Wick farmer James Manson, Upper Northfield, Hempriggs, was celebrating at the weekend as for the first time in 33 years he lifted the supreme cattle championship at Latheron Agricultural Society’s annual show.
And he topped off his day with the champion of champions award.
Perhaps it shouldn’t be such a big deal, to take supreme at a local show, when his five-year-old British Blue cow, Graymar Halle, by Empire D’Ochain, had stood female breed champion at the Royal Highland, but it was the overall win after so many years of having to settle for champion and reserve tickets that delighted him and his partner Louise Mackay.
This week they will be facing tougher competition as they take their champion to the Royal Welsh Show.
Champion of champion judges, brothers, Jim and Bill Manson, from Skaill, Thurso, described the cow as “a tremendous beast”.
Their deliberation on the reserve rosette was more difficult, being a choice between the supreme sheep and horse champions.
The sheep champion was a two-crop North Country Cheviot daughter of Durrand Rover, that had given Andrew Polson, Roadside, Smerlie, Lybster, the championship at last year’s Black Isle Show.
The supreme horse champion was Mastermind IV, a four-year-old thoroughbred gelding, from Ruth Sutherland, Balnasmurich, Dunn, Watten.
The horse won through, with the judges deciding that overall it had less faults than the ewe.
Willie Budge and his son Coby, of Achalone, Halkirk, took reserve supreme in the sheep section with a Suffolk gimmer after a home-bred tup, while Gordie Begg, The Manse, Canisbay, took overall cattle reserve with a cross cattle champion, Double or Quits, a British Blue cross heifer.