A HIGHLAND pony from Shona Halford was champion of champions at Sutherland Show, last Saturday.

The annual event at Dornoch Links attracted a cracking line-up of cattle, sheep and horses from exhibitors in the north of the country who were blessed with dry weather throughout the day.

Strutting her stuff all the way to the top when tapped out by former United Auctions executive chairman, David Leggat, who said she was a 'beautifully presented and well-handled animal' was Katrina of Strathmore, a nine-year-old yeld mare bred by Charlie McWattie. She is by Strathmore Clover, bred out of Erin of Strathmore and stood reserve champion at the Strathbogie Horse Show.

Also competing for the supreme title was the beef champion from Michael Robertson and family of Fodderletter Farms, Tomintoul, who run 18 pedigree Limousins alongside a commercial suckler herd. This was Fodderletter Oscar, a 17-month-old bull by Whiskey Lord, which scooped the same award here in 2017. Bred out of the Spittalton Gold-sired, Fodderletter Lily, he is destined for the bull sales in October.

The inter-breed sheep championship was judged by former NSA chairman, John Fyall, who awarded the blue, white and red sash to a one-crop Blue Texel ewe from Dorothy Allison, Inver Bay, Lower Arboll. She was bought at Dingwall as a ewe lamb and is just one of the two Blue Texels which run alongside Dorothy’s 18-ewe Zwartbles flock and 17 Blue Texel cross ewes.

A trio of North Country Cheviots exhibited in the low ground section from Aidan Henderson, Castletown, ruled supreme in the groups, while the best animal born and bred in Sutherland was awarded to the North Country Cheviot hill champion from Badanloch, Kinbrace.

Rosemary Cameron, from Thistle House, Portskerra, Melvich, was the first recipient of a new trophy donated in memory of the late George MacLeod, Bonar Bridge, for the best hill crofter's sheep.

Also featuring again at this year’s show was the grand parade of vintage tractors, cars and machinery, which attracted huge crowds of spectators around the main ring, as well as a working sheep dog demonstration by veteran sheep dog handler, Jock Sutherland from Durness, Sutherland.


Pure native breed (Judge: Ms C Williamson, Kingussie). Champion – TJ and G Maclean, 1 Raddery, Fortrose, with yearling Aberdeen-Angus heifer, Raddery Purdey U215, by Weeton Diamond Mine, out of a previous Raddery Purdey. She was shown as a calf at the Black Beauty Bonanza. Reserve – H Polson, Rowanfield, Strathpeffer, with three-year-old home-bred cow, Spittalshore Prim, by Hallington Edition. She was shown with her four-week-old bull calf named Spittalshore Premier, by Spittalshore Precision. Bull, yearling heifer, pair – TJ and G Maclean. Cow, cow with calf – H Polson.

Pedigree cattle (Judge: Ms C Williamson). Champion and reserve – M Robertson, Fodderletter Farms, Tomintoul. Champion and inter-breed beef champion was 17-month-old bull, Fodderletter Oscar, by Whiskey Lord, a bull which also stood inter-breed champion at Sutherland in 2017. Bred out of Fodderletter Lily, he is destined for the October bull sales. Reserve was Goldies Nell, a September, 2017-born heifer bought in May. She is by Goldies Fortress, out of Goldies Jodie. Bull under two years, yearling heifer, bull calf under one year, pair – M Robertson

Highland cattle (Judge: D Soutar, Perth). Champion – Tordarroch Estates, Farr, Inverness, with the three-year-old heifer, Heather 12 of Tordarroch, by Moluag of Kilpatrick, out of Heather 11 of Innisard. She was champion here last year. Reserve – A Macphee, Birchlea, Achterneed, with the two-year-old heifer, Robina Dubh 14 of Cailaich, by Neili Kirkibost of Ardbhan, out of Robina Dubh 2 of Cailaich. Three-year-old heifer, pair of females, pair of any sex – Tordarroch Estates. Two-year-old heifer – A Macphee. Yearling heifer – Allanfearn Highlanders.

Commercial cattle (Judge: G McFadzean, Woodhead of Mailer, Perth). Champion – The Fraser family, Easter Clune, Lethen, Nairn, with a 15-month-old Limousin cross heifer, Miss Dynamite, by Huntershall Falipo. She was bought from breeder, Brian Harper, Greenwells, Falkirk, at the Royal Northern Spring Show, where she stood second in her class. Reserve – J Munro and Son, Invercharron, Ardgay, with the eight-month-old Limousin cross heifer, Red Alert. She is by Powerhouse Lynx, out of a Limousin cross dam and was on her first outing. Cow, heifer calf under one year, stot calf under one year, calf born in 2019 – J Munro and Son. Yearling stot or heifer, cow with calf at foot – The Fraser family. Pair of animals – I Grant. YF calf competition calf born between 01 Mar and 01 Sept, 2018 – D Munro, Invercharron. YF calf competition calf born after 01 Sept, 2018 – G Fraser, Little Croy Farm, Inverness.

