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Continentals reign supreme at Caithness Christmas prime stock sale

The overall prime lamb champions from Stainland and Sibmister Farms, with sponsors Nona Mackay, Stephen and Kenny Sutherland, and Murray Lamont, Mackays Hotel, Wick.
The overall prime lamb champions from Stainland and Sibmister Farms, with sponsors Nona Mackay, Stephen and Kenny Sutherland, and Murray Lamont, Mackays Hotel, Wick.

Farmers and butchers flocked to the Caithness Livestock Centre in Quoybrae for the annual Christmas show and sale of prime stock.

The event, held by Aberdeen and Northern Marts, featured sections for prime cattle and lambs.

The champions in the prime lamb section, sponsored by Nona Mackay from West Greenland and judged by Michael Wilson from Woodhead Bros in Turriff, were a pair of 46kg Texels.

Put forward by Kenny Sutherland and sons Stephen and Kenneth from Stainland and Sibmister Farms, Thurso, the pair sold for £450 apiece to Mackays Hotel in Wick.

The reserve prize went to a pair of 55kg Texels from Jonnie Campbell, Bardnaclavan, Bridge of Westfield, Thurso. They went on to sell  for £210 per life to John M Munro Ltd Butchers in Dingwall.

Other prizes in the prime lambs contest included the best Young Farmers’ lambs, sponsored by Duncan & Todd.

Both the champion and reserve prizes in this section went to Alistair McCarthy, East Mey, Thurso.

Mr McCarthy’s champions were a pair of 45.5kg Beltex lambs selling for £300 per life to Puldagon Farm Shop and Restaurant, Stirkoke, Wick. His reserve entry – two 45kg Beltex lambs – made £170 each when selling to Woodhead Bros, Turriff.

The Christmas show and sale also featured a new section for pens of 10 untrimmed lambs, sponsored by Willie Gulloch, Hempriggs Mains, Wick and judged by John Errington from Penrith.

The champion prize in this section went to a pen of 44kg Texels from Stainland and Sibmister Farms, which sold for £141 apiece to Backmuir Livestock, Keith.

Stainland and Sibmister Farms also took the reserve title with a pen of 43kg North Country Cheviots selling for £122 per head to Woodhead Bros.

Meanwhile, the champion prize in the show of prime cattle – sponsored by NFU Mutual’s offices in Dingwall and Thurso and judged by Blair Duffton from Huntly – went to a 616kg Limousin cross heifer.

Consigned by  Lauren Oag, Achiebeg, Thurso, the heifer sold for the top price of £3,400, or 551p per kg, to Mackays Hotel in Wick for their annual champions dinner.

The reserve title went to a 725kg Aberdeen-Angus cross bullock from William Barnetson and sons, James and Will, from Lynegar, Watten.   It sold for £1,800, or 248.2p per kg, to John M Munro Ltd.

The Young Farmers prime cattle champion prize was awarded to a 763kg Hereford cross bullock from Bethany Swanson, Framside, Thurso. It later sold for £1,850, or 242.4p per kg, to John M Munro Ltd.

Reserve went to a 624kg Limousin cross bullock from James Gunn, Whitefield, Reiss, which made £1,600, or 256.4p per kg, when sold to John M Munro Ltd.

IN PICTURES: The Aberdeen Christmas Classic at Thainstone

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