Girl power shone through for the Royal Highland Show's inaugural champion of champions competition amongst the various young handler sections, which saw the overall sheep winner, 12-year-old Katie Aiken, crowned supreme, with the poultry leader, Angus McGowan, coming a very close second.

The award, presented by Ian and Patsy Hunter, Dalchirla who also judged the event, saw the lead young handlers from the beef, sheep, dairy, Clydesdale horse, goat and poultry sections compete for the new Dalchirla Trophy.

"All the young handlers are a real credit to our industry," said Mr Hunter. "They have shown real stockmanship and expertise in handling their exhibits, but there can only be one winner and that is sheep young handler who showed and handled her Texel lamb to perfection despite the lamb playing up in the ring.

"It was however very close between the sheep and the poultry handler, who knew absolutely everything about his bird which he had saved up all his pocket money to buy earlier in the year. His bird was brought out to a T.

Supreme overall was young Katie Aiken, who was exhibiting a Texel ewe lamb from the Procters pedigree flock from Slaidburn, Lancs, managed by her parents, Jeff and Jennifer Aiken. Well known in such competitions both north and south of the Border, Katie boasts several top wins to include winning the sheep young handlers at the Royal Highland Show three times. This year's competition was steeper than ever too, with the section attracting no fewer than 70 entries.

The competition was just as steep in the poultry lines, which in the end saw first time competitor Angus McGowan (9) of Inscheoch Farm, Blairgowrie, lift the top award with a 26-week-old cuckoo-coloured Scots Dumpy female which he had christened Katie Morag. She was bought at Forfar mart, two months previous and is one of only three Scots Dumpy hens and a cockerel, and six Isa Brown hens owned by the youngster.