Crofters’ cattle (Judge: G McFadzean). Champion – I Grant, Seaview Cottage, 50 Lonemore, Gairloch, with an 18-month-old Limousin cross heifer bred by Donnie Dalgetty, Cabrach. She is by Haltcliffe Donnie, out of a Limousin cross dam. Reserve – D Morrison, Burnside, Kinlochbervie.

NCC Lowground (Judge: J McClymount, Fife). Champion and reserve – A Henderson, 8 Morayfield, Castletown. Champion for Aidan was a home-bred gimmer by Oldfield Tornado, out of a Midcalder ewe, on its first outing. Reserve went to a ewe lamb by the same sire, out of a ewe bred at Hilliclay, also on its first outing. Aged tup, shearling – A Polson. Tup lamb, gimmer, ewe lamb, group of three – A Henderson. Ewe – G Johnston.

NCC sheep hill farmers (Judge: W Thomson, Hownam Grange, Kelso). Champion and reserve – H Mackenzie, Badanloch Estate, Badanloch, Kinbrace. Taking the championship for Hughie was a three-shear tup named Whitehope Loup The Dyke, which was purchased for £9500 at Lairg. He is by Attonburn Rebus, out of a Whitehope ewe and stood reserve male champion at the Royal Highland Show. In reserve was a home-bred four-crop ewe by North Lochnaver Nomand, out of a home-bred ewe, on its first outing. Aged tup, two-shear tup, tup lamb, ewe, gimmer, group of three – H Mackenzie. Shearling, wether lamb, two gimmers, two ewe lambs – Nicholson Farms, Clebrig, Altnaharra.

NCC sheep hill crofters (Judge: G Ross, Migdale, Bonar Bridge). Champion and reserve – R Cameron, Thistle House, Portskerra, Melvich. Standing champion for Rosemary was a home-bred gimmer by East Clyne Very Choosey, out of a home-bred ewe. Reserve went to a home-bred two-shear tup named Thistle Wee Willy Winky, by Toronish Proper Menace, out of a home-bred ewe. He stood first in his class at Sutherland as a shearling. Aged tup, wether lamb, ewe lamb – C Mackinnon, 23 Purine, Durness. Two-shear tup, shearling tup, ewe, gimmer, group of three – R Cameron. Tup lamb, untrimmed ewe, untrimmed gimmer – A Robertson.

Beltex (Judge: Ms Z Rennie, Newmill, Keith). Champion – T Maclean, Caberfeidh, Upperton Farm, Glenurquhart, with a home-bred shearling tup on its first outing. He is by Cromwell Bentley, which was purchased for 600gns at Carlisle, out of a home-bred ewe; destined for premier sale at Carlisle in August. Reserve – J Scott and Partners, Fearn Farm, Fearn, with a two-shear tup named Dooley Caspian on its first outing. Purchased at Carlisle last year, he is by a Belgian tup named Scooby Doo, out of Corra Top Totty. Two-shear and over, ewe, gimmer, tup lamb, group of three – J Scott and Partners. Shearling tup, ewe lamb – T Maclean.

Texel (Judge: E Macarthur, Newton of Budgate, Cawdor). Champion – A Chisholm, Wester Moy, Urray, Muir of Ord, with a home-bred gimmer on its first outing by Arkle Ying Yang, out of a Knock Vantastic ewe. Reserve – J Forbes, Boultach, Latheron, with a home-bred gimmer on its first outing by Cambwell YFC, out of a home-bred ewe. Shearling, ewe, group – J Forbes. Gimmer, ewe lamb, tup lamb – A Chisholm.

Suffolk (Judge: A Brims, Thuster Mains, Bilbster). Champion and reserve – L Dunn, Corriemount, Muir of Ord. Taking the championship for Lee was a four-crop ewe on its first outing bred at Bardnaclavan and purchased from Leanne Matheson. Reserve was a tup lamb bred out of a gimmer from Graeme Christie, which was bought in-lamb to Lakeview Rolo at the Christmas Classic. Two-shear and over, group – K and C Munro, Ashton Farm Cottage, Inverness. Shearling tup – M and I Bissett. Tup lamb, ewe, ewe lamb – L Dunn. Gimmer – K Gunn, Shop Farm, Scotscalder.

Shetland sheep (Judge: A Bain, East Lothian). Champion – I Mackintosh, West Knockbain, Mains, Munlochy, with a three-shear tup, Raedykes Magnus, which was North of Scotland Shetland champion here last year. He was bought as a tup lamb from Ian and Lesley Carnegie. Reserve – D Richardson, Rosebank House, Clashmore, Dornoch, with home-bred St Finbars Toxy. Two-shear and over, gimmer – I Mackintosh. Shearling, group – S Urquhart, Balmore, Bogallan, North Kessock. Ewe – M and J Patience, Tigh-nacraig, Torrobol, Lairg. Ewe lamb, tup lamb – Ewe lamb, tup lamb. Any other coloured Shetland – D Richardson.

