Beef Shorthorn

It was a bit of luck that brought the Beef Shorthorn champion of the decade into being.

Trowbridge Tessa Lindsay was a big winner for first-time Beef Shorthorn exhibitor, Tom McMillan, from Eskechraggan, on the Isle of Bute. His classy heifer won through at one of the biggest parades of beef cattle at the 2019 show.

She was rising two at the time of the big win with the Rettie showing team in charge of pre-show preparations and taking her round the ring on the big day. While Tom is quite a veteran of Highland shows, having paraded Clydesdales before, Beef Shorthorns were a new venture.

It began with the purchase of a bull, Blelack Magnum at the spring sale for the breed at Carlisle where he was bought for 4000gns as a new stock bull for the 100 commercial cows at Eskechraggan. A rising two-year-old roan, he was by the 12,000gns Royal Highland champion, Meonhill Highland and later that day, Tom paid 2000gns for the two-year-old roan daughter of Millerston Einstein, Millerston Gretta Honey from Jack and Grace Ramsay, to form a new pedigree herd.

Tessa Lindsay, a daughter of Tamhorn Glen, followed when bought for Tom while he was judging Clydesdales, at Ballymena Show, by Richard Rettie. She cost 3600gns at the Trowbridge dispersal sale when bought along with her dam, Knockenjig Tessa.

The champion now has a heifer calf of her own at foot, by Magnum and she’s in calf again to the same bull and enjoying life on the lush grass this year on Bute. A maternal half-sister is also ‘a looker’ said Tom, who has now built the Beef Shorthorn side up to 14 pure-breds.

Judge’s comments:

John Thomson, Lockerbie, auctioneer and of the Shawhill Beef Shorthorn herd, said: “Selecting one of these from the short leet of three was a challenge. We have two fantastic bulls, Meonhill Highland Centurian and Chapelton Ensign, each a marvellous example of the breed, with slightly different strengths.

“Then there is the young heifer, Trowbridge Tessa Linsay, which challenged the many good cattle in the older classes of her year and went on, justifiably, to emerge as overall winner. She is an exceptional example of a good Beef Shorthorn heifer with length, strength and top-line combined with the appropriate femininity which epitomises good breed characteristics and gives her, as our American cousins would say, that ‘kerb appeal’ which a true champion needs.

“Although youthful and with all her life before her to prove herself, I did not hesitate to choose her as my Champion of the Decade.”


Rolling the clock back to 2015, saw the five-year-old bull, Shadwell Black Broughton K485 lift not only the Aberdeen-Angus breed champion, but also going on to be crowned inter-breed champion for Alastair and Graeme Fraser, Newton of Idvies Farm, Forfar.

The mighty bull was originally purchased privately from Shadwell Estates, in Norfolk, and while there he also had a successful show career before moving to Idvies.

Broughton is a son of Muirhall Total Deal and his dam is Shadwell Blackbird D181.

He was shown once more in 2015 at the UK Summer National Aberdeen-Angus Show held at the Border Union Show where he was placed breed champion and reserve inter-breed.

In 2014, at the Kirriemuir District Show he was awarded champion of champions.

“These were the only three show outings he had under the Idvies banner as we felt he was a bull for many to see,” said Graeme Fraser.

During 2017, Idvies was one of the herds involved with the World Aberdeen-Angus Forum, where more than 200 attended the farm, with Broughton greatly admired and commented upon by the worldwide guests.

Further to success in the showring, he also went on to win the Angus breeder champion of Europe and Asia 2016 judged by five international judges in a virtual show.

Broughton also excelled in breeding, with sons selling for five-figure sums to pedigree herds which included several bull sale successes at Stirling. Idvies Johnson Eric N588, was intermediate and reserve supreme in October, 2014; Idvies Fusilier N594 was reserve senior in February 2015 and Idvies Eland T804, was champion at the May, 2019 event to name but a few.

Two sons have been exported to Germany with one in a five-figure deal while daughters have been in demand throughout Europe, being exported to the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and Hungry.

Unfortunately, Broughton hurt himself serving a cow in the autumn of 2017, which was a sad day for all at Newton of Idvies.

Judges comments:

THE chosen ‘one’ for the Aberdeen-Angus breed, Shadwell Black Broughton, was chosen by Alasdair Houston, show said: “The final three forward for the Champion of the Decade are all fine animals. That said, I have no hesitation in awarding the accolade to the senior bull, which is an outstanding specimen in any breed. He displays great presence, outlook and character.

“Despite being in full show condition he is clean through the brisket, powerful and masculine without being coarse.

“He has a well set shoulder, setting off a good spring of rib, a long level meaty top line and a balanced underline with good body volume for forage conversion without being wasteful.

