Retired Angus farmer, 85-year-old David Black, showed the younger generation how it’s done, when he carried off both the lamb championship and reserve in the carcase competition held in conjunction with this week’s Royal Northern Spring Show.
Mr Black, who now lives at Minard, Cortachy Road, Northmuir, Kirriemuir, continues to keep his hand in by finishing 250 lambs over the winter and 120 ewe lambs over the summer for gimmering.
His winning pair of Texel cross lambs, bred by Roddy Thomson, West Park, Aberfeldy, weighed in at 23.1kg and 23.8kg and classified E3H. They were placed reserve in the live judging at the show on Wednesday.
His reserve pair of Beltex crosses, bred by Rory Hood, Middlehill, Glen Clova, weighed 21kg and 21.3kg and classifield E3L and E2.
“This is the fifth year I’ve exhibited at the Spring Show and I’ve won the reserve championship either live or dead for the past four years,” he said. “I’m delighted to have won the double this year by taking both the carcase championship and reserve.”
The carcase show was held at Scotbeef Inverurie’s meat plant and the judge, Katrina Farquhar, former Aberdeenshire councillor who previously worked at Sheridans Butchers, Ballater, and is now secretary to the Duke of Rothesay (Prince of Wales) at Birkhall, Crathie, was full of praise for the display of both lamb and beef carcases.
“It was a very good show and the lambs in particular were difficult to judge,” she said. “The winning lamb carcases were evenly matched and a perfect pair.”
The maximum weight of cattle eligible for the show was reduced to 650kg live this year in line with market requirements but Ms Farquhar said there still a few carcases too big for the modern trade and others too lean to ensure good eating quality.
“The champion was an excellent carcase with a nice sirloin and top and, classifying U4L, had good fat cover,” she said.
This was a 357.7kg Limousin cross heifer from Bill Cameron, Burnside, Edingight, Grange, Keith, which was bought at Huntly in April from breeder, Gordon Carroll, Edendiack, Gartly, Huntly.
Reserve was a 375kg Limousin cross heifer which classified U+3 from Harry Brown, Jun, Auchmaliddy Mains, Maud. This heifer was champion live on Wednesday. Mr Brown also won the award for the highest combined score on the hoof and on the hook.
The champion steer came from Ross Bros, Wardhead, Strichen, and the reserve from David and Val Buchan, Savoch, Longside.
The best killing out percentage – a remarkable 66% – was achieved by a British Blue cross heifer from Sandy Douglas, Cromonmogate Mains, Lonmay.