Honours were evenly spread out at the 20th Black Beauty Bonanza which attracted an outstanding entry of more than 100 Aberdeen-Angus calves and yearlings from 30 herds from Clachmannan to Ross-shire.

Organised by the North East Aberdeen-Angus Club, with Glenrinnes Estate, Duffotwn, as main sponsor, the show was widely viewed by the large ringside audience as the best in the 20 years of the event and drew warm praise from the judge, Rob Bishop, owner of the Warrenho herd in Berkshire.

“It’s a fantastic well-organised show with the top bulls, displaying style and breed character along with conformation and good tops, which will go on and do well at the bull sales,” said Mr Bishop. “The heifers, although sometimes not the biggest, were very correct and a credit to the breed.”

Leading the entry of 53 bull calves born in 2018 was a promising January-born calf, Blelack Dakota U898, by Netherallan Peter Pershore E052, from regular winners at the event, NF Massie and Sons, Blelack, Dinnet, Aboyne, closely followed in reserve place by the March-born, Cardona Jeweliot Eric U047, by the North American sire, SAV Solid Gold 9187, from Scotbeef managing director, Robbie Galloway’s Cardona herd at Doune.

Yearling bulls were topped by the 20-month-old, Logie Dynamite T740, a well-grown son of Logie Electric P438, from AJR Farms, Mains of Collieston, Ellon, who acquired the Logie herd from the Bruce family last year, retaining Andrew and James Reid as cattlemen.

Runner-up was the second prize winner in the same class, the 20-month-old, Tonley Elijah T367, by Tonley Essien N955, from Sellars Agriculture managing director, Neil Wattie and son, Mark, from Mains of Tonley, Alford.

Champion heifer calf was the January-born, Tulloes Pride U003, by the privately purchased Blelack Jock Eric R434, following her native breeds junior championship success at Stars of the Future, from first-time exhibitor, David Raeburn, Burnside of Tulloes, Letham, Forfar.

Reserve, and again the second prize winner in the class, was the January-born, Retties Evita U005, by Retties JFK M195, shown by Richard and Carol Rettie, Devonside, Clackmannanshire, from their herd at Methven, Perth.

The Rettie’s had a successful day, bringing out the yearling heifer and reserve champions from their livery, on behalf of Donald Rankin, Kilmaluag, Duntulm, Isle of Skye, who took top honours with the 18-month-old, Kilmaluag Lady Ruth T207, another by Retties JFK M195, with reserve spot going to Messrs Hassel's of Brailes Livestock in Oxford – though all his cattle are kept in Scotland – with the 18-month-old, Cheeklaw Black Beath T597, by Balmachie Lord Jack R198, bought at the Cheeklaw dispersal.

The coveted McCombie Trophy for the best pair of calves went to Robbie Galloway with his reserve bull calf, along with a second prize April-born bull calf, Cardona Prize Fighter U053. Blelack were reserve with their champion, which was paired with the first prize April-born bull calf, Blelack Dual Mine U913, by Weeton Diamond Mine P944.

Winner of the Shand Trophy for the best pair of yearlings was Hamsh Sclater, Denhead, Dunlugas, Turriff, with two yearling bulls, Deveron Exstatic T593, by Gretnahouse Blacksmith L500, and the fourth prize, Deveron Joules Eric T581, by Deveron Master Banbury L376.

Standing reserve were two by Retties Euromillions R307 from Mr Rankin, the third prize heifer, Kilmaluag Lady Iris T220, and the unplaced bull, Kilmaluag Jack Eric T216.

The new award for herds of 20 cows or fewer founded within the last five years went to Moray farmer and vet, Hugh Thomson and his wife, Cara, whose class placings included a red ticket with the April-born heifer calf, Tynet Diana U041, by Gretnahouse Blacksmith L500.

LEADING awards

Heifer calf – Champion – D Raeburn, Burnside of Tulloes, Tulloes Pride U003, by Blelack Black Jock R534; reserve – R and C Rettie, Devonside, Retties Evita U005, by Retties JFK M195.