“His tail head is well set into a round and well muscled hind end and full flank. “I like his strong flat bone and his stance on well angled and robust pastern and hock.

“The debate about optimum size is a perennial debate at shows in all breeds and this is undoubtedly a large frame size bull.

“As a show specimen he is pretty hard to fault and is in my view a worthy winner.”


A show stopping cow from the 2010 RHS landed the Champion of the Decade amongst the Galloways for Dennis and Margaret Gall, Boquhan Home Farm, Stirling.

Silverbell 3 of Gall-way is a Blackcraig Krypton daughter out of the 2004 Highland Show champion Silverbell 12 of Corrie.

This five-year-old cow had already received many championships that year, including Ayr and Drymen, when shown with her bull calf at foot, Highland Laddie of Gall-way.

Although she did not attend many other shows after this high-end achievement, her bull calf Laddie, went on to take junior champion at the bull sales at Castle Douglas, in 2011, before selling to Germany for 2800gns.

Silverbell 3 of Gall-way, bred well for the couple too with her daughter, Lady Silverbell 8 of Gall-way, awarded female champion at Castle Douglas before selling for 4100gns in 2014.

Her most exceptional calf however, was Silverbell 6 of Gall-way, which bred bulls to 6500gns, heifers to 2300gns as well as junior breed champion and junior inter-breed Royal Highland Show champion in 2017.

Unfortunately, the 2010 Royal Highland Show champion, had to be put down in 2016, however, had she left a great legacy in the Gall-way herd.

Judge comments:

THE 2010 champion was been chosen by Alan McClymont, Kirkstead, who said of his winning choice: “I placed the cow first as she is very good on her legs with great natural fleshing and full of breed character. An ideal example of a cow which can live on a high, hard hill.”


The two-year-old bull, Normanton 1 Laertes – the 2016 breed leader – came out on top amongst the Herefords for father-and-son duo, Tim and William Livesey, from Normanton le Heath, Leicestershire.

Champion of the Decade is a homozygous polled home-bred son of Romany 1 Distiller, out of Normanton 1 Jews Ear.

The Royal Highland champion from 2016, also landed the inter-breed beef honours that year at Ingliston.

Prior to that he stood male champion at Shropshire and champion at the National Calf Show in 2014.

Two years later, he was inter-breed champion at the Royal Welsh and Burwarton Show and National Polled and Hereford Bull of the Year the same year.

Not only has he been successful in the showing circuit, he has bred exceptionally well too, with several sons selling in excess of £7000.

A daughter of Laertes also won breed champion at the National Polled show last year, while a son was awarded male champion and reserve overall champion at Agri Expo 2019.

He is now currently at home running with cows, and the family already has 100 calves by him which are ‘like peas in a pod’.

He also has more than 400 calves registered with the Hereford cattle Society after a brief stint at Genus ABS with semen since then being exported all over the world.

As more of his calves fall on the ground, his EBVs seem to get better too which is driving accuracies up. He has a gestation length and eye muscle area in the top 1% of the breed.

Tim and William also won breed champion with his maternal brother Normanton 1 Eastern Promise in 2011, which Laertes beat to be Champion of the Decade!

Judges comment:

The Hereford Cattle Society’s chairman, Philip Allman and its president, Mark Roberts, joined forces to select Tim and Will Livesey’s 2016 champion and inter-breed champion, Normanton 1 Laertes, as the animal they would like to take forward from the Champions of the Decade judging to the overall inter-breed championship.

Belted Galloway

Champion of the Decade amongst the Belties is the 2011 breed leader, the 20-month-old heifer, Tobergill Narnia, from Jennifer Taylor, Brae of Gadgirth, Sundrum, Ayr.

She won as a junior heifer, having led the calf class the previous year at the Royal Highland Show.

Narnia is by the stock bull, Coulmony Coll and bred from Tobergill Katy, a former female champion at the Highland in 2010 that went on to stand reserve overall with Narnia at foot.

Narnia’s grand dam Tobergill Heidi also stood female champion and reserve overall Belted Galloway at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2007 with Tobergill Katy at foot winning the calf class.

Heidi then went on to win the coveted Belted Galloway Cattle Society award ‘Female of the year’, which Narnia also won in 2011.

Mrs Taylor said Narnia is flourishing as an excellent example of a Belted Galloway cow – a good doer, with strong maternal instincts having reared seven calves to date and helping her daughter Tobergill Tara raise twins.

Judges comments:

Judge for the Belted Galloways was well-known breeder, Duncan Maxwell, from The Jaw, Fintry, who chose the 2011 winner, as his champion: “I have had a good look at the three excellent animals chosen by the readers and the stand out Champion of the Decade for me was an exceptional heifer.

