Reports by Katrina Macarthur
Photographs by Rob Haining

Ulster commercial cattle producers, Dermot and Gareth Small’s Strathearn commercial herd, secured its second supreme win at the Agri-Expo with the heifer champion, Strawberry Blonde, in what was their fourth year showing at the Borderway event. 
Now running in its 12th year, the one-day event attracted a record crowd of spectators and welcomed some of the best livestock from across the UK, with more than 900 head of cattle and sheep judged throughout the day.
Making their long trip across the water from Irvington Close, Kilkeel, Co Down, all worthwhile was the Smalls’ 15-month-old ET-bred Charolais cross heifer by Anside Foreman – a bull which made 16,000gns when sold at Stirling in 2011. But, what was all the sweeter about this win was the fact that this heifer is home-bred and out of one of their previous show-winning heifers, a Limousin cross Charolais from their 20-cow commercial herd which is run alongside a newly established pedigree Limousin herd. 
Brought out by Thomas Illingworth and weighing in at 624kg, Strawberry Blonde had already bagged herself a number of wins before the Agri-Expo, including being reserve female champion at Balmoral Show and the Royal Highland Show, as well as overall champion at the Northern Ireland Commercial Calf Show. She is also destined for this month’s LiveScot, at Lanark. 
“The heifer is a lovely example of the breed – she is clean, moves well and has a great character,” commented the judge, Alan Veitch, who milks 120 dairy cows, as well as 30 pedigree Charolais, Simmental and British Blues cows and six commercials at Drumlone, Lisbellaw, Co Fermanagh. “This type of animal is hard to breed and even harder to find. It’s not every day you come across one like this.”
Heifers continued to prove the star attraction, when the reserve champion heifer from Stewart and Lynsey Bett, Newmills, Fallin, Stirling, landed the reserve overall honours. 
Described as a ‘very well put together heifer’ by Mr Veitch, this 19-month-old Limousin cross heifer – Red Hot Diamond – was bred by MB Nash, Blea Tarn, Morville, Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Bought from Bryan Griffiths at last year’s Royal Welsh Winter Fair, where she stood young farmers’ champion, this stylish heifer is by Sarkley Digital, out of a British Blue dam. 

The Scottish Farmer:

Stewart and Lynsey Bett were reserve commercial cattle champion with the runner-up heifer, Red Hot Diamond 

Crossing the weighbridge at 651kg and producing a best result here for a husband and wife team which had scooped red tickets in their six years of showing here, she stood inter-breed champion at Ayr and Perth shows, reserve champion at the Yorkshire and Perth, as well as champion at Drymen and Gargunnock. She is destined for LiveScot and the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.
Claiming the bullock title was an entry from James Little and Katrina Donaldson, who run commercial and pedigree cattle at The Guards, Ireby, Wigton, Cumbria. 
Bred by John McAlister, Wester Thomaston, Banknock, Stirling, but bought from Brian Harper, Greenwells, Maddiston, Falkirk, at Caledonian Marts’ calf sale, this 15-month-old Limousin cross named Midnight won his class at the Yorkshire and stood bullock champion at Countryside Live. Weighing 619kg, he is by Eaglesfield Exterminator, out of a British Blue cross dam. 

The Scottish Farmer:

Steer champion was Midnight from James Little and Katrina Donaldson                                                      Ref:RH021118108

Also in the show tickets was the reserve bullock, Oreo, a 17-month-old British Blue cross from Aberdeenshire’s Blair Duffton and Rebecca Stuart, of Huntly and Insch, respectively. This 605kg bullock was bred by Jack Smyth, Northern Ireland, and bought by Mr Duffton at Dungannon, in March. By Empire D’Ochain and out of a pure-bred Limousin cow which was a former Royal Ulster Show champion, he is from the same flush as William Moir’s heifer, Mojo, which secured championships in this year’s summer show circuit. Oreo also made his mark on the circuit this year, standing champion at Tarland, reserve at Keith and the Scottish National and male champion at Turriff. 

