The first Echt Show since the start of the pandemic proved a huge success attracting record-breaking crowds and another quality entry of livestock.
Echt, Skene and Midmar Agricultural Association’s annual show has always been renowned for pulling in some of the area’s top sheep, cattle, horses and goats for judging, and this year, they added another new breed – Oxford Downs – to the sheep lines.
It was nevertheless, the supreme cattle champion, that landed the coveted overall champion of champions trophy.
This was the champion Aberdeen-Angus from father-and-son duo, Neil and Mark Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford, which first won the inter-breed beef honours when judged on a points basis by the various section judges.
Taking centre stage, when judged against the supreme horse, sheep and goat, was Tonley Lady Heather, a three-year-old home-bred Angus cow, shown with her second calf at foot, a heifer, by Mark’s girlfriend, Beth Dandie.
A daughter of the 19,000gn stock bull, Blelack Evermore, she is out of Blelack Lady Heather which was purchased at the 2016 herd reduction sale.
A well-known show winner, this big cow already boasts several titles to her name to include reserve breed champion at the Royal Highland Show, reserve inter-breed at Stirling and breed champion at the Royal Norfolk last week for the Aberdeen-Angus National Summer Show where she also scooped the reserve inter-breed honours.
Allan Taylor, retired cattle auctioneer at Aberdeen and Northern Marts, Aboyne, and selected beef judge for the supreme overall, was most impressed by the champion Aberdeen-Angus.
He said: “The Aberdeen Angus is a fantastic specimen and a great example of the breed.
“She is so growthy for a three-year-old and she’s got a great heifer calf at foot.”
The Angus first took the lead in the beef lines, which saw the reserve inter-breed honours presented to the champion commercial, Cinderella.
She was put forward by the Robertsons – Michael and Ellie alongside Michael’s two sons, Mark and Scott, and Ellie’s daughter, Sarah Balfour – at Easter Fodderletter, Tomintoul.
Their January 2021-born heifer, which was bought at Skipton, from JC Walker, Brennand Farm, is by a Limousin sire and out of a British Blue cross cow.
She was second at the Royal Highland Show last month.
Commercial calves, this time from Blair Duffton, Huntly, landed the inter-breed group of three.
The inter-breed sheep and horse winners were also selected on a points basis by the various breed judges, with the former topped by the lead Texel, a gimmer from Gillian Adams, Dee Valley, Banchory. This was a previously unshown home-bred entry by Sportsmans Cannonball.
Blue Texels proved particularly popular, winning the reserve inter-breed single sheep title and the supreme group of four amongst the sheep with both awards collected by Stasa Moyse and her partner, Stuart Wood, of the Saltire flock from Skene.
Stasa’s champion was Saltire Ferocious, a shearling ram by a Corra sire that was twice champion at the Royal Highland Show.
Second at this year’s Royal Highland Show, he then teamed up with a home-bred gimmer, home-bred ewe and a ewe lamb from the Saltire flock to win the supreme group.
Suffolks from Stuart Lorimer’s Cadgerford flock from Kingswells, took the trophy for the runner-up group.
An equally competitive horse section was topped by the champion arab and reserve overall riding pony, Tylo Hot Like Me, from Lorna Gilbert.
Another well known show performer, this 10-year-old by Deanshill Royal Portrait is a former supreme at New Deer and reserve overall at Turriff. She was bred by the Tylo Stud, Bonnykelly.
Coming a close second for the supreme horse was the native champion, Tulloes Emily – a two-year-old Clydesdale filly from Jim Greenhill, Upper Tulloes, Letham.
Aberdeen-Angus – Neil and Mark Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford, with Tonley Lady Heather, a three-year-old by Blelack Evermore, out of Blelack Lady Heather. She was shown with her February 2022-born heifer calf, by the 24,000gn Duncanziemere Jetstream. Reserve at the Highland, she was reserve inter-breed at the Royal Norfolk last week. Reserve – Ken Howie, Cairnton, Banchory, with Cairnton Duchess, an April 2021-born heifer by Cairnton Black Capton.
British Blonde – Alison Watt, Birkenburn, Keith, with the nine-year-old in-calf cow, Strathisla Joy, a former champion winner as a heifer, by Bridge Elmo out of Strathisla Gloria. Reserve – Alison Watt with the 14-month-old bull, Strathisla Salvador, by Hadley Esquire.
British Blue – E and M Greenlaw, Milton, Glenbuchat, Strathdon, with the March 2021-born heifer, Sunnybank Ra Ra, bought at Carlisle in January from Henry Jewitt. This ET bred heifer is out of a flush from Springhill My Girl, with the sire being Nox De L’Orgelot. Reserve – J Youngson, with the 14-month-old bull, Westerton Rebel, by Gitan Du Pti’t Mayeur.
