The Black Isle returned to the northern show circuit with a bang – and no fewer than three national breed competitions to entertain the crowds.
The Simmental, Hereford and North Country Cheviot events all attracted turnouts from across the country and as far as Preston, with the Simmental ultimately judged as the day’s show champion of champions.
Show president Freida McKenzie welcomed the crowds back to the showground near Muir of Ord where the Black Isle Farmers Society has made improvements and changes during the two showless Covid years.
The day’s champion of champions glory went to the beef interbreed winner, Islavale Lullaby, from Reece Simmers of Backmuir Farm at Keith.
She has already won the Royal Highland Show Simmental breed championship this summer and is bound for her local show on Monday. She was judged for the interbreed award by Michael Durno from Auchorachan, Glenlivet who described her as an “outstanding” show animal.
The day’s reserve overall champion was the sheep interbreed winner, the Charollais ram lamb from the Ingram family at Logie Durno, Pitcaple.
John Thorley, the sheep judge, justified his decision by describing the lamb as beautifully presented, and the entire Ingram Charollais team a “fair sight to behold”.
The other great champion of the day was the overall horse winner, the Clydesdale mare, Galcantray Georgina from David and Beverley Walker, Galcantray, Cawdor, fresh from her reserve championship win at Nairn last weekend.
Reserve interbreed horse was the Highland champion, Drumbrodie Avalina from W Grigor, Muirside Steading, Brodie.
The reserve interbreed beef winner was the Aberdeen-Angus champion, Tonley Lady Heather from Mark Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford. She was reserve champion at the Royal Highland, Turriff and the breed’s national summer show in Norfolk.
One of the farthest travelled competitors was Isle of Lewis crofter Ally Williamson, from Bragar, who brought some of his Blackface sheep to win the crofters’ competition.
Aberdeen-Angus – Mark Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford with a three-year-old heifer, Tonley Lady Heather by Blelack Evermore, reserve at the Royal Highland Show and champion at the national show. Reserve – TJ & G MacLean, Raddery, Fortrose with an 18-month-old heifer-in-calf, Raddery Lady x262 by Deveron Exstatic and out of Deveron Lady.
Beef Shorthorn – S&M Mackenzie, Auchmore, Muir of Ord with a bull calf, Auchmore Spyro by Chapelton Dauphin and out of Dainsmore Your Highness, and reserve with a heifer calf, Auchmore Snowdrop by Smallburn Nugget and out of Spartan Her Princess.
Charolais – AA Wright, Lagavaich, Glenlivet with a 16-month-old bull, Lagavaich Spence by Westley Equinox and out of Lagavaich Orla. Reserve – RA Milne & Sons, Kennieshillock, Elgin with a bull, Elgin Spectre.
Simmental – Reece Simmers, Backmuir Farm, Keith with a heifer, Islavale Lullaby by Shacon Hannibal and out of Islavale Inspire. Simmental champion at RHS. Reserve – Barlow Brothers, Preston with a heifer, Denizes Eve’s Beauty 3rd by Blackford Galaxy and out of Auroch Eve.
Hereford – Calum Smith and Anna Wilson with a two-year-old heifer, Studdolph 1 Barbie by Lowersmoor 1 Nasser and out of Studdolph Barbie. Reserve – George and Sophie Harvey with a 17-month-old bull, Va VA Voom by Normanton 1 Leartes and out of Harveybros 1 Crocus EZ, reserve champion at Great Yorkshire.
Limousin – Blair Duffton, 2 Bogie Street, Huntly with a heifer, Craigatoke Rue by Norman Ely and out of Craigatoke Nan, and reserve with a bull.
Commercial – Blair Duffton, Huntly with a 21-month-old Limousin cross Limousin heifer, Black Magic, shared with Small & Wilkinson, by Ronick Hawk. Champion at Great Yorkshire. Reserve – Michael Robertson, Fodderletter Farms, Tomintoul with Cinderella, an 18-month-old Limousin cross British Blue cross heifer. Champion at Banchory, champion and reserve overall at Echt.
Highland – Tordarroch Fold, Farr with a two-year-old heifer, Alice 22th of Tordarroch by Macrae of Maol and out of Alice 20th of Tardarroch. Champion at Sutherland. Reserve – Cragganvallie Fold, Beauly with a bull, Angus Ruadh of Glengorm.
Any other beef breed – Coul Blues with Pixie and reserve with Poppy.
Rare breeds – June MacKenzie, Braes of Castle Grant with Blackcraig Hilda. Reserve – Sam Jackson, Balblair, Dingwall with Freda.
