ABERDEEN-Angus breeders from as far north as Orkney and down into the Central Belt put on an impressive show of calves and yearlings at the North-east Aberdeen-Angus Club’s Black Beauty Bonanza, where entries were significantly up on recent years. 
The event, now in its 19th year, saw entries from more than 35 herds forward for judge, Alistair Cormack, of Lower Largo, Fife, who said the quality of the cattle in every section was high. 
“The standard of the cattle today was outstanding, especially considering how young the cattle are,” said Mr Cormack. “Many of the calves and yearlings forward had a lot of breed character and good locomotion. This event is a great advert for the breed.”
First to take a red, white and blue sash was Hamish and Margaret Sclater’s heifer calf from their 70-cow herd at Denhead of Dunlugas, Turriff. This was Deveron Felicity T580, an April-born calf by Deveron Leggat, a sire which sold privately to the Wattie’s Tonley herd, at Alford. Previously unshown, she is out of Deveron Felicity J296 – a previous Highland Show champion that has bred well for the herd.
The reserve heifer calf championship was awarded to the January-born Retties Ruisseau T391 from the Retties – Richard, Carol and son Jamie. An ET son of Retties JFK, out of Belhaven Ruisseau H062, she stood reserve heifer calf champion at the Agri Expo and was reserve junior female at the Stars of the Future Calf Show.
It was another North-east breeder who scooped the yearling heifer championship, this time Graham Willox and daughter, Fiona, of the Cardenwell herd at Meikle Pitinnan, Oldmeldrum. 
Achieving a personal best at this show for them was Cardenwell Miss Blossom S087, a January, 2016-born heifer by the herd’s stock bull, Burnside Jamie Eric. She was reserve at Tarland, third in her class at the Royal Highland, and is out of Cardenwell Miss Bracken L005. 
Taking the reserve honours in the yearling heifer section was Tonley Princess S273 from father and son team, Neil and Mark Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford. By the 8000gns Blelack Evor – which has bred bulls to 24,000gns – she is out of Tonley Princess N970. Champion at Keith this year, this April, 2016-born heifer is destined for Stirling Bull Sales, in February. 
Amongst the bull calves, it was Balavilhouse Postman from Mrs Hannah Heerema’s Balavilhouse herd, near Kingussie, that collected the silverware. Brought out by stockman, Robert Marshall, this April, 2017-born calf is the result of an in-calf purchase, being out of Blelack Prunella P294 and sired by Blelack Lord Blackcock. He was first in his class at the Agri Expo and second at Stars of the Future. 
Reserve bull calf was an entry from Ken and Margaret Howie’s 30-cow herd, from Lumphanan, shown by daughter, Nicola. This was Cairnton Blackbeard, a seven-month-old son of Haymount Walarlo, which was sold at the herd’s reduction sale last year. First in its class at Banchory, he is out of Cairnton Blackbird N359. 
The yearling bull section saw the championship ticket head south to Robbie Galloway’s Cardona herd, at Doune. This was Cardona Edwin, a May, 2016-born son of Nightingale Dunbar, out of Cardona Edwin F435. Champion at Perth this year, he stood overall champion at the Stars of the Future last year, and is destined for Stirling Bull Sales in February.
AJR Farms, Milton of Collieston, Ellon, scooped the reserve yearling bull championship with the 19-month-old Logie Explosive. This youngster was on his first outing and is by Rawburn Enoch, a bull that has bred bulls to 7500gns, including the intermediate champion at Stirling, in February, which made 6500gns. The dam is Logie Elegant K889.
The same home lifted the champion calf pair with two sons of Logie Electric, including Logie Explosion and Logie Dynamite, while the reserve ticket was awarded to Hamish and Margaret Sclater’s pairing of Deveron Felicity T580 with Deveron Estorella T588.
Champion in the yearling pairs was Cardona Edwin S001 and Cardona Jeweliot Erica S002 from Robbie Galloway, with Kilmaluag Etta S187 and Kilmaluag Ruth S348 from Donald Rankin, Isle of Skye, in reserve.

