The unfortunate cancellation of Angus Show the previous week due to heavy rain provided a welcome addition to Alyth and District’s annual event, with increased entries in both the sheep and the cattle lines.

With many exhibitors using Angus Show as a trial run for the Royal Highland, it's abandonment bolstered cattle numbers in particular at Alyth, which this year was staged just outside Blairgowrie. However, it was regular show winners, Major Walter and his top team of Tracey and Davie Nicoll, who produced the star attraction, when their Charolais heifer from Balthayock Farm, Perth, secured the prestigious champion of champions accolade.

"The Charolais heifer showed herself off the best in the parade. She's full of breed character, style and correct throughout, but it was very close," said the umpire, Wattie Wyllie, a former Stockman of the Year who had to brought in at the last minute when the inter-breed sheep, cattle and horse judges failed to agree on an overall winner.

Taking all the plaudits and producing a first supreme overall at Alyth for the 100-cow Balthayock Charolais herd was the two-year-old heifer, Balthayock Nessie. A daughter of Dingle Hoffmeister bred from Balthayock Jessie, this classy girl also teamed up with the reserve Charolais, Balthayock Nona, a similarly aged heifer by Balthayock Imp, the 2015 breed champion at the Highland, to win the inter-breed beef pairs.

For the supreme overall, Nessie was up against the inter-breed sheep champion, a Beltex ewe from Graeme and Fiona Burke's Pentland flock which first won the any other breed section and the lead horse, Muirton Margo, a two-year-old Clydesdale filly from Thomas Clark and sons William and Thomas, from Madderty.

Taking centre stage amongst the busy sheep lines was Pentland Doris, a home-bred gimmer from the Burke's flock from Edzell, Brechin, that made her presence felt at last year's Highland Show, to stand fourth in a massive class. She is by the 3200gns Broxty Wishfull Thinking and out of a home-bred ewe by Airyolland Kingsize.

Adding to the celebrations, young Rachel and Robbie Burke, triumphed to win the champion and reserve honours in the sheep young handlers competition.

Inter-breed sheep judge, David McKerrow, Nochnary, found his reserve winner in the North-type Blackface winner, a home-bred four-crop ewe from retired breeder, Davie Nicol who runs just 40 ewes in his Viewmount flock. Champion at Strathardle Show in 2017, this big girl is by a £9500 Haughton.

South-type Blackies were also in the tickets, with two from local breeder, Peter Alexander, Mains of Mause winning the supreme sheep pairs. This was made up of an Auchloy ewe bred by Sandy and Tommy Patterson that won the stockjudging competition at Forfar earlier in the year and a Hill of Errol-bred ram bought at Dalmally last year, from Robert Cockburn.

Just pipped at the post was a Suffolk duo from James Scott, Forfar, made up of a tup lamb by Redbrae Real Deal and a ewe lamb by Spittal XL.

Back amongst the cattle, inter-breed cattle judge, Alastair Fraser, Forfar, gave the runner-up slap to the any other breed champion, Ritchies Oracle, a 15-month-old Limousin heifer from young Aileen Ritchie, Whitecairns, Aberdeenshire. Backed by some top genetics, this youngster which stood junior inter-breed champion at the Stars of the Future is by the Rocky son Rathconville Eugene and out of the Wilodge Vantastic daughter Dinmore Elle.

Native inter-breed champion was the massive five-year-old Aberdeen Angus bull, Mosston Muir Excalibur, from Forfar butcher and breeder, Allan Rennie. His Netherallan Peter Pershore-sired bull was on his first outing of the year having last year scooped the breed honours at Fife.

Peter Pershore was also behind the reserve Angus, Mosston Muir Estrelita, a rising four-year-old cow that was reserve supreme beef champion at Fife Show, and teamed up with the champion to lift the blue and white sash in the pairs competition.

And, supreme horse was the Clark's unusually coloured Clydesdale filly, Muirton Margo, a chestnut/blonde daughter of Muirton Sabre out of Muirton Myra, that won the overall champion of champions at West Fife, last year. Margo is also a half sister to Muirton Melba, the supreme winner at the same show in 2016.

