SCOTTISH farmers need a pick-me-up given the desperate weather hitting them in the nether regions in recent weeks and one of two Borders farmers could be on target to set the heather alight in this weekend’s £1m Grand National event, at Aintree.

Stuart Coltherd, a beef and sheep farmer from Selkirk, runs Captain Redbeard, to be ridden by his son Sam (19), while Sandy Thomson, also a beef and sheep farmer, from Duns, runs Seeyouatmidnight. According to our pundit, both horses are capable of doing ‘the business’.

Flagging them up is The Scottish Farmer’s champion (use the term ‘champion’ advisedly) tipster, Dougie-beat-the-bookies-MacSkimming. From his castle in Lockerbie, he suggested a ‘saver’ on Blaklion, which could roar for trainer Sam Twiston Davies, ridden by his son, Nigel, and also Vintage Clouds, trained by former leading showjumper Harvey Smith and his wife Sue.

If you can wrench yourself away from the calving pens, or lambing fields, then you might join the estimated audience of 600million people worldwide who will be tuning in to the top event in the horse racing calendar.

A ‘rare’ steak event

It was quite illuminating being at Thainstone Mart last week while there for a preview of the ANM Group’s annual accounts.

It’s always a gripe for those in this office that a lot of the fare we are fed with at local shows and the like, does not do a lot to support the best of Scottish produce. But, I have to say, the lunch in ANM’s Porterhouse restaurant was absolutely first class.

Being a stone’s throw from where live auction cattle pass through week in week out, it was great to see that top quality beef featured in the menu. My rib-eye was not only tasty and succulent, but served just the way I asked for it. Now that is a ‘rare’ event!

As mad as a hare!

That’s us into spring now,

Time for the mad March hare.

And when you see them bounce and bound,

You’ve got to stop and stare.

They run and jump sprint and hop,

But now it’s time to pair.

Enjoying a few weeks frolics and fun,

And maybe laze about in the sun,

A male hare’s called a Jack,

All females are a Jill,

They can really sprint like mad

And climb up any hill,

Now see if I were a farmer or his son,

I would put them on the birth control pill

Then we would have none,

I would even shoot them if I only had a gun,

But it’s because that I’m a farmer,

I wouldn’t wish them any harm,

But if I go and leave them

They’ll eat up my whole farm!

Maddog’s slavers !!

(Jimmy Wiseman)