Early morning overcast skies soon gave way to brilliant sunshine for Deeside Agricultural Association’s annual show in the idyllic setting of Banchory’s King George 5th Park.

The fun started on Friday night with the effervescent townsgirl-come-Yorkshire hill farmer, Amanda Owen, the self-styled Yorkshire Sheperdess, star of the Channel 5 TV series, Our Yorkshire Farm, who gave a hilarious account of the challenges and mishaps of running an Upper Swaledale hill farm with her husband, Clive, and their nine children.

The main attraction however was the parade of prize winning livestock which saw Blair Duffton from Huntly and Rebecca Stuart from Insch continue on their winning way by repeating their success at last year’s show to carry off the inter-breed cattle championship for the third week running with their 14-month-old Limousin cross heifer, I’ll Be There.

“She is a tremendous heifer with great character and style and will be hard to beat anywhere,” said judge, Andy Ingram, Huntly, who placed her champion in the commercial cattle classes before she went on to win the inter-breed championship.

Blair and Rebecca’s team of Limousin crosses also won the award for the best group of three beef animals in competition with 11 other groups.

But the heifer had to give way for the “champion of champions” award which, in a rare occurrence, was awarded to the inter-breed sheep champion, a home-bred Texel gimmer from Aberdeen businessman, Kenny Pratt, Oldtown, Peterculter.

Reserve inter-breed beef champion was the four-year-old Aberdeen-Angus cow, Carlhurlie Essence, from Graham Willox and daughter, Fiona, of Meikle Pitinnan, Oldmeldrum. with the Lorimer family from Cadgerford, Kingswells, taking the equivalent amongst the sheep with a Suffolk gimmer.

Overall winner amongst the heavy horses was the eight-year-old Shetland yeld mare, Warrackston Tamara, from Irene Spence and Kayleigh Nicol, with the runner up going to the Highland pony champion, Isla Mist of Coynach, from Tarland’s Lynne McDonald.

LEADING awards

Aberdeen-Angus (Judge: A Fraser, Forfar). Champion – G and F Willox, Meikle Pitinnan, Oldmeldrum, with the four-year-old cow, Carlhurlie Essence, by Balmachie Black Bard out of Carlhurlie Essendy. She was bought at the Carlhurlie dispersal for 3000gns and was previously champion at Fettercairn and reserve at Echt. Reserve – G Miller, Birkenbower, Lumsden, with the 19-month-old bull, Birkenbower Goliath, by Casino Buffon, and out of Alms Jeannie,on his first outing. Bull – G Miller. Cow and bull calf – G and F Willox. Heifer – K and M Howie.

Charolais (Judge: A Burnett, Blairdrummond). Champion – J S Youngson, Westerton, Cullerlie, with the yearling heifer, Cullerlie Nancy. She is by a Harvieston sire and out of the reserve champion, the six-year-old cow, Cullerlie Innes. She is sired by Balmyle Bollinger, and out of a Maerdy-bred cow. Bull – J Stewart. Cow and heifer calf – James S Youngson.

Simmental (Judge: D Lowry, Lanark). Champion – E Smith (12), Bankhead, Portlethen, with the 21-month-old heifer, Forgeron Ivy, by Ranflurry Emperor, and out of Forgeron Raquel. She was first at Echt and Fettercairn this year. Reserve: J Stewart with the bull, Drumsleed Islay. Bull – J Stewart. Heifer – Emma Smith

Limousin (Judge:A Burnett). Champion and reserve– E and M Greenlaw with their champion being the heifer, Ashview Opera. Whilst the reserve ticket was for the cow, Gairnside Otto. Bull and heifer – E and M Greenlaw.

British Blonde (Judge: A Smary, Alford). Champion – A Watt, Birkenburn, Keith, with the two-year-old in-calf heifer, Stathisla Maxine. She is sired by the former Royal Highland reserve champion, Strathisla Hero, and out of Strathisla Esther. She was champion at New Deer and Echt. Reserve – G Anderson, Beltie Cottage, Glassel, Banchory, with the rising two-year-old bull, Glassel Neymar, by Strathisla Glen and out of Strathisla Heather. He was reserve at New Deer and Echt. Bull – G Anderson. Cow, heifer and heifer calf – A Watt.

Highland (Judge: G McConachie, Insch). Champion – G Noble, Lochton of Leys, Banchory, with two-year-old heifer, Duchess of Grace, by Brogach 8th of Leys, and out of Hazel 12th of Knockendon. She was reserve at Echt and champion at Dalmally last year. Reserve – R Fletcher and S Gibson, Leoch of Blairordans, Cushnie, with the yearling heifer, Iona of Craigleak. She is sired by Step Dancer and was placed first at Echt. Bull – M Middleton. Bull – J and J Singer. Cow and calf – Brathens Fold. Two year old heifer – G Noble. Yearling heifer – R Fletcher and S Gibson.