LEADING awards Clydesdales (Judge: A Ferguson). Champion – T Clark and Sons, Muirton, with the two-year-old filly, Muirton Margo, last year’s reserve champion at Perth and champion of champions at West Fife. She is by Muirton Sabre and out of Muirton Myra. Reserve – S Greenhill, Leuchars, with Fordelhill Hannah, a two-year-old filly that stood second in her class to the champion. Reserve at West Fife, she is by Eskechraggan Ernest out of Fordelhill Heather Marie. Yeld mare – B Warburton. Filly – T Clark and Sons. Harness, decoration, grooming, turnout – Messrs McCulloch and Crooks.

Shetland (Judge: Ms W Mouser). Champion and reserve – Ms LM Wilson. Supreme was Myreton Glory, a three-year-old colt by Claylands Prince of Foxt that was best Shetland at Stirling and champion at the Grampian Foal Show. Reserve was the six-year-old in-foal mare, Birchmoor Delight, a daughter of Birchmoor Viking that was champion at the Winter Fair at Lanark, last year. Mare, two-year-old and over male – Ms LM Wilson. Mare with foal, young handlers – Eynhallow Stud. Foal – Ms D Lochtie. Yearling – Almondell Shetlands. Two/three-year-old filly – Mawcarse Shetlands.

Highland (Judge: Mrs P Watson). Champion – J Corsie, with the nine-year-old mare, Orchid of Orcadia which won both the under saddle and in-hand sections. She is by Belivat of Muldoanich, out of Oronsay of Whitefield and stood champion at Echt in 2016. Under-saddle novice – R Chalmers. Under-saddle Olympia mountain and moorland, in-hand yeld mare – J Corsie. Three-year-old in hand – AJ Baird. Two-year-old in hand – Miss B MacDonald. In-hand yearling – A Baird. Senior gelding – Ms J McCormack.

Any other native beef breed (Judge: J Robertson). Champion and reserve – AK Rennie, Forfar. Supreme and inter-breed native champion was Mosston Muir Excalibur, a five-year-old Aberdeen-Angus bull by Netherallan Peter Pershore, on his first outing of the year. He is out of Mosston Muir Emily and last year was champion at Fife. Reserve for the 16-strong cow herd was Mosston Muir Estrelita, a four-year-old cow also by Peter Pershore that was reserve inter-breed champion at Fife Show. She is out of Mosston Muir elle and was shown with heifer calf at foot by Mosston Muir The Boss. Senior bull, cow, calf – AK Rennie. Junior bull – JM Cant and Partners, Arbroath. Heifer – S Raeburn.

Beef Shorthorn (Judge: A Lawrence). Champion – Major JPO Gibb, Glenisla, with Glenisla Masterton, a 15-month-old bull by the Australian sire, Broughton Park Thunder, out of a home-bred cow by Belmore Fuel Injected, another Australian sire. He is destined for the Bull Sales at Stirling in February. Reserve – Eastmill, Glenisla, with the second prize winner to the champion, Eastmill Machine, a 14-month-old son of Fearn Josh, out of Eastmill Ghost, brought out by Pamela Nicol and Scott Marshall. He was first at Stirling Show. Bull – Major JPO Gibb. Cow, senior heifer, calf – Trainview Livestock. Junior heifer – M and S Nairn, Balnabroich.

Highland (Judge: J Redpath). Champion and reserve – Mrs H Corrigall, with entries brought out by Graeme Easton. Supreme was the three-year-old heifer, Erin 6 of Earn, a previously unshown daughter of Angus Ruadh of Wester Croachy bred from Erin 4 of Earn. Reserve was the similarly aged bull, Magnus of Earn which is also by Angus Ruadh of Wester Croachy, but out of Sheila 2 of Earn. He was male champion at the club show. Bull, three-year-old heifer, two-year-old heifer, yearling heifer – Mrs H Corrigall.