Highland cattle – Morag Middleton, Barna Mid Mains of Balfour, Fettercairn, with the five-year-old bull, Eoin Mhor of Black Glen, a 3,000gn purchase at Oban, in February. He is by Eoin Mhor 8 of Mottistone and was reserve male at the Highland. Reserve – Stuart Greaves, Hatton, Peterhead, with Ladie Darcy of Ardiffery, a home-bred yearling heifer by Ewan Buidhe of Craigieray.
Limousin – Ian Miller, Miller Farms, Midmar, with Westpit Silly, a 16-month-old heifer by Dinmore Immense, that was bought at the Westpit reduction at Carlisle. She was reserve at Angus and Fettercairn. Reserve – Blair Duffton, Huntly, with 20-month-old heifer Craigatoke Rue, by Norman Ely, bought at a breed show and sale at Ballymena in April, where Blair was pre-sale judge.
Salers – Jamie McIntyre, Milton of Cullerlie, Echt, with Corrichie Penny, a two-year-old in-calf heifer by Cuil King, and reserve with her similarly aged herd mate, Corrichie Pollie, also by Cuil King.
Simmental – Reece Simmers, Backmuir Trading, Keith, with the 2.5-year-old in-calf heifer, Rathnashan Legsfirst, which was bought online from Nigel Hogan, Ireland. She is by Dermotstown Delboy. Reserve – Emma Smith, Bankhead, Portlethan, with the October 2020-born heifer, Riverdee Libby, a home-bred daughter of Team Highwayman.
Any other breed cattle – Ross and Kirsty Williams, Upper Tullochbeg, Huntly, with Dunsyre Iona 31, a five-year-old Beef Shorthorn cow by Redhill Ferny. Reserve – Fiona Davidson, Mintlaw, with the home-bred Beef Shorthorn heifer, Fordie Delilah, the reserve winner from Fettercairn. This 25-month-old in-calf heifer is by Coxhill Luke.
Unhaltered cross cattle – Champion – Blair Duffton, with a pair of Limousin crosses. Reserve – Steven Smith, with the second prize pair.
Haltered cross cattle – Robertsons, Easter Fodderletter, Tomintoul, with Cinderella, a 17-month-old heifer bought at Skipton, bred by JC Walker and Son, Brennand Farm. She is by a Brennand Limousin bull, out of a British Blue cross Limousin cow. Reserve – Blair Duffton, Huntly, with the reserve inter-breed from Fettercairn, Truffles, an August 2020-born black LimX heifer bought at Carlisle.
Carcase cattle – Hoof – Champion – R and D Farquhar, Tewel, with a steer. Reserve – AG Douglas, Crimonmogate Mains, Lonmay, with the second prize steer. Hook – Champion – AG Douglas, Crimonmogate Mains with a steer. Reserve W and J Cameron, Burnside of Edingight, Keith, with a heifer.
Cattle young handlers – Junior – 1, Tara Adams; 2, Jess Williams; 3, Megan Brown. Intermediate – Joanne Greaves. Senior – Faye Wilkie.
Beltex – Alan Miller, Miller Farms, Midmar, with a home-bred gimmer on her first outing. She is by the 6,000gn Vogue Fastrac. Reserve – Stuart Wood, Skene, with the previously unshown shearling ram, Vicky’s Gladiator, by Orkney Eurostar. He was bought for 5,000gn in partnership with Alan Miller
Bluefaced Leicester – Rodney Blackhall and daughters Kirstie and Emma, Banchory, with a home-bred two-crop ewe on her first outing by a Blackcraig sire. Reserve – Christoper Millican, Rothienorman, with a tup lamb by a Macqueston sire bought at Hawes last year.
Blue Texel – Stasa Moyse, Skene, with Saltire Ferocious, a home-bred shearling ram that stood second at the Highland. He is by a Corra ram that was male champion at the Highland in 2018 and 2019. Reserve – Deborah Atkinson, Duncanston, with Tap O’ Noth Elegance, a home-bred ewe by CJs Casanova.
Suffolk – Stuart Lorimer, Kingswells, Aberdeen, with Redbrae HRH, a shearling ram bought last year at Lanark, from Jim Cannon. He is by Forkins Samson and stood male champion at Fettercairn. Reserve – Graeme and Finn Christie, Inverurie, with the reserve inter-breed sheep from Fettercairn, a home-bred gimmer by Howgillfoot Snipper.
Texel – Gillian Adams, Banchory, with a home-bred gimmer by Sportsmans Cannonball, bred from a Deveronvale ewe bought privately by Mullan Armani. Reserve – Rodney, Kirstie and Emma Blackhall, with the two-shear ram Ettrick Déjà Vu, by Ettrick Cockney Rebel.
Zwartbles – Hannah and Chloe Murray, with the home-bred gimmer, Bannachie Jackpot Jay, bred from the privately purchased foundation female, Whitestone Delight and sired by Auldline Edwin. Reserve – Hannah and Chloe Murray with the two-shear ram, Janetstown Hillbilly, by Cerynw Gerallt.