British Blue (Judge: A Smary). Champion and reserve– G Greenlaw and J Whyte, Balgairn, Ballater, with the 15-month-old bull, Greenlaw Nightmare. He is sired by Solwayview Dynamite, and out of Greenlaw Kiara, which is the first embryo daughter of Tweedale Hawkeye. The reserve was the two-year-old heifer, Greenlaw Milania. She is a daughter of the same sire and out of Orkwolf Blues Freda. Last year she took reserve at Tarland. Bull, two-year-old heifer and heifer calf – G Greenlaw. Yearling heifer – S and K Smith. Bull calf – J S Youngson.

Saler (Judge: D Lowry). Champion – D Watson, Darnford, Durris, Banchory, with the five-year-old home-bred bull, Darnford Keene. The champion from Echt is by Fangio and out of Darnford Diva. Reserve – J McIntyre, Milton of Cullerlie, Echt, with the seven-year-old cow, Lisnamaul Floss. She is sired by Balnarry Samul, bought at Castle Douglas as a heifer and reserve at Echt. Bull and two-year-old heifer – D Watson. Cow, yearling heifer and bull calf – J McIntyre.

Beef Shorthorn (Judge: D Lowey). Champion – A Watt, Birkenburn, Keith, with the two-year-old heifer, Strathisla Lauren. She is by Declan of Craigiebank, and out of Coldrocky Broadhooks. She took reserve at Echt. Reserve – Rattray Estate Ltd, Peterhead, with five-year-old cow, Hurtiso Haylie. She is a daughter of Millerston Burns Supper and out of Hurtiso Deborah. She was bought at Hurtiso reduction sale for 2200gns and was on her first outing. Bull and heifer calf – D and J Hardie. Cow and bull calf – Rattray Estate Ltd. Two-year-old heifer – A Watt.

Any other breed (Judge: A Burnett). Champion and reserve – I Skea, Kemnay, with the 20-month-old heifer, Bennachie 1 Pansy 4th. She is out of Auckvale Pansy. Their reserve was the 15-month-old bull, Bennachie 1 Rex, out of former show cow Bennachie 1 Amy. Both are sired by Bennachie 1 Masterman and were sold privately to Neil Barclay, Harestone, Banchory. Bull and heifer – I Skea.

Commercial cattle (Judge: A Ingram, Huntly). Champion and reserve– B Duffton, Huntly and R Stuart, Insch, with 14-month-old Limousin cross heifer, I’ll Be There. She is sired by Mereside Lorenzo and out of a Limousin cross cow. Previously bred by Stuart Raeburn, Forfar, and purchased from Michael Robertson, Fodderletter, Tomintoul, for £4600 at the Royal Northern Spring Show. Champion at the Christmas Classic and Spring Show and champion of champions at New Deer and Echt. Their reserve was the yearling Limousin cross heifer, Cinnamon. A daughter of Lothario, bought at Thainstone for £4000. Cow and junior heifer calf – B Paterson. Two-year-old steer, yearling steer, two-year-old heifer, yearling heifer, bull calf, senior heifer calf, YFC heifer and senior heifer calf (unhaltered) – B Duffton and R Stuart. YFC steer – R Smart. Cross cow with steer calf and junior steer calf (unhaltered) – S Smith. Cross cow and heifer calf and junior heifer calf (unhaltered) - Miller Farms, Echt. Best calf shown by junior – Lily Smith

Carcase cattle (Judge: ??? ). Champion and reserve – H Gordon, Clochnahill, Stonehaven, with heifer, and reserve with steer.

Suffolk (Judge: J Scott, Forfar). Champion – J A Lorimer, Cadgerford, Kingswells, with a gimmer. She is by Newwells Knock Out and out of a ewe by Ballynacannon Boss. Previously second at Echt to another gimmer which was reserve interbreed champion at Echt. Reserve – G Christie, Newton of Balquhain, Pitcaple, with a ewe lamb by Lakeview Under the Radar, and out of a ewe by Deveronside Doodlebug sire. She took home first at Fettercairn, Echt and New Deer. Aged ram, gimmer and ram lamb – J A Lorimer. Shearling ram – F Miskelly, Kildrummie, Alford. Ewe and ewe lamb – G Christie.

Blackface (Judge: D Beaton, Forfar). Champion – A Petrie, Meikle Coul, Kirriemuir, with a gimmer by the home-bred son of Newmill sire. Reserve – R C Myles and Son, Dalbog Edzell, with a ewe lamb by a home-bred son of the £4800 Wooldfords Bulldozer. First at Fettercairn. Aged ram – A Leek. Sharling ram, ewe and ewe lamb – R C Myles and Son. Ewe and gimmer – A Petrie. Ram lamb – R Holman-Baird, Rickarton, Stonehaven.

Texel (Judge: I Murray, Berwick Upon Tweed). Champion and reserve– K Pratt, Oldtown, Peterculter, with a gimmer by Crailloch Ammunition and out of ewe by a Hilltop Uncle Sam ewe, which was reserve inter-breed champion at Banchory in 2016. Reserve was a shearling ram, Knap Blazing Star, by Knap Alligator, and out of dam by Knock Papoose. The tup is shared with Jim Innes’ Strathbogie flock from Dunscrfoft, Huntly. Aged ram – P Imlah. Shearling ram, gimmer and ram lamb – K Pratt. Ewe and ewe lamb – J Green.

