A top quality line-up of livestock complete with new sections pulled in a record breaking crowd at Echt Show, where the coveted champion of champions award was presented to the supreme beef animal, Tonley Lady Heather and her heifer calf from Neil and Mark Wattie.

This bumper event which is one of the best in Aberdeenshire, saw the father and son team’s Aberdeen-Angus cow and calf from Mains of Tonley, Alford, crowned champion over no fewer than 40 different breed or section champions at Echt, Skene and Midmar Agricultural Association’s annual event.

Breed judges first voted on their choice of supreme cattle, sheep, goat and horse, which in turn then saw the inter-breed winners from the four sections come up against one another in for the final in the main ring.

“It was a unanimous decision ¬- the Aberdeen Angus is a fantastic specimen and a great example of the breed. She is so growthy for a second calved three-year-old and she’s got a great heifer calf at foot,” said Allan Taylor, the selected beef judge for the supreme overall who teamed up with the appointed sheep, goat and horse judges.

Taking all the plaudits was Tonley Lady Heather, a three-year-old home-bred Angus cow, shown with her second calf at foot, a heifer, by Mark’s girlfriend, Beth Dandie. A daughter of the 19,000gns stock bull, Blelack Evermore, she is out of Blelack Lady Heather which was purchased at the 2016 herd reduction sale.

Already a well known star performer, this big cow boasts several top awards under her belt to include reserve champion at the Royal Highland; reserve inter-breed at Stirling and breed champion at the Royal Norfolk last week for the Aberdeen-Angus National Summer Show where she also scooped the reserve inter-breed honours.

The Angus first took the lead in the cattle lines, which saw the silverware for the reserve beef presented to the champion commercial, Cinderella, from the newly married Robertsons ¬- Michael and Ellie who were honeymooning at Echt Show, alongside Michael’s two sons, Mark and Scott, and Ellie’s daughter, Sarah Balfour – Easter Fodderletter, Tomintoul.

Their January 2021-born heifer which had been bought at Skipton, from JC Walker, Brennand Farm, is by a Limousin sire and out of a British Blue cross cow. She was second at the Royal Highland Show.

Commercial calves, this time from Blair Duffton, Huntly, landed the inter-breed group of three.

Inter-breed calf champion was an Anside Limousin paraded by Martin Irvine. His October 2021-born Anside Simpson is by the Goldies Fortress son, Anside Orton, and bred from Anside Olga.

The inter-breed sheep and horse winners were also selected on a points basis by the various breed judges, with the former topped by the lead Texel, a gimmer from Gillian Adams, Dee Valley, Banchory, who was not only winning her first supreme sheep, but also first breed championship. Her star performer from the flock established in 2016, is a previously unshown home-bred entry by Sportsmans Cannonball.

Blue Texels proved particularly popular, winning the reserve inter-breed single sheep title and the supreme group of four amongst the sheep with both awards collected by Stasa Moyse and her partner, Stuart Wood, of the Saltire flock from Skene.

Stasa’s champion was Saltire Ferocious, a shearling ram by a Corra sire that was twice champion at the Royal Highland Show. Second at the Royal Highland Show, he then teamed up with a home-bred gimmer, home-bred ewe and a ewe lamb from the Saltire flock to win the supreme group.

Suffolks from Stuart Lorimer’s Cadgerford flock from Kingswells, took the trophy for the runner-up group.

An equally competitive horse section was topped by the champion arab and reserve overall riding pony, Tylo Hot Like Me, from Lorna Gilbert. Another well known show performer, this 10-year-old by Deanshill Royal Portrait is a former supreme at New Deer and reserve overall at Turriff. She was bred by the Tylo Stud, Bonnykelly.

Coming a close second for the supreme horse was the native champion, Tulloes Emily, a two-year-old Clydesdale filly from Jim Greenhill, Upper Tulloes, Letham.

LEADING awards

Aberdeen-Angus (Judge: Champion – N Wattie and Son, Mains of Tonley, Alford, with Tonley Lady Heather, a three-year-old by Blelack Evermore, out of Blelack Lady Heather which was bought at the 2016 reduction sale. Tonley Lady Heather was shown with her second calf at foot, a February 2022-born heifer, by the 24,000gns Duncanziemere Jetstream. Reserve champion at the Royal Highland Show, she was breed champion and reserve inter-breed at the Royal Norfolk last week which was hosting the Aberdeen-Angus Summer National Show. She was also heifer champion at the Black Beauty Bonanza and the Stars of the Future in 2019. Reserve – K Howie, Cairnton, Banchory, with Cairnton Duchess, an April 2021-born heifer by Cairnton Black Capton, bred from the Arms Elevation-sired Schivas Duchess. Bull, junior heifer – K Howie. Cow, calf – N Wattie and Son. Senior heifer – G and F Willox, Old Meldrum.

British Blonde (Judge: H Murray, Turriff). Champion and reserve Alison Watt, Birkenburn, Keith. Supreme wasthe nine-year-old in-calf cow, Strathisla Joy, a former champion winner year as a heifer, by Bridge Elmo out of Strathisla Gloria. Reserve was the 14-month-old bull, Strathisla Salvador, a previously unshown son of Hadley Esquire, out of Allerston Orchid bought at the herd dispersal as a calf at foot. All classes – A Watt.

British Blue (Judge: H Murray). Champion – E and M Greenlaw, Milton, Glenbuchat, Strathdon, with the March 2021-born black and white heifer, Sunnybank Ra Ra, bought at Carlisle in January from Henry Jewitt. This ET bred heifer is the result of a flush from Springhill My Girl, with the sire being Nox De L’Orgelot. Reserve – J Youngson, with the 14-month-old bull, Westerton Rebel, a son of Gitan Du Pti’t Mayeur, bred from the Mountjoy Utopia-sired Tweeddale Jussy. He is bound for the breed sale at Carlisle. Only two classes.