Charolais (Judge: D Murray). Champion, supreme beef and overall champion of champions – Balthayock Farms, Perth, with Balthayock Nessie, a 26-month-old daughter of the show heifer, Balthayock Jessie, sired by Dingle Hoffmeister. The 100-cow pedigree herd managed by Tracey and Davie Nicoll, which is also home to a further 150 commercial cows also picked up the reserve honours with the 25-month-old heifer, Balthayock Nona. She stood second in her class to the champion and is by Balthayock Imp ¬ the 2015 breed champion and reserve overall beef leader at the Highland – out of Balthayock Isadore. Senior bull, junior bull, senior heifer – Balthayock Farms. Junior heifer – J Muirhead.

Cross cattle (Judge: J Smith). Champion – W Peters, Crieff, with the Charolais cross heifer, Islay Malt, which stood champion at Fife and West Fife Shows. This 15-month-old entry was bred by Bob Cuninghame, Islay, bought from Hugh McKinnon, Tiree at the YFC calf show at Stirling and is by Retties Lorenzo out of a Limousin cross cow. Reserve – W McLaren, Kirriemuir, with a January 2018-born home-bred Limousin cross heifer by the stock bull, Norman Gamin, out of a Limousin cross dam. She was placed at the Spring Show at Thainstone. Bullock born on or after September 1, 2018, bullock born between September 1, 2018 and before December 31, 2018, heifer born before September 1, 2018 – W Peters. Heifer born on or after September 1, 2018 and before December 31, 2018, cow with calf – I Grant.

Simmental (Judge: D Murray). Champion and reserve – G and M Smith, Laurencekirk. Supreme was the three-year-old bull, Drumsleed Hivy, a previously unshown son of Haystar Cracker – a bull bought at the multi-breed sale at Stirling where he stood pre-sale champion – out of Drumsleed Valonia. Reserve was another previously unshown bull in the shape of Drumsleed Jigsaw, a 13-month-old son of Wolfstar Gordy, bred from Drumsleed Fiesta. All classes – G and M Smith.

Any other breed (Judge: Mrs W Hobbs). Champion and reserve inter-breed beef and reserve – Aileen Ritchie, Whitecairns, who was exhibiting for the first time at Alyth. Her champion was the 15-month-old Limousin heifer, Ritchies Oracle, the junior inter-breed champion at the Stars of the Future Show at Stirling, last year. She is by Rathconville Eugene, bred from Dinmore Elle and was on her first outing since. Reserve was the January-born heifer calf, Ritchies Peyrl, a Newcar Millriff-sired entry bred from the show cow, Ritchies Meyrl. Bull, cow, junior heifer, calf – Miss A Ritchie. Senior heifer – S Raeburn.

Young handlers (Judge: A Fraser). Champion – Ruby Simpson.

North Country Blackface (Judge: P Myles). Champion and reserve inter-breed sheep – D Nicol, Viewmount, with a home-bred four-crop ewe by a £9500 Haughton out of a home-bred ewe – one of only 40 in the flock. She was champion at Strathardle in 2017. The same flock also picked up the reserve honours with a tup lamb by a home-bred son of a £700 Haughton, bred from the first prize junior ewe – also by the £9500 Haughton. Shearling ram – A Petrie. Tup lamb, ewe, one-crop ewe, gimmer – D Nicol. Ewe lamb – Cadogan Estates, Auchnacloich.

Bluefaced Leicester (Judge: R Bryce). Champion – A and J Adam, Newhouse of Glamis, with a previously unshown home-bred two-crop ewe by a £2000 Kirkstead ram bought at Kelso, out of a home-bred ewe. Reserve – SB Knox, with a home-bred shearling ram on his show debut. He is by an Elian sire bought at Kelso and is bound for the sale at United Auctions, Stirling, in the back-end. Shearling ram – SB Knox. Tup lamb, ewe, gimmer, ewe lamb – A and J Adam.

Texel (Judge: J Christie). Champion – A and T Greenhill, Dundee, with a previously unshown two-crop ET ewe bred from a Ettrick ewe originally bought at the Select Seven sale at Lanark, which went on to take prize tickets at the Highland. The sire is Cressage Vagabond. Reserve – F Dandie, Forfar, with an end of February-born ram lamb from his nine-ewe Dandie flock. He is bred from a Milnbank ewe bought at Stirling in 2016 and sired by Knock Yankie. Shearling ram, ewe, ewe lamb – A and T Greenhill. Tup lamb, gimmer – F Dandie.

