A packed ringside for the first of the Stirling Bull Sale shows, saw a 22-month-old entry from Wigtownshire breeders, Martin McCornick and daughters, Gemma and Kate, win the supreme amongst the Aberdeen Angus.

McCornick Pathfinder, secured a first all-black title at Stirling for the family from Boreland, Kirkcowan who notably secured the tri-colour here in October with a Charolais.

“The champion is the most correct bull and has the best shape, with meat where it is supposed to be with plenty of thigh and a good top line,” said the judge, Jim Ford, who not only breeds Angus but also buys Angus cattle for the meat trade.

“The reserve is also a good bull with tremendous stretch and great outcome for a stock bull,” he added.

Supreme champion, was the yearling bull champion and reserve male at the Winter National show at Agri Expo. Backed by the best of genetics, Pathfinder is a son of Skaill Dino, a bull whose first son made 8500gns here in February, while another sold in October was reserve junior and made 8200gns.

Equally impressive, the dam, Halbeath Pam which has bred a lot of heifers for the McCornicks, was bought at the Halbeath dispersal and is by Ankonian Elixir.

Following him all the way to take the reserve overall and a personal best in the show ring was the runner-up intermediate, Stouphill Maximus Pride, a similarly aged bull from William and Kate Allen, son Dallas and daughter Ruth.

Again, there are some top bloodlines behind this entry as the sire, Duncanziemere Jigsaw, has sired the first prize group of three bulls here for the past three years in succession and was also the sire of the winning group of five. Jigsaw has bred sons to 12,000gns and 10,000gns, while the dam, Stouphill Marsala Princess, a Rawburn El Torro, has produced bulls to 6000gns for the 65-cow herd from Humbleheugh, Alnwick.

Catalogue entry No 13 proved anything but unlucky for Alasdair Houston’s Gretnahouse herd from Annan too, when Gretnahouse Black Bomb, bagged the top award amongst the seniors.

The bull, brought out by stockman John Morton, is the second son sold by Deveron Leggat, a bull that secured no fewer than nine first prize wins and three national championships for his breeders, Hamish and Margaret Sclater, before selling privately to the Tonley herd. His dam is the Blelack Duke daughter, Gretnahouse Blackbird which is a full sister to Gretnahouse Blacksmith, a bull that has bred sons to 15,000gns.

At the other end of the age scale, local breeders, Highland Wagyu, Blackford, Auchterarder, lifted the junior championship with HW Black Barberesco, a July 2018-born entry shown by Seonaid McLaren and her father William.

This bull is a son of the senior stock sire, HW Fabulous, which is by Netherton Freedom and goes back to a former female champion at the Highland Show, in Netherton Frances. The dam is Balhaldie Black Beryl, which is a daughter of Cheeklaw Black Beryl and by Balhaldie Proud Star.

Reserve junior was Neil and Graeme Massie’s Blelack Lord Hugo, from Blelack, Dinnet. A son of Tonley Jester Eric, this 20-month-old, is out of the Warrenho Emperor daughter Blelack Lady Heather, whose family has produced Stirling champions and sons to 25,000gns.

The equivalent amongst the seniors was taken by Hamish and Margaret Sclater’s Deveron Endurance, a 22-month-old and the first son sold by the Gretnahouse Bailiff son, Deveron Lomax which was retained for breeding.

Bred from one of the best cows in the 70-cow herd from Denhead Farms, Turriff, he is out of Deveron Estorella, a Blackhaugh Easy Papa-sired cow that has bred several top winners to include one of the yearling champion pairs and a bull calf champion at the Bonanza, and the reserve heifer calf at the Winter National.