Honours were evenly spread out at the 20th Black Beauty Bonanza in Inverurie, which attracted an outstanding entry of more than 100 Aberdeen-Angus calves and yearlings from 30 herds.
Organised by the North East Aberdeen-Angus Club, the show drew warm praise from judge Rob Bishop, owner of the noted Warrenho herd in Berkshire.
“It’s a fantastic well-organised show and the top bulls, displaying style and breed character along with conformation and good tops, will go on and do well at the bull sales,” said Mr Bishop.
“The heifers, although sometimes not the biggest, were very correct and a credit to the breed.”
Leading the entry of 53 bull calves born in 2018 was a promising January-born calf Blelack Dakota U898, by Netherallan Peter Pershore E052, from regular winners at the event, NF Massie and Sons, Blelack, Dinnet, Aboyne.
This was closely followed in reserve place by the March-born Cardona Jeweliot Eric U047, by the North American sire SAV Solid Gold 9187, from Scotbeef managing director, Robbie Galloway’s Cardona herd at Doune.
Yearling bulls were topped by the 20-month-old Logie Dynamite T740, a well-grown son of Logie Electric P438, from AJR Farms, Mains of Collieston, Ellon, who acquired the Logie herd from the Bruce family last year, retaining Andrew and James Reid as cattlemen.
Runner-up was the 20-month-old Tonley Elijah T367, by Tonley Essien N955, from Sellars Agriculture managing director Neil Wattie and son Mark, from Mains of Tonley, Alford.
Champion heifer calf was the January-born Tulloes Pride U003, by the privately purchased Blelack Jock Eric R434, following her native breeds junior championship success at Stars of the Future, from first-time exhibitor David Raeburn, Burnside of Tulloes, Letham, Forfar.
Reserve was the January-born Retties Evita U005, by Retties JFK M195, shown by Richard and Carol Rettie, Devonside, Clackmannanshire, from their herd at Methven, Perth. The Retties had a successful day, bringing out the yearling heifer and reserve champions from their livery, on behalf of Donald Rankin, Kilmaluag, Duntulm, Isle of Skye, who took top honours with the 18-month-old Kilmaluag Lady Ruth T207, another by Retties JFK M195.
Reserve spot went to the furthest travelled exhibitor, Hassel, of Brailes Livestock in Oxford – though all his cattle are kept in Scotland – with the 18-month-old Cheeklaw Black Beath T597, by Balmachie Lord Jack R198, bought at the Cheeklaw dispersal.
The coveted McCombie Trophy for the best pair of calves went to Robbie Galloway with his reserve bull calf, along with a second prize April-born bull calf Cardona Prize Fighter U053.
Blelack were reserve with their champion, paired with the first prize April-born bull calf Blelack Dual Mine U913, by Weeton Diamond Mine P944.