THERE'S another quality line-up promised for the forthcoming Aberdeen Christmas Classic, which will be held at ANM's Thainstone mart on November 25 and 26.

Almost 500 entries have been booked in for the annual show and sale over two-day event, which organised by Aberdeen and Northern Marts (ANM) in conjunction with the Aberdeen Fatstock Association and sponsored by Rapid Project Development (RPD).

As usual, a packed programme of events will spread over both days and will see shows and sales of prime and pedigree livestock from noted breeders from across Scotland, as well as the 'Rising Stars' exhibition calf show, which will be held on the Monday evening in the Thainstone Exchange. That will be judged by Michael Durno, Auchorachan, Glenlivet, and will be a 'must see' for those looking for potential stars of next year's show circuit.

“We are delighted to be offering another terrific show of prime and pedigree livestock at this year’s Aberdeen Christmas Classic,” said ANM prime and cull cattle manager, Tim McDonald.

“Over the two days, spectators will have the chance to see some of the best-bred cattle in the country, with the opportunity of also buying top-quality in-lamb pedigree sheep and pedigree bulls.”

Last year’s event saw the overall championship in the prime cattle section awarded to a three-quarter home-bred Limousin heifer, Cheeky Kiss, from Wilson Peters, Cuilt Farmhouse, Monzie, Crieff. Weighing 610kg, she later sold for the day’s top price of £4600, or 754p per kg to the judges, Hugh Black, from Lanark, and Murray Lauchlan, of Comrie.

The overall sheep championship went to a pair of 56kg Suffolk cross lambs from Willie and John Brown, Hilton of Culsh. They later made the top price of £200 per head to Louise Forsyth, of WTS Forsyth Butchers, Peebles, who judged the prime sheep along with Ben Wight, from Midlock, at Biggar.

Proceedings kick off on Monday morning at 11.30am with the cast sow competition which will be judged by a member of the Cheale family, of Cheale Meats, Essex.

This year's prime cattle section has attracted 55 entries and will be judged by Jamie Chapman, of James Chapman Butchers, Wishaw, and Frank Yorke, Yorkes of Dundee, Dundee, while the unhaltered cattle entries will be placed by Stewart Mackie, of SA Mackie Butchers, Aberlour.

A total of 160 prime sheep or 80 pairs of prime lambs will also be judged by Tom Hutcheon, of JB Penman Butchers, Crail, Anstruther, while Anna Forsyth, from WTS Forsyth and Sons Butchers, Peebles, will be tasked with judging strong entries of Young Farmers’ cattle and sheep.

Among the pedigree sheep, 230 head of well-bred females from noted breeders will be up for sale on the Monday evening. This will include 94 Suffolks, 82 Texels, 10 Bluefaced Leicesters, 30 Beltex, four Charollais, four Blue Texels and six Dutch Texels.

They will be judged in the afternoon by a number of breed judges:

* Suffolks – Mark Priestley, Northern Ireland;

* Texels – Keith Parker, Wyrebeck, Longlane, Scorton, Preston;

* Beltex – Alan Miller, Mid Lurg, Midmar, Inverurie.

Meanwhile, 30 pedigree bulls – which will include seven Limousins, six Aberdeen-Angus, five Simmentals, three Charolais, two Salers, one Beef Shorthorn, one Hereford and one British Blue, will be judged by Allen Drysdale, of the Glenericht Charolais herd, based at Middle Drimmie, Blairgowrie, before being sold on the Tuesday afternoon.

A reduction sale of 11 Aberdeen-Angus spring-calving females from AC Grant and Son, Middlefield, Forres, will also be sold along with the pedigree bulls.

For those unable to attend on the day and who wish to purchase animals, this year’s sale will benefit from ANM’s online auction system, allowing bidders to view the sale in real-time and bid against ringside buyers for entries. The event will be streamed live on ANM Group’s Facebook channel, with live photo updates throughout the day.

Photographs of the entries can also be seen before the event on the mart’s website.


Monday, November 25

11.30am Judging of cast sow competition: Pens

2.00pm Judging of pedigree female sheep: Exchange

4.00pm Sale of pedigree female sheep: Ring 2

6.00pm Judging of Young Farmers’ prime sheep: Exchange

6.15pm Judging of Young Farmers’ prime cattle, followed by Rising Stars Calf Show: Exchange

Tuesday, November 26

8.30am Judging of unhaltered prime cattle: Exchange

8.30am Judging of prime sheep: Ring 2

9.30am Judging of haltered prime cattle: Exchange

11.30am Judging of pedigree beef bulls: Exchange

12.30pm Parade of champion bulls, Rising Stars and prime cattle: Exchange

1.30pm Presentation of prizes for prime cattle and sheep, followed by sale of prime cattle and sheep commencing with cattle: Ring 3

3.00pm Sale of pedigree beef bulls and female: Ring 2

7.00pm Young Farmers and open stock judging competition: Ring 2.