroddige Jemima, which won a lot as two-year-old. Champion at the breed show and sale at Carlisle, when bought, she is by Mountjoy Utopia and out of Tamhorn Foxtail Lily. Champion at Turriff and Nairn. Reserve – Michael Durno, Auchorachan, Glenlivet, with the April 2017-born Salers bull, Cleughhead Munro, a son of Cuil Godfather, bought alongside his dam, Cleughhead Marie, at Castle Douglas. Champion here last year, he was reserve male at the Highland this year.
Commercial cattle – Blair Duffton and Rebecca Stuart, Huntly and Insch, with the 14-month-old Limousin cross heifer, I’ll Be There, winning her sixth championship of the year to add to the several other interbreed and reserve interbreed wins. Bred by Stuart Raeburn, she was bought at the Thainstone Spring Show for £4,600 from Michael Robertson, Fodderletter Farms, after standing pre-sale champion. Reserve – Robertson Family, Fodderletter Farms, with a 14-month-old home-bred British Blue cross heifer by Midlock Jackpot, out of a home-bred Limousin cross cow. Champion at Nairn.
Young handlers – Rachel Davidson. Reserve – Grant Rhind.
Commercial breeding cow with calf – Mark Munro, Invercharron, Ardgay, with a Limousin cross cow with autumn-born calf. Reserve – Robertson Family, Fodderletter Farms, with a Limousin cross cow with spring-born calf.
Blackface – Stephen Duncan and son Stephen, Achdregnie, Glenlivet, with a one-crop ewe from their 150-ewe Livet flock. Previously unshown, she is by a £1,300 Midlock and out of a ewe by a £2,800 Elmscleugh. Reserve – Stephen Duncan and son Stephen with a home-bred shearling ram from their north-type flock. He is by a home-bred son of a Sam Adams-bred tup that sold to Elizabeth Johnstone for £450 and out of a ewe by an 11,000gn Breslin sire.
Texel – Jemma Green, Corskie, Fochabers, with a previously unshown home-bred one-crop ewe by Halbeath VIP out of a Milnbank ewe by Strathbogie Untouchable. Reserve – Jemma Green, Corskie, with a home-bred gimmer by Holylee Acrobat, out of a Deveronvale ewe by Garngour Ultimatum.
Any other accredited breed – Raymond Baynes, Blackford, Croy, with a Bluefaced Leicester gimmer that was reserve at Black Isle. She is by the E11 Rossiebank sire and was bought at the Rossiebank dispersal at Carlisle, last year. Reserve – Raymond Baynes, with last year’s interbreed sheep champion, a three-shear Bluefaced Leicester ram bred by Obie Sharp and bought at Kelso in 2017. He is by a Carryhouse sire and was reserve interbreed sheep at Nairn.
Suffolk – Lee Dunn, Corriemount, Muir of Ord, with a Birness-bred one-crop ewe bought at the Thainstone Christmas Classic from the Stuart family. Reserve – Irene Fowlie, Adziel, Strichen, with Essie Zulo, a home-bred two-shear ram by Essie Warrior, out of a home-bred ewe by Hans Fokker.
Cross sheep – Jim Simmons, Ruthven, Tomintoul, with a pair of March-born Scotch Mule ewe lambs by a £1,900 Midlock tup bought at Kelso, out of Achnabat Blackface ewes bought at Kingussie as ewe lambs. They are to be sold at Huntly. Reserve – Jim Simmons, with a Scotch Mule gimmer by a £1,200 Wedderburn ram bought at Kelso, out of an Achnabat ewe.
Jacob – Adam Christie, Birchfield, Glass, Huntly, with a home-bred one-crop ewe that was female champion and reserve overall at the Highland as a ewe lamb. Reserve at Nairn, she is by Dun-Mor Antonio and out of Pentre Candie. Reserve – Adam Christie, with the three-shear ram, Hope Knockout, a son of Hyndshaw Highland Laddie, that was reserve at Fettercairn and champion at New Deer.
Zwartbles – Sammy Stewart, The Buttery Brae, Drummuir, Keith, with Janetstown Flare, a gimmer by Aquila Duplicate out of a Wetheral ewe bought at the Balchurn dispersal at Thainstone. She was reserve interbreed at Keith last year. Reserve – Liam and Ryan Sharp, The Paddock, Gorthleck, Inverness, with Olbre Firecracker, a son of Wallacetown Carbon, that was bought at Carlisle, last year. Champion of champions at Nairn, champion at Sutherland and Black Isle.
Young handlers – Junior – Hunter Nairn. Senior – Amara Nairn.