“She is an exceptional animal with tremendous breed character, a broad level back and a well sprung rib cage, with good bone and well placed, balanced legs. She also has an excellent, soft milky coat, broad muzzle and plenty width between her ears, with a nice tight brisket and perfect belt.

“A beautiful Belted Galloway demonstrating the best qualities of the breed.”

Commercial cattle

Northern Ireland breeders, Jonny Neil, Gareth Corrie and Charlie Beverland of JCB commercials bagged their first and only breed win at the Royal Highland Show in 2016, the first year exhibiting as one, with J-Lo.

This ‘once in a lifetime’ heifer which went on to land the Champion of the Decade title was sired by Norman Ely, out of a Limousin cross British Blue dam, and was bought in from P Fagan for 1100gns at Hiltown Mart.

J-Lo not only lifted Royal Highland title in 2016 but also the supreme at Balmoral, the reserve at the Limousin Society’s 40th Anniversary Show and the Agri-Expo championship at Carlisle!

At the Royal Ulster Christmas Show, she again ruled supreme and sold to a local bar and restaurant.

“We have been delighted with the achievements J-Lo has secured and it really has been a lifetime victory! We have continued year on year to exhibit at the Highland and now see it as our annual holiday – and how deeply we are missing it this year!” said Gareth.

Judge’s comments:

Top of the 10 champions as chosen by Ian Anderson, from Cumnock, was J-Lo from the Ulster-based JCB Commercials outfit.

Ian said: “The three commercial cattle put before me were all worthy champions, although slightly different in type. “In my opinion, however, the one that stands out is the dark red heifer from JCB Commercials.

“She has a showy head, with great length and width of body. She has depth but with a clean underline and is full over her loins and has a tremendous backend and second thigh. She is also right up on her legs and to me, is a worthy winner.

“Congratulations to all the champions over the decade and to the final three competitors – they are a credit to the stockmen and women bringing them out.

“I look forward to getting back to the RHS next year and enjoying a dram with friends old and new!”


A year not to be forgotten for John and Ernest Elliot, Newtownstewart, NI, was 2016 when they had a clean sweep of the Salers’ silverware taking supreme, reserve and reserve female champions.

Their trip over to Scotland from Northern Ireland was a much rewarded one, by taking the lion’s share of the top prizes. And now the Champion of the Decade title.

They took the overall title with the Balmoral show-winning Drumlegagh Galaxy, a three-year-old calved heifer by the imported sire, Fanfan.

Her French-born sire, and her mother, Drumlegagh Unity, both have taken supreme at the Royal Ulster Show, with Unity snatching it for five years on the trot!

At the Royal Highland in 2016, Galaxy was shown with her first calf at foot, a January-born heifer, Drumlegagh Luna, which went on to triumph at many local shows in Northern Ireland.

Galaxy has bred phenomenally for the herd, having produced mainly heifer calves, which have all been kept for breeding purposes. She is still running on the farm and continues to prove her worth for the Elliots.

The show junior heifer this year was supposed to be her daughter, Drumlegagh Oceania – one which will have to wait her turn until next year now!

With only three years exhibiting at the Royal Highland for John and Ernest it has certainly done the business, taking champion for the three years on the trot with three different animals in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Judge’s comment:

The judge for the Salers was previous society chair, president and longstanding member and judge, Alan Howatson, of Barncaughla, Newton Stewart, who chose the 2016 Salers as overall champion.

He said: “I chose the 2016 champion because in my opinion she was the longest, most stylish and most feminine.

“I can remember her as an upstanding free moving cow in the show ring. All three animals were worthy champions on the day and as Salers breeders, the type of animal we should be aiming for.”

British Blue

Last years’ champion, Solway View Milly, has been crowned Champion of the Decade among the British Blues for Kevin Watret, from Annan.

Milly helped lift Kevin’s eighth breed championship at Ingliston and was again brought out by stockman, Ali Jackson.

Crowned junior female winner at the Great Yorkshire in 2018 she was also overall breed champion at the Royal Welsh in 2019.

Notably, she also made up part of the winning inter-breed pairs and in the supreme inter-breed team of five at the Royal Welsh last year.

The home-bred two-year-old is a daughter of Empire d’Ochain and her dam is Solway View Elegance, achieved a hat-trick of wins in 2013 winning the breed championship at the Highland, Great Yorkshire and Royal Welsh.

The first calves out of Milly are now on the ground, having been flushed to Dodou de St Remacle.

She is due to calve naturally in August.

