IT WAS 'such a perfect day' for Islay Show this year – straddled as it was by two weather 'events' – and it was as busy as the show has ever been, according to organisers.

However, it wouldn't have mattered if it had rained on Tom Epps, from Ardnave, when he was awarded the show champions of champions title.

His cross calf, a cream-coloured Charolais cross heifer, took all before her, being placed by the show umpire, Donald MacPherson, from Berwick, as the overall beef champion before her elevation to the show's top accolade. She's by Fury Leader, which cost 7000gns as a stock bull and has already prioved himself by siring last year's Islay champion.

Runner-up for the overall was the overall sheep champion from Port Ellen crofter, Elliot Bowman. This was his four-crop ewe which was by a £25,000 Auldhouseburn and which goes back to an Auldhouseburn dam.

In the sheep section the Blackie was ahead of Mrs Sheena Woodrow's big-winning Texel ewe which is home-bred and started her 2019 show circuit by winning at Kintyre.


Blackface (Judge: A Wight snr, Midlock, Abington). Champion, crofters' champion, overall sheep and reserve champion of champions – E Bowman, Port Ellen, with a four-crop ewe, by a £25,000 Auldhouseburn out of a dam that had been bought off Auldhouseburn at Dalmally as a gimmer; champion here as a gimmer. Reserve – J Campbell, Port Ellen, with a gimmer by a home-bred son of Spartacus, an Allanfauld-bred sheep which had been bought privately, out of a dam by Islay Mist. Male champion – E Bowman's Aitkenhead-bred shearling tup was bought at Dalmally for £500. He is by a £13,000 Gass and out of a dam by a £16,000 Loughash. Ewe (open and crofters), tup lamb, shearling tup, group (open and confined) – E Bowman. Suckled gimmer (open and crofters), ewe lamb (open and crofters), ewe with lambs at foot – A Orr, Port Ellen. Gimmer (open and confined), aged tup – J Campbell.

Leicester (Judge: D Whyte, Newton Mearns). Champion – Miss C Currie with a shearling tup which is by a tup bred by Mrs Jean McLachlan, Kildalloig. He was first as a tup lamb also. Reserve – I McKerrell, Island Farm, with a home-bred gimmer by Kildalloig J10, a Derwenlas son, out of a home-bred dam. Aged tup, gimmer – I McKerrell. Shearling tup – C Currie. Tup lamb, ewe lamb, group – D Currie.

Texel (Judge: I Murray, Northumberland). Champion – Mrs S Woodrow, Newmains, with her Kintyre overall sheep champion, a home-bred two-crop ewe by Stainton Vigilante, which has won shows ever since being a ewe lamb. Reserve – T Rozga with a ewe lamb by Elmscleugh Yogi out of a dam by a Barradale sire. Aged tup, tup lamb, ewe, gimmer, pair of ewe lambs – Mrs S Woodrow. Shearling tup – J Porter. Ewe lamb – T Rozga.

AOB or cross (Judge: I Murray). Champion – Eion Og Brown (8), Aorig, with a NCC home-bred two-crop ewe, by Ormlie Trapper. Brought out with the help of Eion's cousin Ruairidh, this sheep also bred the first prize lamb, which is also by an Ormlie sire. Reserve – J and J MacDonald, Cruach, with a Suffolk cross gimmer. Aged tup – H Currie. Shearling tup – J Porter. Tup lamb, ewe – E Brown jnr. Gimmer – N and J MacDonald. Pair of ewe lambs – S Young.

Suffolk (Judge: I Murray). Champion – D and N Park, Bowmore, with a ram lamb by Birness Legacy, which had been bought at Stirling out of a home-bred dam by a Burnview sire; he'll be retained as a stock tup. Reserve – J Bignal with a gimmer. Shearling tup, ewe lamb, pair of ewe lambs, tup lamb – D and N Park. Ewe – N and J MacDonald.

Prime lambs – Pen of three Continental crosses – D McCormick, Blackrock. Pen of three BF wedders – Islay Estates. Pen of three Suffolk crosses – G McCormick. AOB cross prime lambs – G and J Archibald.

Young handlers/cattle and sheep – Cattle – Best animal and handler – Lauren Morris. Sheep – Best sheep – Brooke Woodrow. Best sheep handler – Megan MacMillan.

Highland (Judge: S Campbell, Cladich, Dalmally). Champion and reserve beef champion – Dunlossit Estate's two-year-old Louisa Ruadh of Ceannacroic, out of Diana of Ceannacroic and by Laurence of Knockendon and she was led out by Mara Game, the grand daughter of the late Bruno Schroder, of Dunlossit. Ceannacroic also took the reserve Highland ticket with Nora of Ceannacroic, out of Nicole of Ceannacroic and Laurence of Knockendon. Cow – G and M Porter. Three-year-old heifer – N and M MacLellan, Kilchiaran. Two-year-old heifer, yearling heifer, calf, pair – Dunlossit Estate, Ceannacroic.

Commercial cattle (Judge: S Hunter, Aberdeenshire). Champion and overall beef – T Epps, Ardnave, with an end of February-born Charolais cross calf. Sired by the same sire, Fury Leader, as his champion last year, she is out of a home-bred Charolais cross Simmental cow. Reserve – C McMillan, Ardbeg, with a four-month-old Limousin cross heifer calf, Leona, by Glenway Leo, a sire bought in Stirling and out of a home-bred Limousin cross dam. Young handler – Lauren Morris (11) who also was champion two years ago, this time winning with Midnight, a 15-month-old British Blue cross steer out of a Limousin cross dam. Beef cow – N and J MacDonald. Heifer in calf, heifer for breeding, extra stock – Dunlossit Estate, Knocklearach. Beef heifer – M Brown. Native suckled calf – O McCuaig. Spring-born Limousin cross steer calf, spring-born steer calf by AOB sire, spring-born heifer calf by AOB, yearling calf, pair – T Epps. Spring-born Limousin cross heifer calf – C MacMillan.

Highland ponies (Judge: A Fletcher, Laigh Hatton, Bishopton). Champion and bets pony in show – D and P Bonar with a mare. Gelding/mare, youngstock – D and P Bonar. Ridden – N Logan. Shetland – K MacPherson.