Storm Arwen failed to deter Aberdeen-Angus breeders from turning out in force for the North East Aberdeen-Angus Club’s Black Beauty Bonanza.
The annual show was held as part of this week’s Aberdeen Christmas Classic event at ANM Group‘s Thainstone Centre, near Inverurie, for the first time.
Despite power failures cutting off both water and electricity supplies on many north-east farms, preventing the washing and clipping of cattle for the show, there were very few absentees, with 25 exhibitors from Orkney to the Borders turning out with a total entry of almost 90 calves and yearlings, parading before judge, Graeme Massie, Blelack, Dinnet.
Mr Massie has exhibited cattle from his renowned Blelack herd at every Black Beauty since the show started in 1996 but was able to accept the invitation to judge this year following the record-breaking dispersal of the Blelack herd at Stirling in October.
It was a great day for father-and-son, Neil and Mark Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford, who carried off two of the four championship awards with their yearling heifer, Tonley Ester W712 – a 20-month-old daughter of the home-bred, Tonley Kasper U512.
They also took the bull calf championship with the nine-month old, Tonley King Paco X812, by Kasper’s sire, Tonley Jester Eric S318.
The reserve yearling heifer championship went to the 14-month-old Harestone Red Black Ruby W500, from June Barclay, Harestone, Banchory, who has recently started an Aberdeen-Angus herd to challenge husband Neil’s highly successful Charolais herd.
Meanwhile Robbie Galloway, managing director of leading Aberdeen-Angus beef processors, Scotbeef, took the reserve bull calf championship with the 17-month-old Cardona Jeweliot Eric X309, by Stouphill Mr Peroni, from his Cardona herd at Doune.
It was also a successful day for Charles McCombie, owner of the old established Auchincrieve herd at Rothiemay, whose three first prize winners, included the heifer calf champion, Auchincrieve Lady Image X675, a January-born daughter of Tonley Jester Eric S318.
The herd also won the coveted Auchincrieve Trophy, presented by Charles’ mother, Mrs Elizabeth McCombie, in memory of her late husband, for the best pair of Aberdeen-Angus calves.
A March-born daughter of the home-bred Newton Muchalls Theo, Newton Jill Erica X090, from Ray Gardiner, Newton Smiddy, Skene, stood reserve for the heifer calf championship.
Show sponsors, Ballindalloch Highland Estate on Speyside, owners of the oldest Aberdeen-Angus herd in the country going back to 1860, were runners up for the Auchincrieve Trophy, with their duo including the yearling bull champion, the 20-month-old Ballindalloch Gaffer W600, by Ardoyne Munro Prince K191.
This bull was just pipped for the yearling bull championship by the 15-month-old Retties Lord Edwin W150, by Duhncanziemere Edwin J311, from top show couple Richard and Carol Rettie, Methven, Perth.
The award for the best pair of yearlings went to AJR Farms, Milton of Collieston, Ellon, and the reserve to club chairman, Hugh Thomson, and his wife, Cara, of Tynet, Buckie.