Steven Smith, Sunnyhill, Claymires, Turriff, produced the champion beef carcase at the recent Scottish National Premier Meat Exhibition in the shape of a Limousin cross heifer.

Although a slightly different event this year, with the carcase judging taking place behind doors, organisers said they would aim to get it bigger and better next year.

Mr Smith's 373.7kg carcase graded in at E2 and a 65.3% KO. This same beast stood second place in its class in the live competition, this year judged by Robert Neil, Upper Nisbet, Jedburgh.

Carcase judge, Jamie Chapman, Wishaw, said: “I was looking for conformation, fat cover and depth of muscle, and my champion had all of that and more. It would produce a steak I would happily have for my dinner and when selecting the best that is what you have to bear in mind.”

He gave reserve honours to a Limousin cross steer from Messrs Adam, Craigton, Clackmannan. This boy hung up at 392.9kg with a E3 grade and a 63.6% KO. “There was very little between my top two, both being very similar types that we would tend to work with," he pointed out.

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“The quality of cattle on offer was outstanding, there was a lot of close classes and you had to narrow it down to what caught your eye at that particular moment in time. It really was an honour to be part of such a premium show and even with the restrictions it was a great atmosphere for all involved.

Securing the best Aberdeen-Angus cross carcase was one from David and Val Buchan, Savoch, Longside, Peterhead. This one hung up at 352.3kg with a grade of -U4L and a K of more than 60%, while the best pure-bred Angus carcase was from James Watson, Pityot, Stonehaven. It secured a first in the live judging, hanging up at 352.2kg at -U4L and a 57.7% KO.

John Davie, Harvies Mailing, Denny, bagged himself the Premio Speciale Italiano award for the best carcase suited for the Italian market. His winning entry was a 340.8kg Limousin cross carcase grading in at U+2 with a 63.7% KO.

David and Val Buchan also won the best prime cow prize for a Limousin cross cow placed top of her class in both the live and dead judging. The carcase weighed 522.9kg and graded U+4H.

Clinching the Carrick Primestock Perpetual Shield for the exhibitor gaining most points in the live and dead cattle sections was one of the biggest finishers in the North-east, Ross Brothers, Wardhead, Strichen.

In the section for young producers, Rachel Watson topped the live seniors with a Limousin cross heifer, which hung up at 401.5kg and E4L, whilst junior live champion was Jenna Ross’ British Blue cross 304.8kg carcase which graded in at U+4L with a 60.7% KO.

From the live show, champion was a Limousin cross heifer from Craig and Teen Malone, Pitcairn, Lochgelly. This girl hit the hook at 358.4kg at a E4L grade killing out at 58.0%. An Angus from John Thompson, Smallburn Farms, Longhorsley, settled for the reserve in the live ring. She had a 391.8kg carcase and U+4L.

LEADING awards:

(Live judge: Robert Neil, Upper Nisbet, Jedburgh; carcase judge, Jamie Chapman, Wishaw).

Live champion – C and K Malone, Pitcairn. Reserve – J Thompson, Smallburn.

Champion beef carcase – Steven Smith, Sunnyhill.

Reserve – Messrs Adam, Craigton.

Best Aberdeen-Angus carcase – D and V Buchan, Savoch.

Premio Speciale Italiano – G and J Davie, Harvies Mailing.

Best pure bred Aberdeen Angus carcase – James Watson, Pityot.

Best prime cow carcase – D and V Buchan.

Most points live and dead – Ross Brothers. Reserve – A Purdon.

A-A steer – Light – 1, D and V Buchan (3 live); 2, Eric Buchan; 3, Ross Brothers (2 live); G McFadzean (1 live). Heavy – 1, D Work and Son (1 and 3 live); 2, J Paterson; 3, T and A Taylor; J Thomson, Smallburns (2 live)

Aberdeen-Angus heifer – 1, Ross Brothers (3 live); 2 and 3, J Thompson, Smallburn (1 and 2 live).

Native steer – 1, A Purdon (1 live); 2, I and M Emslie (2 live); 3, R and J Andrew (3 live).

Native heifer – 1, A Purdon (1 live); 2, T and A Taylor (2 live).

AOB steer – Lightweight – 1, Ross Brothers (2 live); 2, JH and NT Turnbull; 3, D and V Buchan (3 live); Andrew Purdon (3 live). Heavyweight – 1, Messrs Adam; 2, G and J Davie (2 live); 3, I and M Emslie; James Wylie (1 live); Ross brothers (3 live).

AOB heifer – Lightweight – 1, Steven Smith (2 live); 2, T and A Taylor (3 live); 3, James R Hunter; RS Ferguson (1 live). Heavyweight – 1, B Duffton; 2, WA Fettes (3 live); 3, G and J Davie; C and K Malone (1 live); Ross Brothers (2 live).

Best prime cow – 1, 2 and 3 – D and V Buchan (1, 2 and 3 live).

YLP 1 – 1 – Jenna Ross (1 live); 2, Euan Mathers (2 live).

YLP 2 – 1 – Jenna Ross (1 live).

YLP 3 – 1 – Stuart Ross (3 live); 2, Hugh Gordon (1 live); 3, Hannah Gordon (2 live).

YLP 4 – 1 – Charlie Turnbull; 2, Eddie Skeet (2 live); 3, Layton Paul (3 live); Rachel Watson (1 live).