LEADING awards:

(Judge: A Veitch, Dumlone, Liskellaw, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland). 
Native steer – Bullock – 1, Sarah Priestley’s Chunk; 2, J and S Wareham’s Big Brian. Heifer – 1, W Timms’ Maddy; 2, CS Page’s Yarn Hill Hannah; 3, MD and KE Lanfear’s Babybel. 
Continental bullock (split by weight) – A (lightest) – 1, Suzie Dunn’s Haggis Bomb; 2, E MacGillvary’s The Captain; 3, J Forsyth’s Stevie G. B – 1, EH Pennie and Sons’ Troy; 2, Harryman and Warriner’s Jackpot; 3, Wilkinson and Marwood’s Benji. C – 1, T Jones’ Rambo; 2, RDA Cattle Services’ Mr T; 3, Renton and Reddon’s The Greatest Showman. D – 1, Mr and Mrs C Malone’s Prince Harry; 2, IT Edwards’ Deio; 3, RJ Wright’s Jonesy. E – 1 and reserve bullock champion, B Duffton and R Stuart’s Oreo; 2, OW Williams’ Decota; 3, GH and AR Roberts’ Topman. F – 1 and bullock champion, Little and Donaldson’s Midnight; 2, NE Slack’s Black Panther; 3, J Nisbet’s Razzle Tipsy McStaggers. G – 1, Mr and Mrs M Alford’s No Likey; 2, Frank Page’s Gogglebox; 3, A and E Vance’s Stormzy. Young Farmers’ steer – 1, L Allan’s Finders Keepers; 2, Edwards Brothers’ Domino; 3, George Page’s Mallinder. Charolais-sired steer – 1, EH Pennie and Son’s Troy; 2, NE Slack’s Mo Salah; 3, J Nisbet’s Tipsy McStaggers. 
Continental heifer (split by weight) – A – 1, T Jones’ Black Beauty; 2, E Brothers’ Golden Girl; 3, I Phillip’s Dilly Dilly. B – 1, Renton and Renddon’s Havana; 2, RDA Cattle Services’ Joules; 3, S Bowe’s Wiggonby Noellen. C – 1, TA and LC Lyon and Son’s Nicola; 2, JM and SM Priestley’s Black Gold; 3, P and S Sellers’ Little Gem. D – 1, P and C Tippetts’ Naked Attraction; 2, Harryman and Warriner’s Midnight Star; 3, A Ewing’s Lady Million. E – 1, RJ Wright’s Shady Lady; 2, RJ Wright’s Glangwden Nicola; 3, GH and AH Roberts’ Dua Lipa. F – 1, P and S Sellers’ Fancy That; 2, Wilkinson and Marwood’s Bootylicious; 3, Little and Donaldson’s Anastasia. G – 1, heifer champion and overall champion, D Small’s Strawberry Blonde; 2, B Duffton and R Stuart’s Princess; 3, MD and KE Lanfear’s Queen of Hearts. H – 1, reserve heifer champion and reserve overall, S and L Bett’s Red Hot Diamond; 2, Edwards Brothers’ I-Candy; 3, Keith Commercials’ Lady Million. I – D Small’s Flo Jo; 2, W Moir’s Magic Mojo; 3, F Page’s Fitbit. Young Farmers’ heifer A – 1, R Graham’s Black Diamond; 2, D and T Charlton’s Toffee; 3, E Roberts’ Bambi. Young Farmers’ heifer B – 1, TW Hunter’s Fancy Pants; 2, Keith Commercials’ Little Mojito; 3, M Morley and N Chappelhow’s Dora. Charolais-sired heifer – 1, champion here and overall champion, D Small’s Strawberry Blonde; 2, R and L Roberts’ Tap My Bum; 3, L Allan’s Don’t Tell Daddy.