By Patsy Hunter

Photographs by Rob Haining

AgriScot – Scotland's No 1 business event staged at Ingliston on Wednesday – pulled out all the stops for it's 25th anniversary, with another show boasting back to back trade stands, packed out seminars, and one of the best quality line-ups of dairy cattle seen in recent years.

Add to that increased entries for the various farm competitions, and both the organisers and the trade stand holders had plenty to smile about at the end of the day.

"The day has gone really well. There has been an unbelievable buzz about it all day and all the trade stand holders are saying they've done lots of business," said Robert Neill, AgriScot chairman.

"There has been a lot of hard work done behind the scenes by all the organisers and it has paid off," he said.

While the event always proves a huge draw to all types of farmers, it was the show of dairy cattle that again took centre stage, which in contrast to previous years, this time saw the juniors prove the star attraction in the esteemed SuperCow competition.

Just shy of 100 dairy cows – many of them previous winners at national shows up and down the country – were forward with the Holstein champion eventually reigning supreme over the Brown Swiss – a best ever result here for this hardy high component breed.

"It has been a fantastic show of cows. I've been pleasantly surprised at the quality of animals forward," said the judge, Selwyn Donald, who breeds Holstein, Ayrshire and Brown Swiss in New Zealand, and has judged several big dairy events in the UK in recent years.

"The Holstein is a sexy young cow – one you would hope to breed from and look forward to seeing the progeny. She's that good, I just couldn't go by her," said Mr Donald adding that the Brown Swiss was a 'phenomenal' young cow.

Taking all the plaudits was the Wilson family's – James and Louise and daughters Charlotte and Emma – Whinchat Snowy Tippy 2, a VG89-4yr, from Evening Hill Farm, Thursby, Carlisle. Their second calver which was bought privately in June from Andrew Birkle, is a daughter of Lookout Pesce Snowy and was paraded giving 45litres per day having calved in June. Relatively new to the show circuit in Scotland, this was only the second time the family has exhibited at AgriScot, with the cow having stood first in her class at UK Dairy Day on her sole previous outing.

In a first for the Brown Swiss breed, Jonathan Lochhead's Kedar Rosa VG89-2yr, secured a top award on the leader board at the Ingliston event, lifting the reserve SuperCow. Going all the way for this 140-cow herd from Mouswald, Dumfries, was a daughter of the Ex95 former National show winner, Kedar Rhapsody, by Scherma Glenn Blooming. Another junior, she calved her second in June and is giving 32kg per day having produced more than 7900kg in her first. Already a big show winner too, she was reserve inter-breed heifer champion at the 2018 UK Dairy Day and reserve breed champion there this year.

The Brown Swiss which first won the any other breed section, was again to the fore in the reserve, presented to Stranraer-based breeders, Robert and Sheila McColm with their home-bred Soulseat Jublend Beatrice Ex95-4-7yr. A former four times National champion, this 10-year-old calved her seventh in August and is giving 42kg per day at a massive 6.2%BF and 3.2%P. She is by Jublend.

Honourary mention amongst the cows was the Jersey best, Philip Manning and Emma Murray's Windyridge Tequila Diamond Ex93-4yr, a Tower Vue Prime Tequila daughter bred from the former show cow, Shellen Connection Diamond. Champion at the Royal Welsh and UK Dairy Day, last year, this fifth calver, paraded by David Gray, was on her first outing of the year having calved down on November 1, to give 45kg per day now.

There was more success for the Scots when Brian and Michael Yates, East Logan, Castle Douglas, scooped the Red and White championship with Logan Integral Jodie Red 3 Ex90-3yr. This top dairy cow that was inter-breed heifer champion at the Highland, champion heifer in the Scottish herds competition and inter-breed champion at Dumfries, last year was also champion at the South West Dairy Show, last month. She is bred from the VG87 Sterndale Sterling Jodie Red and since calving her second in August is now giving 55kg per day.

Standing next in line to her was Jim and Gilmour Lawrie's Redsky Ladd Delight Red Ex94-2-5yr, a six-year-old Tiger Lily Ladd P Red daughter, that also boasts several champion and reserve winners at Ayr and the Highland, from Sandyford, Monkton, Prestwick.

Cousin Arthur Lawrie, wife Susan and their two sons, James and David, were again in the tickets too, taking the blue and white sash amongst the Ayrshire cows with their Ex92-4yr Cuthill Towers Harrys Miss Blondie, a red ticket holder last year which boasts home-bred genetics on both sides. This third calver which calved in August and is giving 50kg per day, is by Cuthill Towers Harry and bred from Cuthill Towers Miss Blondie Ex95, a former champion winner here.

Evie Tomlinson had a cracking morning amongst the Ayrshires, bagging the reserve SuperHeifer title with an entry from her Allstar herd from Leicester and she was back in business lifting the breed title amongst the cows with Allstar Provider Honesty VG88-3yr, owned in partnership with her boyfriend Ifan Wilson. Another with some show success behind her, this second calver was inter-breed junior at Dairy Day and exhibitor bred champion at the Royal Cheshire, last year. She is bred from the Ex94-2-6yr Sandyford Honest Blazzard, and has yielded 1807kg at 4.15%BF and 3.56%P, since calving 61 days previous.