Crofters’ cattle – John Smith, The Rowans, Brora with an 11-month-old Limousin cross British Blue steer, Willie Boy. Reserve at Dornoch. Reserve – Esther Grant, Lonemore, Gairloch with a nine-month-old Limousin cross heifer, Teddy.
Shetland (standard) – Irene Spence and Kayleigh Nicol, Alford with a gelding, Warrackston Tamara by Scamells Criterium. Reserve – Tam Stuart, Mawburn Shetlands, Kinross with a filly, Mawburn Sadie by Sharpton Predator.
Shetland (miniature) – Phlair Stud with a mare, Tillyorn Violet by Swells Barron. Reserve – Lochfleet, Dornoch with a filly, Lochfleet Skelbo Fiery Flame by Halstock Midnight Madness.
Clydesdale – David & Beverley Walker, Galcantray Farm, Cawdor with a four-year-old mare, Galcantray Georgina by Doura Woodhouse Real Deal and out of Stoneyknoll Precious Isabella. Reserve – Shina Johnstone, Muir of Ord with a foal, Balvattie Seamus by Doura Aird Ambition and out of Balvattie Oria.
Highland – W Grigor, Brodie with a yearling filly, Drumbrodie Avalina by Balmoral Major. Reserve – Fiona Menzies, Myreton Farm, Insch with a mare, Cerys O’Lundie Crags by Glennbanchor MacGhillie Dubh.
Jacob – Barbara Webster, Newburgh with a home-bred gimmer by Saltire Blue Baddy and reserve with a shearling ram, Black Brook Mohawk sired by an Overdale ram.
Any other sheep breed – Deborah Atkinson, Duncanston, Insch with a Blue Texel ewe, Tap’o’Noth Elegance by CJ Casanova, and reserve with a Blue Texel tup lamb, Tap’o’Noth Gorilla.
Crofters’ sheep – Ally Williamson, Eallagro, Bragar, Isle of Lewis with Beyonce, a Blackface gimmer by a 10,000gns Nunnerie. Reserve – K & E Stephen Dell of Inshes, Inverness with a Texel ewe lamb by Fordafourie Express.
Charollais – W&C Ingram, Logie Durno, Pitcaple with a ram lamb and also reserve with a two-shear ram.
Suffolk – W&C Ingram with a home-bred shearling tup. Reserve – Louise McAuley, Tombain, Dunphail with a ram lamb.
Texel – Kirsty Cameron , Gorebridge with a gimmer by an Oldhouseburn sire. Reserve – Wester Moy Texels with a ram lamb, Wester Moy Forever by Sportsman Daredevil.
Cross – John Campbell & Co, Todholes, Thurso with a pair of cross-bred three quarter Texel ewe lambs by a Fearn Farm Texel tup. Reserve – Robert Mackenzie, The Glebe, Boat of Garten with a pair of Mule ewe lambs.
Blackface – Glenrinnes Farms with a shearling ram out by a 4500gns Merkland tup and reserve with a three-crop ewe , Hokeycokey, by a 3700gns Kirkland.
Shetland – Dr J Graham & L Thompson, Rothienorman with a home-bred ram lamb by Brae Xsmoulder and reserve with a home-bred gimmer by same sire.
Beltex – W & C Ingram, Pitcaple with a two-shear ram Buckles Fury bought at Carlisle for 11,000gns by Gryffin Dexter. Reserve – W D Stephen, Meikle Geddes, Nairn with a gimmer, Ardstewart Grace Lynn by Swffryd Express.
Zwartbles – Paddock Zwartbles with a home-bred gimmer, Paddock Juniper by Walridge Moor Finn, champion at Dornoch, and reserve with a tup lamb, Cairnhill Kinsman by Whitestone Granite.
Bluefaced Leicester – Raymond Baynes, Blackford Farm, Croy with a ewe lamb by Moffat Auchry and reserve with a home-bred ram lamb by a Newbiggins Walls tup.
North Country Cheviot (park type) – J Runciman & Son, Allanshaws, Galashiels with a ewe by Sebay Excitable. Reserve – W & J Thomson, Hownam Grange, Kelso with a three-shear ram, Symington Auld Lang Syne, male champion at the Great Yorkshire.
North Country Cheviot (hill type) – Badanloch Estate with “Showstopper”, a three-crop home-bred ewe by Balnakeil Stamper. Reserve – Martyn Cook, Dorrery Farm, Halkirk with an aged tup.