Reports by Katrina Macarthur

Photographs by Rob Haining

A CRACKING line-up of pedigree calves with further potential was forward at the Stars of the Future Calf Show staged at United Auctions' Stirling centre, last weekend.

Attracting several new exhibitors and no fewer than eight different breeds, well-known Aberdeen-Angus and Charolais breeder, Alasdair Houston from Gretna House at Gretna Green, Dumfries, certainly had his work cut out for him when it came to the native, continental and pairs championships.

Aberdeen-Angus and Highland Cattle ruled supreme in the native senior section as Richard and Carol Rettie's heifer, Retties Pam T420 from their base Methven, Perth, was awarded the championship, ahead of HM The Queen's young bull named Prionnsa Dubh 2 of Balmoral.

Among the native juniors, new exhibitors were to the fore as an Aberdeen-Angus heifer, Tulloes Pride, from David Raeburn at Burnside of Tulloes, Letham, Angus, secured the top title, while the junior Shorthorn leader, a heifer named Rattray Maddie from Rattray Estate, Home Farm, Peterhead, stood reserve.

In the continental sections, Limousins and Charolais led the way as John Christie of the Westcarse herd, near Stirling, claimed the senior title with his bull Westcarse Nimrod, while Andrew and Jim Gammie's Limousin bull, Westpit Nashville from Drumforber, Laurencekirk, took the reserve honours. Another Aberdeenshire Limousin breeder, this time Aileen Ritchie from Tamala, Whitecairns, topped the juniors with her heifer Ritchies Oracle, ahead of Charlotte Alford's British Blue junior female and overall junior champion, Foxhill Nadiya from Foxhill Farm, Collumpton, Devon.

Regular pairs winner, Jack Ramsay from Mauchline, Ayrshire, stood champion in the natives and reserve overall with his heifer, Millerston Gretta Mandy and bull, Millerston Man O War. Following behind was an Aberdeen-Angus bull calf duo from David Murray's 40-cow Wolflaw herd at Forfar, in the shape of Wolflaw Proud Ian U781 and Wolflaw Edwin U725.

Supreme in the continental pairs, before securing the overall title and taking home the Joe Watson Memorial Trophy, was a Charolais heifer duo, Formakin Opal and Formakin Octopusy, from local breeders, Robin and William McMurrich, Causewayhead, Stirling. Reserve was another Charolais duo from Richard Hassel and Rachel Whylie of Brailes Livestock, Upper Brailes, Oxfordshire.

The hotly contested young handlers section was won by 11-year-old Emma Smith from Bankhead, Portlethen, who was showing her home-bred Simmental heifer, Forgeron Ivy from the family's 25-cow herd. Frank Gwynne, 17, from Castlewigg Farm, Whithorn, Newton Stewart, claimed the reserve honours with Castlewigg Ifan, a home-bred Simmental bull.