Ayrshire-based Robert Buchanan and family, had a day to remember too when they scooped the reserve Jersey honours with Tintoview Tequila Blondie VG87-3yr, a Tower Vue Prime Tequila daughter that calved her third in September and is giving 34kg. The family who run 25 pedigree Jerseys alongside their 80-cow Holstein herd at Laigh Kilphin, Ballantrae, Girvan, secured their best AgriScot result with a daughter of their Bluegrass Shandys August Blondie Ex94-4-7yr which was also honourable mention at the show.

The last of the big prize money saw Welsh breeders, David and Claire Jones and son Matt, Church Farm, Magor, take the runner up ticket amongst the Holsteins with Aliann Mincio Kitty Ex94-2-5yr, a Bertaiola Mincio daughter bought at the Aliann sale for 13,000gns in partnership with Nick and Louisa Sercombe of the Shambles herd. Champion at the Welsh Dairy Show and second at the UK Dairy Day, she was paraded seven months calved and giving 45kg per day.

LEADING awards

Any other breed – 1, champion and reserve SuperCow, J Lochhead's Kedar Rosa VG89-2yr, by Scherma Glenn Blooming; 2 and reserve, R and S McColm's Soulseat Jublend Beatrice Ex95-4-7yr, by Jublend; 3, S Dixon's Shaunlea Geri 10, by Hylite Barbwire-Red.

Red and white – 1 and champion, BG Yates and Son's Logan Integral Jodie Red 3 ET Ex90-3yr, by Blondin Integral; 2 and reserve, J and G Lawrie's Redsky Ladd Delight Red Ex94-2-5yr, by Tiger-Lily Ladd P-Red; 3, The Firm of R and M Scott's Nethervalley Apples Emma Red VG88-3yr, by Apples Absolute-Red.

Jersey – Junior cow – 1 and reserve, H Buchanan and Son's Tintoview Tequila Blondie VG87-3yr, by Tower Vue Prime Tequila; 2, JR and SM Howie's Trengothal Tequila Bandanna VG89-4yr by Tower Vue Prime Tequila; 3, The Hunter Family's Kingsbeck Tansy GP82, by Broadlin Aussiegold AJBS. Senior cow – 1 and champion, P Manning's Windyridge Tequila Diamond, by Tower Vue Prime Tequila; 2, H Buchanan and Son's Bluegrass Shandys August Blondie Ex94-4-7yr, by Bluegrass Shimmers Shandy; 3, R Scott's Monument Riley Canderel Ex91-6yr, by Rainbows Act Riley.

Holstein – Junior cow – 1, Holstein champion and SuperCow, Evening Hill Farm's Whinchat Snowy Tippy 2 VG89-4yr, by Lookout Pesce Snowy; 2, D Jones' Feizor Doorman G Dandy VG89-3yr, by Val-Bisson Doorman; 3, Whinhill, Icow and Huddlesford's Lillyhall Cashmoney Bonita VG89-3yr, by Farnear-TBR-BH Cashmoney. Intermediate cow – 1, Riverdane Holsteins' Riverdane Colt Strawberry ET Ex92-5yr, by Mr Chassity Colt 45; 2, Evening Hill Farm's Riverdane Ashlyns Gold ET Ex93-4yr, by Mr Chassity Gold Chip; 3, J and I Wilson's Witherslack Mincio Joanne 2 G79, by Bertaiola Mincio. Senior cow – 1 and reserve Holstein, D and C Jones' Aliann Mincio Kitty Ex94-2-5yr, by Bertaiola Mincio; 2, Evening Hill Farm's Evening Stanleycup Jennifer Ex95-2-6yr, by Gillette Stanleycup; 3, R and E Butterfield's Newbirks Jazz 1584 Ex95-2-6yr, by Comestar Lavanguard.

Ayrshire – Junior cow – 1 and Ayrshire champion, W Tomlinson and Son's Allstar Provider Honesty VG88-3yr, by Richaven Provider; 2, M and P Howie's Morwick Kirsty 11 VG85-3yr, by Morwick Prime Lad; 3, A and S Lawrie's Cuthill Towers Primetime Linzy VG87-3yr, by Gwynnog Primetime. Intermediate cow – 1 and reserve Ayrshire, A and S Lawrie's Cuthill Towers Harrys Miss Blondie Ex92-4yr, by Cuthill Towers Harry P; 2, J and G Gilmour's Brieryside Respect Swan VG88-4yr, by Brieryside Respect; 3, G and A Taylor's Old Mill Hazel 30 Ex90-4yr, by Palmyra Tri-Star Burdette. Senior cow – ET Tomlinson and Son's Sandyford Dark Hester 2 Ex92-4yr, by Sandyford Dark Knight; 2, L Window and C Walker's Hunnington Lilly 18 Ex91-4yr, by Cheshire View Magnum; 3, J Adamson and Son's Swaites Bright Spark 5 Ex92-4yr, by Brieryside Red Centurian.