Any other native breed sheep – Andrew Leek, Lonmay, with a Dalchirla-bred three-crop Blackface ewe bought as a rough ewe hogg at Stirling. She is by a £24,000 Connachan. Reserve – Marianne Sheed, Culbrach, Huntly, with a home-bred Dorset shearling ram by Kildowney Brandy.
Any other continental breed sheep – Eilidh and Erin Duncan, Clola, Mintlaw, with a home-bred Charollais gimmer by Logie Durno Valhalla. Reserve – Stuart and Wendy Hunter, Culsalmond, with home-bred two-crop Badgerface Texel ewe with imported genetics.
Ryeland – Raymond and Beth Aitken, Turriff, with Fetternear Aramis, a home-bred two-shear ram by Fetternear Yoshie. His full sister, Fetternear Ailsa, which was supreme at the Highland Showcase, was reserve Ryeland.
Oxford Down – Kevin Milne, Sauchen, with a five-shear ram bought privately three years ago from Welsh breeder, James Brown. Reserve – Kevin Milne, with an end of March-born ram lamb sired by the champion.
Cross sheep pens of three – Rodney Blackhall, Banchory, with a pen of three home-bred Suffolk cross Texel cross gimmers by a Cadgerford sire. Reserve – Rodney Blackhall, with a pen of three similarly bred ewe lambs.
Hoof and carcase – Hoof champion – Ronnie Wilkie, with a pair of Texel lambs.
Pet lambs – 1, Murray Wood; 2, Ellie Youngson; 3, Lucy Youngson.
Sheep young handlers – Junior – Erin Irvine; 2, Murray Wood; 3, Ellie Youngston. Intermediate – 1, Cody Reid; 2, Stuart Adams; 3, Katie Milne. Senior – 1, Faith Miskelly; 2, Isaac Miskelly; 3, Erin Raich.
Clydesdales – Champion, champion native horse and reserve supreme horse was Jim Greenhill, Upper Tulloes, Letham, with the Fife, West Fife and Fettercairn champion, Tulloes Emily, a two-year-old by Arradoul Balvenie that also stood overall champion of champions at the Perth online show last year. Reserve – Amanda Butler-Merchant, Rolling Thunder Clydesdales, Fettercairn, with the Angus champion and reserve winner from Fettercairn, Rolling Thunder Magie May by Singlie Storm. This eight-year-old black mare out of Heatherwick Lady Lucinda is also a former native supreme here. Male champion – George Skinner, Strathorn Farm Stables, Inverurie, with the five-year-old gelding, Collessie King Edward, bought privately as a yearling from Ronnie Black. He was overall champion at Crathes.
Highland ponies – Lynne McDonald, Tarland, with the five-year-old home-bred stallion, Islay Malt of Coynach, a former supreme winner at Angus, and at Grampian and Tayside Foal Shows. She is by Whitefield Prince Platinum and bred from Pavlova of Whitefield. Reserve – Gordon and Ann Towns, with Yvette May of Forglen, a seven-year-old by Marnonwells Gleann Eagas bred from Pamela May of Forglen.
Shetland ponies – Champion and reserve native horse was Christine Forbes, Dufftown, with the three-year-old home-bred filly, Lynemore Mirrie, that was junior champion at Keith Show, overall foal champion and reserve junior at the North of Scotland Shetland Pony Club show and first prize coloured foal at the Grampian Foal Show and North of Scotland all in 2019. She is a daughter of Lynemore Illusion, and bred from the prolific show winner, Lynemore Finess. Reserve – Miss Ann Irvine with the eight-year-old home-bred, miniature grey Shetland yeld mare, Moon Shad of Ore, a former champion winner at Turriff, by Rocky and out of Hazelhead Moonbean.
Dairy goats – Champion and supreme goat was Dr Katy Whitby-Last with the Anglo Nubian, Kaverquil Esther, a first kidder running through by Ivans Dragonstar out of Gilfoyle Partypopper. Reserve – Dr Katy Whitby-Last with Kaverquil Edith, an Anglo-Nubian goatling by the same sire but out of Kaverquil Estella. She has been places at previous British Goat Society Shows.
Pygmy goats – Claire Bailey, with the January 2022-born kid, Brucklay Nebraska, a female by Richmoor Celtic Lark that was first at Dunblane. Reserve – Claire Bailey, with the first kidder, Brucklay Lucky, by Mithral Kincaid.
Any other breed goat – Champion and reserve overall goat was Maureen and Malcolm Ross, Belhelvie, with the 18-month-old Boer goatling, Balmedie Hope, which was champion at the Royal Highland Show. Unbeaten in the show ring, she is by Caistealcnoc Eddie and out of Balmedie Dancer, a former champion winner at the Highland in 2019. Reserve – Maureen and Malcolm Ross with the two-year-old first kidder, Balmedie Greta a daughter of Topknot Tonic, out of Balmedie Buttercup. She was reserve at the Royal Highland Show.