Young Finn Christie, a member of Garioch YFC, sold the lead priced calf at £1850 at an overwintering competition at Aberdeen and Northern Marts' Thainstone Centre.

While the Young Farmers' overwintering competition was one of the first main sales affected by the new Coronavirus regulations at livestock markets, whereby only vendors and potential buyers were advised to attend, it attracted the usual strong show of calves.

In all, 30 heifers sold to average £1181.54 or 264.6p per kg with 28 steers cashing in at £1195.77 or 241.3p.

Topping the sale at £1850 was a January, 2019-born Limousin cross heifer weighing 548kg from Finn Christie, Newton of Balquhain, Pitcaple, Inverurie. Bred by EA Sim, Cairnview, Rorandle, Monymusk, she tipped the scales at 548kg and sold to A Anderson, buying on behalf of a client.

Finn also received £1380 for his first prize bullock bred by Una MacDonald, Lower Cairnglass, Inverness. This April 2019-born bullock weighing 484kg, stood first at the Rising Stars show in December and sold to Messrs Simmers, Backmuir Livestock, Keith.

Second top price was £1650 paid for Mark Robertson's first prize Limousin cross heifer from Easter Fodderletter, Tomintoul. A member of Keith YFC, Mark's heifer was bred by Gordon Cameron, Newton Cottage, Acharacle and scaled 388kg at 11 months of age. She sold to Grant Dinnie, Bridgeton, Alford, buying on behalf of a client

Jack Hendry, another Keith YFC member, this time from Heads of Auchinderran, Keith, received £1580 for his first prize, May, 2019-born Limousin cross heifer that weighed in at 424kg. She was bred by WD Stephen and Co, Meikle Geddes, Nairn, and was another knocked down to Backmuir Livestock, Keith.

Messrs Simmers bought several of the top priced lots to include the overall champion from first time exhibitor, Duncan Munro of Ross Sutherland YFC, Invercharron, Ardgay, at £1450. Tapped out by judge Willie Purdon, Stravenhouse Farm, Carluke, was a 478kg, February, 2019-born Limousin cross heifer that had been purchased from Ian Stewart, Reisgill, Lybster.

Also heading home on the same lorry load at the same money was the champion bullock from Lower Speyside member, Kyle Cruikshank, Clury, Dulnian Bridge, Grantown-on-Spey. His 530kg, March, 2019-born Limousin cross bullock was bred by Gordon Cameron, Acharacle.

Backmuir Livestock bought the home-bred champion winner too, another from Duncan Munro, Invercharron, at £1380. His January, 2019-born Limousin cross bullock, which stood second at the Royal Northern Spring Show, weighed in at 540kg.

Nairn JAC member, Ally Fraser, Easter Clune, Lethen, won the home-bred heifer section with a 354kg, 12-month-old Limousin cross heifer, that realised £1200 to Harry Brown, Auchmaliddie Mains, Maud, Peterhead.

Selling at £1380 was Keith YFC member, Ryan McConnachie’s 638kg, October, 2018-born Simmental cross bullock from Midtown of Buchromb, Dufftown. Bred by A and A Wright, Lagavaich, Glenlivet, he sold to Backmuir Livestock along with Ryan’s brother's Kian's second prize April 2019-born Limousin cross heifer at £1300. She was another bred by Gordon Cameron and weighed in at 438kg.

The award for the best overwintered steer was won by Martyn Horner, Cluseburn, Inverbervie, with a 448kg, May, 2019-born Limousin cross, while the best overwintered heifer title was presented to Mark Robertson, Easter Fodderletter, Tomintoul, with his 388kg, April, 2019-born Limousin cross.

LEADING awards

Unhaltered purchased cattle – Heifers – Lightweight – 1, Cameron Hunter, West Cairnhill, 448kg £1040; 2, Martyn Horner, Cluseburn, 442kg, £1040; 3, Molly Stuart, Lettoch, Glenlivet, 450kg, £1060. Heavy – 1, Nicole Morrison, Heads of Auchinderran, Aultmore, 482kg, £1220; 2, Cameron Hunter, 534kg, £1200; 3, Sally Glennie, Burnside, Keig, 564kg, £1220.

Bullocks – Light – 1, Keely Mitchell, Carron Mains, Aberlour,504kg, £1190; 2, Harvey Stuart, Lettoch, Glenlivet, 472kg, £1090; 3, Lorna Edward, Meikle Ardrone, Keith, 480kg, £1070. Heavy – 1, Thomas Hall, Hillview Mill Lane, Stuartfield, 518kg, £1240; 2, and 3, Craig Buchan, Nether Savoch, Longside, 542kg, £1280 and 552kg, £1220.

Haltered purchased cattle – Heifers – Light – 1, Mark Robertson, Fodderletter, Tomintoul, 388kg, £1650; 2, Harry Ross, Coldhome, Dallas, 396kg, £1030; 3, Thomas Hall, 358kg, £940. Intermediate – 1, Jack Hendry, Heads of Auchinderran, Aultmore, 424kg, £1580; 2, Ally Fraser, Easter Clune, Nairn, 438kg, £1060; 3, Duncan Munro, Invercharron, Sutherland,446kg, £1070. Heavy – Duncan Munro, 478kg, £1450; 2, Finn Christie, 548kg, £1850; 3, Cameron Hunter, 502kg, £1200

Bullocks – Light – 1, Craig Buchan, Nether Savoch, Longside, 410kg, £1220; 2, Kian McConnachie, Midtown of Buchromb, Dufftown, 438kg, £1300; 3, Martyn Horner, 442kg, £1080. Intermediate – 1, Finn Christie, Newton of Balquhain, Inverurie, 484kg, £1380; 2, Keely Mitchell, 478kg, £1180; 3, Graeme Rhind, Newton of Struthers, Kinloss, 512kg. Heavy – 1, Kyle Cruickshank, 530kg, £1450; 2, William Moir, Newmill, Home Farm Cairness, 696kg; 3, Ellen Glennie, 524kg, £1180.

Haltered home-bred – Heifers – 1, Ally Fraser, 354kg, £1200; 2, Harvey Stuart, 438kg, £1220; 3, Molly Stuart, 472kg

Bullocks – 1, Duncan Munro, 540kg, £1380

Highest placed Charloais cross calf – Cameron Hunter.

Best presented and paraded – 1, Mark Robertson; 2, Graeme Rhind; 3, Jack Hendry.

Highest daily liveweight gain steers – 1, Martyn Horner, (1.493kg); 2, Harry Ross (1.425kg); 3, Ryan McConnachie, Midtown of Buchromb, Dufftown (1.363kg).

Highest average daily liveweight gain heifers – 1, Duncan Munro (1.248kg); 2, Alexia Chalmers, Midhill of Seggat, Auctherless, Turriff (1.223kg); 3, Cameron Hunter (1.219).

Highest margin steers – 1 and 2, Jenna Ross, Wardhead, Strichen (£500 and £490); 3, Kyle Cruikshank, (£470).

Highest margin heifers – 1, Mark Robertson, (£670); 2, Finn Chrisite, (£550); 3, Jack Hendry, (£530)

Best over-wintered steer – 1, Martyn Horner; 2, Kyle Cruikshank; 3, Harry Ross.

Best over-wintered heifer – 1, Mark Robertson; 2, Jack Hendry; 3, Duncan Munro.

Best novice – 1, Duncan Munro; 2, Finn Christie; 3, Cameron Hunter.

Best junior – 1, Duncan Munro; 2, Finn Christie; 3, Cameron Hunter.