LEADING awards:
Judge: A Cormack, Lower Largo, Fife
Commercial calves – Females – 2017-born – 1, C and E McCombie, Auchincrieve, Rothiemay; 2, W Ritch, East Fingask, Oldmeldrum. 2016-born – 1, JG Reid, Tullochleys, Clatt, Huntly; 2, H Heerema, Balavil Home Farm, Kingussie. 
Heifer calves – Jan 5-Mar 3, 2017 – 1, R and C Rettie’s Retties Ruisseau; 2, R and C Rettie’s Retties Lady Ruth; 3, C and E McCombie, with Auchincrieve Ethelle T125. Mar 12-Mar 23, 2017 – 1, NA Wattie’s Tonley Equidora T362; 2, Hamish W Sclater’s Deveron Jill Erica T568; 3, Mrs H Heerema’s Balavilhouse Toplass T716. Mar 24-Apr 7, 2017 – 1, Mr and Mrs E MacGregor’s Raddery Elderflower T206; 2, NF Massie and Sons’ Blelack Blackbird T853; 3, NF Massie and Sons’ Blelack Evora T854. Apr 9-Jun 12, 2017 – 1, HW Sclater’s Deveron Facility; 2, HW Sclater’s Deveron Estorella T588; A and K Rhind and Son’s Newton-Struthers Ella T355. 
Yearling heifers – Jan 2-Apr 15, 2016 – 1, G Willox’s Cardenwell Miss Blossom S087; 2, NA Wattie’s Tonley Princess S273; 3, D Rankin’s Kilmaluag Etta S187. May 3-Oct 1, 2016 – 1, JR Galloway’s Cardona Jeweliot Erica S002; 2, Ballindalloch Home Farm’s Ballindalloch Ebony S499; 3, AJR Farms’ Logie Ermine S696. 
Bull calves – Jan 8-Mar 5, 2017 – 1, AJR Farms’ Logie Dynamite; 2, AJR Farms’ Logie Explosion; 3, G Willox’s Cardenwell Mr Braveheart. Mar 6-Mar 30, 2017 – 1, W Willox’s Strathinver Master Bentley; 2, C and E McCombie’s Auchincrieve Janssen Eric; 3, Mr and Mrs E MacGregor’s Raddery Esprit. Mar 22-Apr 1, 2017 – 1, Mrs H Heerema’s Balavilhouse Postman; 2, HW Sclater’s Deveron Katalist; 3, C and E McCombie’s Auchincrieve Essien. Apr 2-Apr 10, 2017 – 1, PM Hepburn’s Burnside Esteem; 2, HW Sclater’s Deveron Rockstar; 3, D Walker’s Galcantray Phoenix. Apr 11-May 25, 2017 – 1, K and M Howie’s Cairnton Blackbeard; 2, H Heerema’s Balavilhouse Banksy; 3, JR Galloway’s Cardona Edwin. 
Yearling bulls – Feb 17-Mar 29, 2016 – 1, AJR Farms’ Logie Expolsive; 2, Ballindalloch Home Farms’ Ballindalloch Proud Man; 3, AC Grant and Son’s Varis Punch. Apr 2-Jul 1, 2016 – 1, JR Galloway’s Cardona Edwin; 2, NA Wattie’s Tonley Emmerson; 3, HW Sclater’s Deveron Eldon. 
Pairs – Calves – Champion – AJR Farms’ Logie Explosion and Logie Dynamite. Reserve – HW Sclater’s Deveron Felicity T580 and Deveron Estorella T588. 
Pairs – Yearlings – Champion – JR Galloway’s Cardona Edwin and Cardona Jeweliot Erica S002. Reserve – D Rankin’s Kilmaluag Etta S187 and Kilmaluag Lady Ruth S348. 
Small herd’s award – Wendy Willox, Broadmyre, Clatt, Huntly. 
Showmanship – Junior – 1, Andrew Reid; 2, Fay Wilkie; 3, Louis Milne. Intermediate – 1, Graeme Rhind, Newton of Struthers, Kinloss; 2, Craig Coutts; 3, Katie Meston. Senior – 1, Charles McCombie, Auchincrieve, Rothiemay; 2, Eion Cumming, North Cottage, Middlebank Farm, Errol; 3, Mark Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford.