Perthshire showground positively ‘stowed out’

© DC ThomsonTracey and Davie Nicoll showed Balthayock Nona and Balthayock Nessie.
Tracey and Davie Nicoll showed Balthayock Nona and Balthayock Nessie.

Alyth Show pulled out the stops at the weekend to attract a top turnout of quality livestock and crowds of onlookers amid perfect show weather.

The last major dress rehearsal for the local sheep, cattle and horses destined for the Royal Highland Show on Thursday benefited from higher-than-usual entries after livestock classes were cancelled at Angus Show the previous week.

Show president James Fleming, from Aberbothrie Farm, paid tribute to farmers for supporting the event.

He added there were record numbers of trade stands, and the craft and industrial tents were “stowed out”.

Competition was fierce for the champion of champions rosette, but Balthayock Nessie, a stunning Charolais heifer from Major David Walter’s Balthayock herd at Kinfauns wowed the judges and stole the show for the enthusiastic stock team of Davie and Tracey Nicoll, farm manager Hector Campbell and their neighbour, Graham Cameron.

Balthayock, which will celebrate 50 years of breeding Charolais cattle later this summer, also won the Friendship Trophy for the best pair of cattle on the showfield with their overall champion, Balthayock Nessie and her herd mate, Balthayock Nona.

Both were on their first outing this year and are destined, along with another six from Balthayock, for the Highland.

Up against them for the supreme championship prize were the interbreed sheep champion, a Beltex gimmer from Graham and Fiona Burke of Chapelton of Menmuir, Edzell, and the interbreed native horse, a Clydesdale filly from Thomas Clark and Sons of the Muirton Stud at Madderty.

The Burkes’ Beltex, Pentland Doris, by Broxty Wishful Thinking, came fourth in her class at Ingliston last year and will be competing against the best in the country again this week. The Clarks’ two-year-old Clydesdale, Muirton Margo, sired by Muirton Sabre and out of Muirton Myra, won the champion of champions prize at West Fife and the reserve championship at Perth last year.

Taking reserve place in the cattle interbreed award was the yearling Limousin heifer, Ritchies Oracle from Aileen Ritchie. This daughter of Rathconville Eugene was junior interbreed champion at Stars of the Future last November. The reserve interbreed sheep was the North Country Blackface, a four-crop ewe by a £9,500 Haughton from David Nicol from Glenisla.

Over in the horse lines, Myreton Glory, the three-year-old Shetland champion from Lisa Wilson, Leys Farm, Muckhart won the reserve interbreed title.