ONE of the North-east region's leading cattle dealers and farmers, Bill Cameron, lifted the supreme beef championship at the carcase show held as part of the Royal Northern Spring Show at Scotbeef's Inverurie plant. 

The judging takes place after the 'on the hoof' classes at the Spring Show at the end of February, and saw the 'hook' entry judged by Alan McNaughton, site director and McIntosh Donald, Portlethen, who praised the show of carcases and commented most entries met the current market specification in terms of lighter weights and degree of finish. 

The champion from Mr Cameron, of Burnside, Edingight, Keith, was a Charolais cross heifer which tipped the scales at 376.4kg and graded the ideal E4L. Stepping up from a second prize during the live judging, she was originally bought at Dalmally, last July, from Duncan Semple, of Dippen, Campbeltown. 

“It was an excellent show of beef carcases with many of the entries achieving the ideal for conformation of 4L although a few were a little on the lean side,” said Mr McNaughton of his judging stint. “The champion stood out and it was encouraging to see most of the carcases coming in at under 380kg which is the maximum weight producers should be aiming for to meet the requirements of the market.”

There were further celebrations for Mr Cameron when he secured the reserve bullock champion with a 360.1kg Limousin cross that classified U+3. He was purchased last August from his Orkney breeders, Philip and Moira Miller, Haquoy. 

It was the reserve heifer winner that went on to take the reserve supreme honours for the Ellis and Keir team at Cairncoullie, Glenkindie. This Limousin cross, which was unplaced in the live judging, graded U+3 and weighed in at 367.7kg. 

Landing the bullock championship was the overall live champion, a Limousin cross from Sandy Douglas, Crimonmogate Mains, Lonmay, who secured the highest combined score in the live and dead judging. A buyer and finisher of some 1200 store cattle each year, Mr Douglas' leading entry was among a batch of 13 bought for him by Blair Duffton at Forfar, last November. 

There were double, maybe even quadruple, celebrations for Roddy and Hugh Thomson – who in fact bred last year's champions from David Black – when the first time exhibitors secured the champion and reserve tickets on the hoof and followed it up with the same two tickets on the hook. Taking the tri-colour for the brothers, who run 1600 ewes and commercial cattle on the family's West Park, Aberfeldy, was their winning live entry, a pair of Beltex cross hoggs which both classified E3L and weighed 21.7kg and 21kg. 

It was a similar pair that secured the reserve honours with this second prize duo from the live classes weighing in at 21kg and 20.5kg, and grading E3L. 

Mr McNaughton was impressed with the overall quality and conformation of the hoggs, very few of which he said were overfat. Producers, he added, should ideally be aiming for a carcase weight of 18 to 19.5kg.

LEADING awards:

Native steer – 1 and 2, Uppermill Farms Ltd, Springburn, Kintore
Continental steerLightweight – 1 and reserve bullock, B Cameron, Burnside, Edingight, Grange, Keith; 2, A and P Davidson, Auchtydonald, Mintlaw; 3, D and V Buchan, Nether Savoch, Longside. Mediumweight – 1 and bullock champion, S Douglas, Crimonmogate Mains, Lonmay; 2 and 3, B Cameron. Heavyweight – 1, B Cameron; 2, Ross Bros, Wardhead, Strichen; 3 B Duffton and R Stuart, Bogie Street, Huntly. 

Native heifer – 1, D and V Buchan. 
Continental heiferLightweight – 1, heifer champion and supreme champion, B Cameron; 2, Auchtydore Farms, Mintlaw; 3, Messrs Ellis and Keir, Cairncoullie, Glenkindie. Mediumweight – 1, reserve heifer and reserve supreme, Messrs Ellis and Keir; 2, AM Connon and Sons, Skilmafilly, Auchnagatt; 3, D Work and Son, Mains of Dumbreck, Udny. Heavyweight – 1, G and B Walker, Newton of Lewesk, Old Rayne; 2, R and D Farquhar, Tewel, Fetteresso, Stonehaven; 3, KH and KM Marshall, Mains of Hilton, Catterline, Stonehaven. 
Best kill-out percentage – B Duffton and R Stuart (66.28%). 
Highest combined score hoof and hook – S Douglas. 

Prime hoggsLightweight – 1 and champion, 2 and reserve, D and J Thomson, West Park, Aberfeldy; 3 D Moir, Home Farm, Cairness, Fraserburgh. Mediumweight – 1 B Wylie, Balbrydie, Kirriemuir; 2 D Black, Minard, Cortachy Road, Northmuir, Kirriemuir; 3 A Greenlaw, Sheep Park, Bridge of Marnoch, Huntly. Heavyweight – 1 D Black; 2 D and J Thomson; 3 J and E Forrester, Aldie, Cruden Bay, Peterhead. 
Breed prizesSuffolk – R and D Farquhar. Texel – D Black. Beltex – D and J Thomson. Any other breed – J and E Forrester (Cheviot cross).