Judge’s comments:

Taking care of the British Blue judging was chairman, Graham Brindley, who honoured last year’s champion, Solway View Milly, as Champion of the Decade.

“For my champion, I chose the 2019 heifer. She just oozed breed quality; so well grown with excellent fleshing, right from the shoulder, through the top and into the hindquarters. She stands on excellent legs, with superb stature and a great feminine head.

“She has this muscling and femininity that gave her the advantage over the upstanding bull, who had great outline and presence and it was the freshness displayed, which gave him the advantage over the powerful working brood cow.


The youngsters coming through proved their worth when now 22-year-old, Melissa Donaldson’s Donaldson Jupiter bagged her first championship in 2016 after travelling from Northallerton, North Yorks.

This two-year-old bull is a son of the 8000gns Ark Diego and out of Hilltop Flora, one of only 20 cows in her small herd.

This was the end of his showing career after being successful in the show ring for two years, attaining male champion at the Royal Welsh in 2015 and the Great Yorkshire in 2016.

Jupiter’s dam Hilltop Flora has gained first prize tickets at Ingliston. She has also won countless first places and inter-breed championships at major county shows including North Yorkshire County Show 2014 with Jupiter at foot and she won again in 2019 with Donaldson Olly at foot.

Hilltop Flora’s best achievements to date include winning British Blonde breed champion at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2013, and coming back six years later at the age of 10 to lift the same award again at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2019.

Retained as a stock bull for her Donaldson herd, all females sired by him have been kept for breeding.

He is still with the Donaldson herd and continues to produce both pedigree and commercial calves, as well as semen which is available for sale from him.

In 2017, Melissa came back to Royal Highland after the success with Donaldson Jupiter in 2016 and gained first place, junior champion and reserve female champion with Donaldson Miss Moneypenny.

Judge’s comments:

Judge of the British Blonde champion was Joanne Crozier, the society president, who picked out the 2016 champion, Donaldson Jupiter, from Melissa Donaldson, Northallerton.

The judge said: “These three animals are a great example of the power of British Blonde cattle – two tremendous cows capable of producing the modern bull to become an excellent terminal sire for today’s market. In my mind – and for most butchers – length means weight, means profit.

“The 2016 champion, a bull, is an excellent example of the 2020 British Blonde, with length and shape. He is light boned and carries a lot of pure muscle and flesh, with very little waste, which is just what is wanted in 2020

“He shows how over the years the Blonde has evolved to be a great crossing sire with the length needed for the prime cuts of meat coupled with the hind quarters that are required by the butchers. They are easy fleshing and finish very quickly.”


Elgin Catherine made her mark for the Milne family in 2013 – winning the breed and inter-breed beef championship, and this week landed the Champion of the Decade honours.

In 2009 Catherine won the junior female title at the Highland, and she was back out in fine form in 2013 to win the big one with her February-born heifer calf, Elgin Iona.

The 10-year-old cow is one of 50 pedigree cows in the Elgin herd, based at Kennieshillock, Lhanbryde, Elgin. She is by Gower Versace and out of the Rumsden Samurai daughter, Elgin Unity – a cow which has bred sons to 9000gns.

She has strong show winning bloodlines, with her paternal half-sister, Inverlochy Cathy, having won the breed title at Ingliston in 2011.

After 2013, she was retired from the show circuit, however, over the years Matthew has also excelled in the beef breeder classes, taking champion twice and reserve twice. The Milne family also took junior inter-breed champion with Elgin Neuer in 2018.

Unfortunately, Catherine, passed away in the springtime this year, however, has left some strong progeny on the ground, with a lot of her female calves being retained for breeding in the Elgin herd. One daughter, Elgin Lynsey, was sold for 4000gns at Stirling Bull sales, to Lyndsay Wight, Carwood Farm, Biggar.

Judges’ comments:

The judges of the Charolais was Ben Harman and Michael Atkinson, who awarded the 2013 champion, Elgin Catherine, the big title.

They said: “After looking at the excellent photographs of the three females we choose the 2016 cow. The champion has all the attributes of a great Charolais female. She has great depth while retaining clean lines, manages to carry plenty of power while retaining her femininity. She stands beautifully and shows great angles through the pasterns and upward.

“She already hints at being a strong milker and looks to be good across the plates and the tail head leaving me to think she will have all the attributes to become a productive breeding cow.”


Highland champion came in the form of Her Majesty The Queen’s stock bull, Ruaridh 1 of Ubhaidh. This was the first time the Queen’s 55-cow Balmoral fold had won the championship at Ingliston.

The bull was brought out by stockman Dochy Ormiston, with his brother Fergie and his nickname came from Dochy’s young nephew, who could not pronounce his proper name and came out as Oobery Doobery! And it stuck!!