Bluefaced Leicester (Judge: S Campbell, Lochgoilhead). Champion – R Blackhall, The Green, Raemoir, with a ewe lamb. A daughter of D17 Shrewbridge and out of a home-bred dam by a Mossvale sire. Reserve – A Ross, Tarland, with a shearling ram. Aged ram, gimmer, ram lamb and ewe lamb – R Blackhall. Shearling ram and ewe – A Ross.

Bluefaced Leicester (Crossing type) (Judge: N McQuistin, Newton Stewart). Champion and reserve – C Millican, Newton of Hassiewells, Rothienorman, with a ewe lamb by J4 Nisbets, bought at Kelso in 2016, and out of home-bred ewe by 3000gns G17 Mid Auchengray. Reserve was a home-bred ewe by J17 and out of a ewe by F1 Speymouth. Shearling ram – A Jolly. Ewe, gimmer, ram lamb and ewe lamb – C Millican.

Northern short-tail (Judge: G Meikle, East Lothian). Champion – I Carnegie, Rickarton, Stonehaven, with a ewe lamb. Reserve – C Collie with a gimmer. Aged ram, shearling ram, ewe, ram lamb and ewe lamb – I Carnegie. Gimmer – C Collie.

Zwartbles (Judge: A Little, Ballindalloch). Champion – D Miskelly, Corrybrae, Kildrummy, Alford, with the home-bred gimmer, Corrynray Fanfare. She is by Greystone Disco, and out of a home-bred ewe and was reserve at Echt. Aged ram and shearling ram – L Milne. Ewe, gimmer and ewe lamb – D Miskelly. Ram lamb – Mrs A Adams

Any other continental breed (Judge: A Campbell, Lochgoilhead). Champion and reserve – D Atkinson with shearling ram, and reserve with ewe. Aged ram – J E Bywater. Shearling ram, ewe and ewe lamb – D Atkinson. Gimmer and ram lamb – P Imlah.

Any other native breed (Judge: I Ogg, Kirriemuir). Champion – D and B Henderson, Nether Toucks, Stonehaven, with an aged ram. Reserve – R and B Aitken, with a ewe lamb. Aged ram – D and B Henderson. Shearling ram and gimmer – M Sheed. Ewe – Carmont Valley Livestock. Ram lamb and ewe lamb – R and B Aitken.

Cross sheep (Judge: J Jamieson, Stonehaven). Champion – D Black, Minard, Kirriemuir, with a pair of gimmers. Reserve – L Milne with a pen of three lambs. Single ewe – N Dew. Pair gimmers – D Black. Three lambs, three butchers’ lambs and pet lamb – L Milne.

Carcase lambs (Judge: ???) Champion and reserve – W and J Cameron, Keith.

Young handlers – Senior (Judge: A Little) 1, Faith Miskelly, Kildrummy, Alford. Intermediate (Judge: I Murray) 1, Wilson Stott. Junior (Judge: S Campbell). 1, Emilie Anderson

Clydesdale (Judge: N Christie, Glasgow). Champion – I Young, Arradoul Clydesdales, Wellheads, Buckie, with the two-year-old filly, Arradoul Olivia May. She is sired by Doura Woodhouse Real Deal and out of Arradoul Ellie May. She was Champion last year and second at Royal Highland Show this year. Reserve – V Peterkin, Auchenblae, with the yearling filly, Bogton Kinder. Yeld mare and two-year-old filly – I Young. Yearling filly – V Peterkin. Young handler – Sophie Mitchell.

Highland (Judge: A Baird, Blairgowrie). Champion – L McDonald, Tarland, with the filly, Isla Mist of Coynach. Reserve – S Shepherd with the gelding, West Lodge Alfie. Gelding and pony in saddle – S Shepherd. Mare and yearling – Mrs B Cole. Mare and foal and foal – R and K Stewart. Two/three-year-old colt, filly or gelding – L McDonald.

Shetland (Judge: L Wilson, Fife). Champion – I Spence and Kayleigh Nicol with eight-year-old yeld mare, Warrackston Tamara. She is by Scamells Criterium and out of Tay of Hutton and took champion at Echt. She is bred by Ian Spence. Reserve – C Forbes with the yeld mare, Lynemore Isla. Mare or gelding and pony in saddle – I Spence and K Nicol. Yearling – A Irvine. Two/three-year-old colt, folly or gelding – A Findlay. Mare with foal and foal – I Bruce. Coloured pony – C Forbes.

Miniature shetland (Judge: L Wilson). Champion – A Irvine with nine-year-old home-bred mare, Rocky of Haybrake. She is by Hazelhead Dynamite and was champion at Echt. Reserve – N S Wilson, Alford, with seven-year-old yeld mare, Mingulay Lilly. She is by Kentstone Kingfisher and took home reserve at Echt. Stallion and foal – A Irvine. Mare, yearling and coloured pony – N S Wilson. Two/three-year-old colt, filly or gelding and mare with foal – C Matthew and L Jack.