The opening day of the 2014 Royal Highland Show gave cause to celebrate the strength and depth of the native horse and pony bloodlines established by breeders from across Tayside.
Jubilant in the female championship success of their home-bred Highland Pony mare Chapelhill Tess at Ingliston just four years previously, Willie Simpson and his daughters Jennifer and Allison, from Logiealmond, were overjoyed when umpire Sheila Brooks, from Kelso, gave them the nod to go one step further and take the overall Highland pony title with Tess’s son Chapelhill Earl.
On only his first outing of the 2014 show season, but champion at Perth Show last year, this seven-year-old stallion by Chapelhill Vegas had topped the male breed section as the top choice of judge Bruce Halliburton, from Blairgowrie, granting him passage to the breed supreme.
“The Royal Highland is ‘the’ show for the Highland pony,” said Sheila, who took centre stage after Bruce and Jennifer Allan, from Freuchie who adjudicated the female section reached a stalemate over their final decision.
“Both the mare and the stallion were very similar ponies but, ultimately, the stallion just showed himself better,” said Sheila.
“He’s a good, strong pony, with plenty of bone.”
Taking the reserve supreme Highland title and the lead from the female entry was Forfar breed stalwart Charlie McQuattie, with his seven-year-old broodmare Ailsa of Strathmore.
This daughter of Strathmore Concorde was bred out of Iona of Strathmore, which herself is another pony to have previously won at the Royal Highland, having stood female reserve in 1988.
In the male and female Highland Pony rings the reserve tickets were awarded to Blairgowrie’s Sandy Baird, with Whitefield Prince Platinum, and Forfar’s Hamish Cameron, with Maggie May II of Turin Hill, respectively.
In the neighbouring Clydesdale breed ring although judges Hugh Ramsay and George White denied John Anderson, of Redcastle Clydesdales, the opportunity to take his second successive overall championship, they gave him the “delight” of seeing his breeding come to the fore for both the overall and reserve overall breed titles.
As a result, the 2014 Clydesdale supreme went to Memus with Sandy Aitken, who spent his lifetime working with heavy horses alongside his father Jim, at the Phesdo Stud, in Fettercairn, but who has himself only taken to showing in the Clydesdale world in recent years.
Sandy bought his breed leader, the six-year-old mare Redcastle Pretty Amazing Grace, directly from John back when she was a yearling.
This daughter of Mr Ramsay’s stallion Millisle Solway Bay, stood reserve champion only a month later at Aberdeen and has since progressed with Sandy to take numerous local championships and to stand highly in her classes at the Highland as both a two and three-year-old filly.
Meanwhile, John took the reserve female ticket and stood reserve overall with his home-bred yearling filly Redcastle Mhorita Millie.
She also brought former Highland Show winning bloodlines to the fore, having been sired by John’s 2013 Royal Highland champion winning stallion Redcastle Brelee Majestic.
Recently supreme heavy horse champion at Angus Show, Mhorita Millie also stood female champion and reserve overall at the National Stallion Show and was supreme at the Clydesdale Winter Fair.
Falling shy of the supreme Clydesdale placings, but taking the male title, was Fife livery yard owner Laura Henry and her three-year-old colt Collessie Pride, from Kinshaldy Farm, at Leuchars.
Pride has stood reserve for the Cawdor Cup for the last two consecutive years, but in taking the Royal Highland’s male championship title he beat the current Cawdor Cup holder Doura Master Eddie, which was on this occasion relegated to reserve.
RESULTS – Royal Highland Show, 2014 (Thursday judging)
Ladies’ hunter Sharon Haworth, Carrhouse Stud, the Granary, Green Dicks Lane, Preston, with five-year-old gelding Deauville, a warmblood gelding sired by Demonstrator and out of Double Take II. Already qualified for the Royal International in the ladies’ hunter class, it recently won the Horse of the Year Show qualifying ticket for 2014 at Three Counties.
Sports horses in-hand Mr and Mrs William Moran and Pearl Underwood, Homer Hill Farm, Pittlington Lane, Rainton Gate, Houghton Le Spring, with 13-year-old broodmare Broadstone Dolce-Vita, sired by Demonstrator and out of Deborah Coy XX. Previously a ridden show horse, she has been champion of the Royal International, National Hunter Show and Lincoln County. She was shown with her first foal at foot, by Willowcroft Regal Bronze. Reserve: Strathearn Sport Horses, Hilton House, Methven, with the previously unshown two-year-old sports horse Pat Pan, sired by Contendros and out of the prolific working hunter mare Polly Pan.