Blackface (Judge: J Matheson, Milton of Aberarder, Inverness). Champion and reserve – R Flett, Blackpark Croft, Height of Docherty. Securing the championship for Robert was a gimmer bought from Auldhouseburn at the ewe hogg sale at UA, Stirling. She is by a £75,000 Dalchirla and is owned in partnership with Peter Junor. Reserve was a home-bred tup lamb by an £18,000 Glenrath, out of an Auldhouseburn ewe by an £85,000 Elmscleugh. Two-shear and over, shearling, ewe lamb – J MacIver. Ewe, gimmer, tup lamb, group – R Flett.

Zwartbles (Judge: J Pirie, Kingussie). Champion and reserve – L and R Sharp, The Paddock, Drumtemple Croft, Gorthleck. Champion was a gimmer named Olbre Firecracker, which was bought as a ewe lamb at Carlisle. She stood sixth in a class of 32 at this year’s Highland Show. Reserve was a two-shear tup bought privately from the Bissett family, Mariain. She is by Donbraid Big D, out of Carrah April, and stood reserve male champion at this year’s Scottish National show. Two-shear and over, ewe, gimmer, ewe lamb, tup lamb – L and R Sharp. Group – K and W Anderson, Cairnhill, Farr. Shearling – C and S Bissett, Mariain, Culnaskeath, Evanton.

Cross sheep (Judge: R Henderson, Glenbarry, Banff). Champion and reserve – G Breathet, Woodside Croft, Blackpark, Ardersier, winning with a Texel cross Suffolk ewe lamb by a tup purchased at Thainstone last year, out of a home-bred ewe. Reserve was a Texel cross gimmer. Ewe, gimmer, ewe lamb – G Breathet. Ewe any breed or cross – K Gunn.

Any other breed (Judge: J Pirie, Kingussie). Champion and inter-breed sheep champion – D Allison, Inver Bay, Lower Arboll, with a one-crop Blue Texel ewe which stood inter-breed sheep champion. She was bought as a ewe lamb at Dingwall. Dorothy also stood reserve with a tup lamb bred out of the champion. Tup – K Darvill, Burn Bank Crofts, Invershin. Ewe, ewe lamb, tup lamb – D Allison, Inver Bay, Lower Arboll. Gimmer – C Taylor, Butler’s Cottage, Haddo Estate, Methlick, Ellon.

Clydesdales (Judge: Mrs K Young, Ayr). Champion – E and M Johnstone, Highfield Circle, Muir of Ord, with the four-year-old mare, Ord Destiny, which is a full sister to the award-winning Ord Tinkerbell. She is by Eskechraggan Earnest, out of Ord Envy and was on her first outing of the year. Reserve – S Johnstone, Muir of Ord, with the mare, Redhill Gyp. Mare three years and over – E and M Johnstone. Harness – S Johnstone. Ridden – M Roseveare.

Highland ponies (Judge: Mrs H Turnball, Kinross). Champion, overall horse, ridden horse champion and show champion of champions – S Halford, Muirside Steading, Brodie, Forres, with nine-year-old yeld mare, Katrina of Strathmore. She was purchased from breeder Charlie McWattie, last year, and is by Strathmore Clover, out of Erin of Strathmore. On just her second outing with Shona, she stood reserve champion at the Strathbogie Horse Show. Reserve – Mr and Mrs A Munro, with foal. Yeld mare, ridden – S Halford. Filly, mare with foal, foal – Mr and Mrs A Munro.

Shetland ponies (Judge: D Macarthur, Narinian, Inverness). Overall Shetland champion and standard champion – Mr and Mrs J Swan, Conon Bridge, with the three-year-old filly, Stow Katerenee, by Stow Prefect, out of Erray Cowslip. She stood coloured champion at Brodie. Reserve standard – Mr and Mrs J Swan with Stow Corenee, a five-year-old mare by Stow Vulcan, out of Erray Cowslip. She stood first prize as a filly at the Highland and is a previous champion winner at Sutherland. Miniature champion – EB and SA Knight, with 12-year-old home-bred stallion Hjaltland Thor, by Hartside Tarragan, out of three times champion winner at Sutherland, Shellkirk Bonnie. Reserve – R MacLeod, Dornoch, with nine-year-old brood mare Hjaltland Hirta, by Fanella of Houland, out of Vallendae Geordie. Min stallion four years and over, min foal – D Finlayson. Yeld mare, standard colt, filly or gelding two or three years - Mr and Mrs J Swan. Min mare or gelding four years and over, young handler eight years and under – S Mitchell. Min colt, filly or gelding two or three years – EB and SA Knight. Standard yearling, colt, filly or gelding, standard mare with foal, standard foal – C Window. Min yearling, colt, filly or gelding, min mare with foal – R MacLeod. Young handler nine to 16 years – J Campbell.