THERE WERE barely any clouds around but Tom McMillan, from Bute, was certainly on one of them called cloud nine after winning the champion of champion’s title at Kintyre Show with his Clydesdale gelding, Redhill Alex!

The four-year-old was quite an easy winner when up against the top sheep, dairy, beef and horse champions with the Eskechraggan Ernest son shown by Tom’s daughter, Mairi Ralston. Tom had other duties, too, judging a very strong section of vintage tractors.

The show benefited from a new layout this year, with all the agricultural classes in a more compact format, with the light horses having a nice flat area adjacent to the show. It certainly made it easier for visitors to keep an eye on all the cattle and sheep classes.

The leading sheep contender was Mrs Sheena Woodrow’s Texel breed champion, a home-bred two-crop ewe by Stainton Vigilante. This one is no stranger to the showring, having been champion at Islay as a ewe lamb and leading at Mid Argyll as a gimmer.

From the woolly brigade, two sheep shared the reserve inter-breed title when the points were added up. One of those was another Islay success, with Jack MacDonald, Cruach, in the running with his Suffolk champion, a home-bred two-crop ewe by a home-bred sire; while also on the ‘podium, was Mrs Jean McLachlan’s four-crop ewe, by Ashes C8, which has been a regular show winner for her.

The dairy section winner was the black and white champion, a fourth-calver from John and Thomas Ralston, Kilkivan. This daughter of Denmire Marine had been calved 50 days on the day of the show and is giving 45 litres per day.

From the beef classes, the supreme of the show contenders was an April-born heifer calf called Shamrock, from the McCallum family, at Strathnafanaig. So named because she is out of an Irish-bred Limousin-cross dam, she is by the Genus stud British Blue, Langoureux De Fooz – she’ll maybe be targeted at the Cally sale later in the year.

LEADING awards:

Ayrshire (Judge: S Wake, Cattle Services (Ayr), Prestwick). Champion – TM Ralston and Sons, East Drumlemble, with a second calver in milk. Inter-breed calf champion, heifer calf (leader under 14) – Jack Ralston, East Drumlemble. Heifer calf (leader 14-25) – Blair McCallum, Clochkeil. Yearling (leader 14-25) – J Pirie, Machrihanish. Yearling (leader over 25), back calving heifer, youngstock pair, junior cow in milk, bred – TM Ralston and Sons. Heifer in milk, senior cow in milk, in milk pair, group of three – J and M Barr, Clochkeil.

Holstein (Judge: H Neilson, East Brackenridge, Strathaven). Champion and dairy inter-breed – J Ralston, Kilkivan, with the fourth calver, Kilkivan June, by Denmire Marine, which had been calved 50 days and is giving 45 litre per day; first show outing. Reserve – G Semple, Kilkeddan, with a heifer in milk. Heifer calf (leader under 14) – Kirstin Blair, Kilkeddan. Youngstock champion, calf champion, heifer calf (leader 14-25), yearling (leader 14-25) – Kathryn Semple, Kilkeddan. Yearling (leader over 25), back calving heifer, milk records – A and J Pirie, Machrihanish. Young stock pair, in-calf cow, group of three – G Semple, Kilkeddan. Junior cow in milk – J Smith, Drumalea. Senior cow in milk, pair in m ilk – J Ralston, Kilkivan. 8000kg class – P Littleson, Killegruer.

Cross-bred beef (Judge: E MacGillivray snr, Barcaldine Home Farm, Oban). Champion – JJ and C McCallum, Strathnafanaig, with an end of April-born heifer calf called Shamrock, because she is out of an Irish-bred Limousin cross cow and sired by an imported British Blue bull, Langoureux De Fooz. Reserve – F Lines, Killacraw, with young Limousin cross calf shown by Fraser in the juvenile section. Cow with calf, cow in calf, spring-born heifer calf, pen of three calves, pair of heifer calves, points – J, J and C McCallum. Autumn-born steer, autumn-born heifer, best pure calf – DW Semple, Dippen, Carradale. Spring-born steer calf – J Lines, Killacraw. Calf (juvenile leader) – F Lines. Calf (leader 14-26) – Lorna McCallum. Pure-bred female – F Turner, Strath.

Clydesdale (Judge: M McFadyen, Kilarbie, Campbeltown. Champion and champion of champions – T McMillan, Eskechraggan, Bute, with Redhill Alex, a four-year-old gelding by Eskechraggan Earnest. He was sixth in hand at the Highland and 10th out of 22 entries in the ladies’ cart class at Ingliston. Reserve and best bred in Kintyre – Mrs M Bateman, Langholm, with a yeld mare. Yeld mare – L Bastow, Corran. Filly – J McLatchie, Moy. Gelding – T McMillan. Horse (leader 14-25) – Morgan Sinclair. Horse in harness – B Duncan, Balmalcolm.