Suffolk (Judge: J Christie). Champion – Faith Miskelly (12) Fettercairn, with a Bannview-bred shearling ram by Harpercroft Triple Crown. He was bought at Stirling last year and stood first at Stirling and Fife Shows. Reserve – C Whitton, Finhaven, with a ewe bought from Ron Greig, Tillydesk as an in-lamb gimmer at Thainstone in 2017. Previously unshown, she is by a Muirton sire and out of a Tillydesk-bred ewe. Ram – Faith Miskelly. Tup lamb, gimmer, ewe lamb and reserve inter-breed sheep pairs – J Scott, Brechin. Ewe, untrimmed class – C Whitton.

South country Blackface (Judge: J Murray). Champion – S and M Nairn, Balnabroich, with a two-crop ewe bought at Lanark in February from Dean Aitken. Previously unshown, she is by a £2000 Troloss and was providing the 600 pure-bred flock ‘herded by Dite Simpson, with their first breed championship. Reserve – A Walker, Cramie, with a tup lamb by an Elmscleugh ram lamb used on loan by a £45,000 Midlock. The dam, a gimmer is by a £15,000 Crossflatt. Inter-breed pairs champion – P Alexander, Mains of Mause with a one-crop Auchloy-bred ewe that stood champion at the stockjudging competition at Forfar, and a Hill of Errol-bred two shear ram. Aged ram, ewe – S and M Nairn. Two-shear ram, one-crop ewe – P Alexander. Shearling ram, tup lamb – A Walker. Gimmer, ewe lamb – Tay and Torridon Estate, North Amulree.

Cross sheep (Judge: W Wyllie). Champion – D Black, Minard, with a pen of three previously unshown Texel cross gimmers out of Cheviot Mule ewes. They were bought from Westhill at Forfar, last September and will be sold there again this September. Reserve – R Morris, with a three-crop ewe by a Charollais cross Beltex ram bought at Kelso in 2014, out of a Texel ewe. She was a prize winner as a gimmer. Ewe with twins, dressed pen of three prime lambs, single lamb – Ben MacDonald (11). Three cross gimmers, three Mule gimmers, single gimmer – D Black. Three undressed lambs – JD Steele. Single ewe – R Morris.

Any other breed (Judge: J Christie). Champion and inter-breed sheep champion – G and F Burke, Brechin, with Pentland Doris, a home-bred Beltex gimmer by Broxty Wishful Thinking out of a home-bred ewe by Airyolland Kingsize. She was on her first outing of the year having stood fourth at the Highland, last year. Reserve – G and F Burke and A Alston, Drumchapel with Dovefield Blown Away, a one-crop ewe by the same sire but out of a ewe by Kingledores Rascal, on her first outing. Ram, tup lamb – D Soutar. Ewe, gimmer, ewe lamb – G and F Burke.

Jacob (Judge: S Dalrymple). Champion and reserve – B Webster, with entries from her Carrochy flock. Supreme was Pikefield Rambo, a shearling ram bought at St Boswells last year. Best opposite sex to the champion at the National Breed show at Fife, he is by the 2018 and 2017 Royal Welsh champion, and out of a Pikefield ewe. Reserve was a previously unshown gimmer by the show tup, Blackbrook Fireballs, out of a home-bred ewe. All classes – B Webster.

Zwartbles (Judge: Ms CA Anderson). Champion – TD Miskelly, Fettercairn, with Corrybrae Fanfare, a home-bred gimmer by Greystone Disco, out of a Pistyll ewe that stood third at the National breed show at Stirling. Reserve – L Russell, with Kembla Fraoch, a home-bred gimmer that stood second in her class to the champion. She is by Tardoes Evoque, out of a home-bred ewe and stood third here last year. All classes – TD Miskelly.

Young handlers (Judge: D McKerrow). Champion – Rachel Burke; 2, Robbie Burke; 3, Faith Miskelly; 4, Gemma Stewart; 5, Ruby Stewart; 6, Lexi Wilson.