Overall and female: Sandy Aitken, Newton Cottage, Memus, Forfar, with six-year-old mare Redcastle Pretty Amazing Grace, bred by John Anderson out of Redcastle Miranda and sired by Millisle Solway Bay. Bought as a yearling, during which year she stood reserve champion at Aberdeen. On her first outing of 2014, but previously second at the Highland as a two-year-old and third at the age of three. Reserve overall and female reserve: John A Anderson, Drummygar Mains, Carmyllie, by Arbroath, with yearling filly Redcastle Mhorita Millie, homebred out of Stonecroft Mhorita Jewel and sired by the Cawdor stallion Redcastle Brelee Majestic, which this year has stood overall horse champion at Angus Show, female and reserve overall Clydesdale at the National Stallion Show and was supreme at the Clydesdale Winter Fair. Male champion: Miss Laura Henry, Kinshaldy Farm, Leuchars, with three-year-old colt Collessie Pride, sired by Mollinhillhead Celebrity and bred by Ronnie Black, of Newton of Collessie, out of Sandhill Maggie May, which has stood reserve for the Cawdor Cup for the last two consecutive years, won at the National Stallion Show as a one-, two- and three-year-old and was first at the Royal Highland last year. Reserve male: Miss Charlotte Young, Hall Farm, by Ayr, with two-year-old colt and reigning Cawdor Cup title holder Doura Master Eddie, sired by Glebeview Sir Charles and bred in Ireland by Victor Scott out of Banview Dawn.
Overall and male: Willie Simpson, Chapelhill Farm, Logiealmond, Perth, with seven-year- old stallion Chapelhill Earl, sired by Chapelhill Vegas and out of Chapelhill Tess, champion at the Royal Highland in 2010. This was his first outing having stood champion at Perth last year. His son Chapelhill Isaac was first in the junior stallion class. Reserve and female: Charlie McQuattie, Strathmore, Kingston Place, Kingsmuir, with the seven-year-old brood-mare Ailsa of Strathmore, sired by Strathmore Concorde and bred out of the 1988 Royal Highland reserve female champion Iona of Srathmore. Only lightly shown, but champion at the Scottish Winter Fair in 2010 and a second prize winner at the Royal Highland in 2012. Shown with a May-born colt foal at foot, by Lochlands Royal Flute. Reserve male: Sandy Baird, Stretlitz, Burrelton, Blairgowrie, with the seven-year-old home-bred second-placed senior stallion Whitefield Prince Platinum sired by the 1997 Royal Highland Show champion Viscount of Whitefield and out of the unshown mare Quick Silver of Whitefield. Champion this year at the National Stallion Show. Reserve female: Hamish Cameron, Westcot, Pitkennedy, Forfar, with his home-bred three-year-old filly Maggie May II of Turin Hill. Sired by Turin Hill Kylemore and out of Maydew of Turin Hill, this is the eighth generation of Turin Hill breeding. Champion at Tayside Foal Show as a two-yearold last year.
Overall and female: HP Sleigh & Son, St Johns Wells, Fyvie, Turriff, with two-year-old filly Wells Vitesse, sired by Wells Highlight and home-bred out of Wells Vita. On her first show outing. Reserve overall and male: HP Sleigh & Son, St Johns Wells, Fyvie, Turriff, with eight-year-old stallion Westpark Royal Star, sired by Westpark Rising Star and bred by Mrs M Martin out of Westpark Emerald. Reserve female: James D Swan, Teanahaun Croft, Conon Bridge, by Dingwall, with five-year-old mare Stow Eliza Jane, sired by Stow Vulcan and home-bred out of Lignite Jan, which previously stood champion of champions at Sutherland Show and was champion at the Black Isle. Reserve male: Jed Hart Stud, the Cottage Hartrigge, Jedburgh, with eight-year-old stallion Kerloch Rupert, sired by Stow Review and bred by Shirley Moro out of Burn Bank Veda, which was overall Shetland champion at the National Stallion Show this year as well as champion at Penrith. Also placed at the Winter Fair.