Yearling heifer – Champion – D Rankin, Kilmaluag House, Kilmaluag Lady Ruth T207, by Retties JFK M195; reserve – Brailes Livestock, Upper Brailes, Cheeklaw Black Beth T597, by Balmachie Lord Jock R198.

Bull calf – Champion – NF Massie and Sons, Blelack, Blelack Dakota U898, by Netherallan Peter Pershore E052; reserve – R Galloway, Cardona Cardona Jeweliot Eric U047, by SAV Solid Gold 9187.

Yearling bull – Champion – AJR Farms, Milton of Collieston, Logie Dynamite T740, by Logie Electric P438; reserve – N Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford, Tonley Elijah T367, by Tonley Essien N955.

Pair home-bred calves – Champion – R Galloway's Cardona Jeweliot Eric U047, and Cardona Prize Fighter U053; reserve – NF Massie and Sons' Blelack Dakota U898, and Blelack Dual Mine U913

Pair home-bred yearlings – H Sclater, Denhead of Dunlugas, Deveron Joules Eric T581, and Deveron Exstatic T593; reserve – D Rankin's Kilmaluag Lady Iris T220, and Kilmaluag Jack Eric T216.

New herd award – H Thomson, Burnside Cottage, Tynet, Buckie

Special prize for endeavor – Katie Meston, Ballater

Showmanship – Junior – 1, Andrew Reid, Mains of Collieston, Ellon; 2, Rachel Forbes, Lochdhu, Nairn; 3, Fraser Neve

Intermediate – 1, Faye Wilkie, Echt; 2, Ian Lockhead-Anderson, Glassel, Banchory; 3, Nicola Howie, Cairnton, Lumphanan

Class results – Heifer calf born 2018 – Jan 7-March 10 – 1, D Raeburn’s Tulloes Pride U003; 2, R and C Rettie’s Retties Evita U005; 3, FJ Fraser and Son’s Idvies Privola U820. March 15-April 2 – 1, H Thomson’s Tynet Diana U041; 2, D Murray’s Wolflaw Jill U728; 3, E and G MacGregor’s Raddery Elderflower U220. April 7-May 9 – 1, H Sclater’s Deveron Jill Erica U615; 2, D Walker’s Galcantray Lassie U159; 3, DF Massie and Sons’ Blelack Evora U920

Yearling heifer born 2017 – Jan 3-Nov 22 – 1, D Rankin’s Kilmaluag Lady Ruth T207; 2, Brailes Livestock’s Cheeklaw Black Beth T597; 3, D Rankin’s Kilmaluag Lady Iris T220

Bull calf born 2018 – Jan 12-Feb 28 – 1, NF Massie and Sons’ Blelack Dakota U898; 2, N Wattie’s Tonley Everest U481; 3, AJR Farms’ Kincardine Castle Expectation U215. March 2-March 13 – 1, R Galloway’s Cardona Jeweliot Eric U047; 2, C and E McCombie’s Auchincrieve Jura Eric U267; 3, FJ Fraser and Son’s Idvies Euro U821. March 15-March 31 – 1, FJ Fraser and Son’s Idvies Proud Parish U823; 2, E and G MacGregor’s Raddery Elan U219; 3, D Walker’s Galcantray Jewjet Eric U138. April 1-April 10 – 1, H Sclater’s Deveron Fantastic U608; 2, FJ Fraser and Son’s Idvies Euroman U831; 3, D Murray’s Wolflaw Proud Imran U735. April 11-April 24 – 1, NF Massie and Sons’ Blelack Dual Mine U913; 2, R Galloway’s Cardona Prize Fighter U053; 3, D Walker’s Galcantray Duke U155.

Yearling bull born 2017 – Feb 24-April 12 – 1, AJR Farms’ Logie Dynamite T740; 2, N Wattie’s Tonley Elijah T367; 3, R and C Rettie’s Retties Lord Harvey T406. April 27-Nov 17 – 1, H Sclater’s Deveron Exstatic T593; 2, AJR Farms’ Logie Defiance T774; 3, Wendy Willox’s Strathinver Jacobite T048.