Bred by Roy Tylden-Wright, from Laggan, this bull was bought for a bargain 1400gns at Oban and had previously taken reserve inter-breed at Tarland Show, plus the male championship at the Glasgow ‘International’ Show the previous year.

“We didn’t use him as a three or four-year-old bull to give him time to mature,” said Dochy.

The bull is now in the hands of Ken Brown, Craigowmill, Ledlanet, Kinross, where he seems to be breeding well, with stock being sold overseas as well as a reserve champion at Oban, in February.

Judge’s comments:

He won in 2014 and was chosen as Champion of the Decade by veteran stockman, Jimmy Laing, from Easter Ross. He said of his choice: “This was a great honour for me to place such a great selection of former champions at the Highland. It wasn’t the easiest of tasks as they were all great examples of the breed.

“But, HM The Queen’s 2014 winner really stood out. He is full of breed character and has a great head on him. He carries his weight well on a great top line and the bottom line and brisket are not too heavy. He is a great ambassador for the breed.”


From the Limousins one winner which stood out was Doug Mash’s eight-year-old cow, Brockhurst Bolshoi, which was breed supreme back in 2014, when she was brought out by freelance stockman, Dougie McBeath.

She also went on to bag The Scottish Farmer trophy for the best beef animal bred by exhibitor that year.

A daughter of the 55,000gns Grahams Samson, and out of Ronick McAinsi, Bolshoi is a full embryo sister to the previous Highland champion, Brockhurst Batik, she also picked up the breed and inter-breed tickets at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2011.

Just a few of Bolshoi ‘s progeny achievements include Brockhurst Hardnut being junior male champion at the Royal Highland in 2014; Brockhurst Howzat ruled supreme at the Limousin Red Ladies sale before selling for 24,000gns to Aileen Ritchie’s herd; Brockhurst Heavenly was reserve female champion at the Limousin anniversary show at Carlisle and inter-breed champion at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2016; and Brockhurst Lucy won overall champions of champions at the Scottish Grand Prix, at Echt Show.

Bolshoi and Batik were never beaten when they were in the same team whether it be a pair or multiples!

Judge’s comments:

The judge of the Limousin was society president, Jim Scott, Ardigon Lodge, Ardigon, Killyleagh, Co Down, who crowned the 2014 Limousin winner as supreme.

Jim said: “There were three outstanding animals, but my winner is a wonderful, proven cow who has reached her full potential as a breeding female. She exhibits outstanding breed character and is presenting herself here very regally.”


Double Royal Highland champion from 2015 and 2016, Auroch Eve, from Michael Barlow, Leyland, Lancashire, has been crowned Champion of the Decade amongst the Simmentals.

She was bought in Ireland from David Wall’s herd at just three hours old and brought over at 21 days old! Although, she was never purchased for showing, it was all about her bloodlines and getting fresh family lines into the herd.

The three-year-old cow – as she was in 2016 – is by Auroch Ace and her dam was Auroch Wave. In 2016 she was shown with a January- born Dinto Nautical-sired bull calf at foot, Denizes Hamish.

Her showing career has been an immense one. He was a former junior champion at Stars of the Future Show in 2013, junior champion at both the English National Show and the Royal Norfolk Show in 2014, junior female at both the Great Yorkshire and the Royal Welsh shows and champion at the Scottish National at Black Isle Show in 2016 – an 11 hour trip just to beat the Scots proved its worth!

This year the full intention was to bring Eve back to the show ring and exhibit her once again at Ingliston, however it was not to be.

Outwith the showing circuit she has bred strong calves, already having produced 14 calves. These include the Denizes current stock bull, Denizes Hamish, which took reserve male champion at the Royal Highland last year, junior champion at Agri-Expo and champion at Stars of the Future 2016, before unfortunately breaking his leg. However, he is back to full fettle now!

Judge’s comments:

THE Simmental Champion of the Decade was chosen as the 2016 champion, Auroch Eve, by Norman Robson, Kilbride Farm, Doagh – though the judge, Norman Robson, Kilbride, Doagh, Northern Ireland, said it was a close run thing.

He said: “Thank you to The Scottish Farmer for asking me to do the final selection of the Champions of the Decade. It is a privilege to do so in a year that has been tough for so many people.

“It was a very tough call between two cattle that demonstrated the true dual purpose nature of the Simmental breed. A senior bull, standing square on his legs with length, muscle and masculinity and a junior cow with beef characteristics, femininity and style.

“There was a hair’s-breadth between them, but the cow which won in 2016 just had that edge, she looks feminine and productive, with a great outlook.”