Blackface (Judge: D Jackson, Pole, Lochgoilhead). Champion – D and I McArthur, Arnicle, with Cersei, a three-crop ewe by a £8000 Nunnerie and bred from a daughter of a £27,000 Auldhouseburn. She was inter-breed sheep champion at Lorn last year and champion at Cowal, the previous year. Reserve – C McLean, Ardfern, with a tup lamb by a £4500 Crammie and out of a dam by a £600 Lurg; first show outing. Confined champion – G and J Gillespie, Crosshill, with a ewe lamb by a £16,000 Nunnerie and out of a Crossflatt-bred ewe; first show. Reserve confined – J and M Turner, Kildalloig, with a gimmer by a Pole loan and out of a Dalchirla-bred dam; she was Kintyre champion as a ewe lamb. Shearling (open), ewe (open), suckled gimmer (open), gimmer (open), group – D and I McArthur. Shearling (confined), ewe with lamb – J Ronald, Coulinlongart. Tup lamb (open) – C MacLean, Ardfern. Tup lamb (confined) – C McMillan, Low Tirfergus. Ewe (confined) – R Welch, Kilwhipnach. Suckled gimmer (confined), ewe lamb (open and confined) – G and J Gillespie. Gimmer (confined) – J and M Turner. YF gimmer – Casey McArthur.

Prime lambs (Judge: J Graham). Champion – I McKendrick, High Dalrioch, with Texel cross lambs. Single – Captain A MacKellar. Pen of three – I McKendrick.

Bluefaced Leicester (Judge: H Brown, Toxside, Gorebridge). Champion and joint reserve sheep inter-breed – Mrs J McLachlan, c/o Kildalloig, with a four-crop ewe by Ashes C8. She is a former overall sheep champion at Mid Argyll and was reserve at Kintyre as a gimmer, but this is her first ‘home’ show since then. Reserve – T Cameron, Gartvaigh, with a home-bred three-shear ram by a Kildalloig sire. Aged tup – T Cameron. Shearling tup, ewe, gimmer, group – Mrs J McLachlan. Tup lamb – J and M Turner. Ewe lamb – L Cameron, Gartveigh.

Suffolk (Judge: S McMillan, Lochgilphead). Champion and joint reserve sheep inter-breed – J MacDonald, Cruach, Islay, with a two-crop home-bred ewe, by a home-bred sire; she was winning her first championship. Reserve – T Cameron’s Cairness-bred gimmer which goes back to the great K55 ewe at Cairness, and by the 6500gns Cavangrove Catalyst. Aged ram – J Murchie, Arran. Ewe, ewe lamb – J MacDonald. Gimmer, tup lamb, shearling tup, tup lamb, group – T Cameron.

Mule (Judge: H Brown). Champion and reserve – M and C Ralston, Rhoin, with a one-crop ewe by a Kildalloig sire; and reserve with a gimmer by a Dalbhradden sire. Ewe, gimmer – M and C Ralston. Ewe lamb – T Cameron.

Texel (Judge: C Millar, Coleraine, Northern Ireland). Champion – Mrs S Woodrow, Newmains, Islay, with a home-bred two-crop ewe by Stainton Vigilante and out of a Kettle dam. She was Islay champion as a ewe lamb and led at Mid Argyll as a gimmer. Reserve – Mrs S Woodrow’s gimmer. Aged tup, ewe, gimmer, tup lamb, group – Mrs S Woodrow. Shearling tup – I McKendrick.Ewe lamb – P McKerrell, Island View.

AOB continental sheep (Judge: S McMillan). Champion – S Herraty, Low Ranachan, with a two-shear Blue Texel ram, Ranachan Sam, by Sam’s Boyzone, on his first outing. Reserve – Mrs S Woodrow with a Beltex ram lamb by Brickrow Brigadier. Tup, gimmer – S Herraty. Ewe – R Smith, Balliemore, Kilmichael Glassary. Tup lamb – Mrs S Woodrow. Ewe lamb, group of three – C McMillan.

AOB native sheep (Judge: S McMillan). Champion – H Gemmill, Ifferdale, with a North Country Cheviot gimmer. Reserve – J Murchie, Gleannan, Arran, with a two-shear Poll Dorset ram which was AOB champion at Arran last year. Jacob champion – M and C Ralston’s ewe. Tup – J Murchie. Ewe, tup lamb, ewe lamb, group of three – M and C Ralston. Gimmer – H Gemmill. Best Border Leicester – T Smith, Kildalloig.

Tractors (Judge: T McMillan, Eskechraggan, Bute). Champion – J Morrison with a Massey Ferguson 135 that used to be owned by the Armours at High Tirfergus. Reserve – J Reid with an International.