Highland cattle (Judge: J McMillan, Brechin). Champion – Mrs Morag Middleton, Barna Mid Mains of Balfour, Fettercairn, with the five-year-old bull, Eoin Mhor of Black Glen, a 3000gns purchase at Oban, in February. He is a son of Eoin Mhor 8 of Mottistone, out of Ban Righ of Mottistone and was reserve male at the Royal Highland Show. Reserve – S Greaves, Hatton, Peterhead, with Ladie Darcy of Ardiffery, a home-bred yearling heifer by Ewan Buidhe of Craigieray, out of Heather 3 of Richmond, a female bought privately as a yearling from the Finnies, Peterhead. She was second at the Club Show. Bull, cow ¬-¬ Mrs M Middleton. Three-year-old heifer ¬– Mrs Grace Noble. Two-year-old heifer, calf – Mrs Veronica Thomson. Yearling heifer – S Greaves.

Limousin (Judge: A Burnett, Stirling). Champion – I Miller, Miller Farms, Midmar, with Westpit Silly, a 16-month-old heifer by Dinmore Immense, out of Westpit Millie, that was bought at the Westpit reduction sale at Carlisle. She was reserve at Angus and Fettercairn, and was part of the winning inter-breed pairs at the two shows with her herd mate, Millers Solomon. Reserve ¬– B Duffton, Huntly, with the second prize winner to the champion, Craigatoke Rue, the female champion bought at a breed show and sale at Ballymena in April, where Blair was pre-sale judge. This 20-month-old is by Norman Ely and out of Craigatoke Nan. Bull – M Irvine, Anside, Keith. Cow – Aileen Ritchie, Tamala, Whiteside. Senior heifer ¬– M Robertson, Easter Fodderletter, Tomintoul. Junior heifer – I Miller.

Salers (Judge: S Stronach, Keith). Champion and reserve ¬- J McIntyre, Milton of Cullerlie, Echt. Champion was Corrichie Penny, a two-year-old in-calf heifer by Cuil King, out of Corrichie Mega and reserve was her similarly aged herd mate, Corrichie Pollie, also by Cuil King, but out of Corrichie Molly. All classes – J McIntyre.

Simmental (Judge: S Stronach). Champion – R Simmers, Backmuir Trading, Keith, with the 2.5-year-old in-calf heifer, Rathnashan Legsfirst, which was bought at an online sale from Nigel Hogan, Eire. She is by Dermotstown Delboy, bred from Seaport Beverley and stood third at the Royal Highland. Reserve – Emma Smith, Bankhead, Portlethan, with the October 2020-born heifer, Riverdee Libby, a home-bred daughter of Team Highwayman, out of Boars Head Annabelle 2, a Drumsleed Explosion-sired female. Only two classes.

Any other breed (Judge: H Murray). Champion – R and Kirsty Williams, Upper Tullochbeg, Huntly, with Dunsyre Iona 31, a five-year-old roan Beef Shorthorn cow by Redhill Ferny, out of Dunsyre Iona 5 Ex92. Reserve ¬– Mrs Fiona Davidson, Mintlaw, with the home-bred Beef Shorthorn heifer, Fordie Delilah, the reserve winner from Fettercairn. This 25-month-old in-calf heifer is by Coxhill Luke and bred from Westbroad Delilah. Bull, cow, calf – R and K Williams. Senior heifer, junior heifer ¬– Mrs F Davidson.

Cross cattle unhaltered (Judge: N Work, Ellon). Champion – B Duffton, with a pair of Limousin crosses. Reserve – Steven Smith, with the second prize pair. Cow and calf, bred – J Youngson. Pair – B Duffton.

Haltered cross cattle (Judge: N Work). Champion – M Robertson, Easter Fodderletter, Tomintoul, with Cinderella, a 17-month-old heifer bought at Skipton, bred by JC Walker and Son, Brennand Farm. She is by a Brennand Limousin bull, out of a British Blue cross Limousin cow and stood second in her class to the champion at the Royal Highland. Reserve – B Duffton, Huntly, with the reserve inter-breed beef champion from Fettercairn, Truffles, an August 2020-born black Limousin cross heifer bought at Carlisle. Cow – J Youngson. YFC bullock – Rachel Reid. YFC heifer – Mark Robertson. Heifer calf, bullock calf – B Patterson. Senior heifer, junior heifer – M Robertson. Junior bullock – R Youngson. Senior bullock – B Duffton.

Carcase cattle (Judge: Kepak, McIntosh Donald, Portlethen). Hoof – Champion – R and D Farquhar, Tewel, with a steer. Reserve – AG Douglas, Crimonmogate Mains, Lonmay, with the second prize steer. Hook – Champion – AG Douglas, Crimonmogate Mains with a steer. Reserve - W and J Cameron, Burnside of Edingight, Keith, with a heifer.

Young handlers (Judge: A Taylor, Aboyne). Junior – 1, Tara Adams; 2, Jess Williams; 3, Megan Brown. Intermediate – Joanne Greeaves. Senior – Faye Wilkie.

Clydesdales (Judge: P Keron, Crieff). Champion, champion native horse and reserve supreme horse – J Greenhill, Upper Tulloes, Letham, with the Fife, West Fife and Fettercairn champion, Tulloes Emily, a two-year-old by Arradoul Balvenie that also stood overall champion of champions at the Perth online show last year. Reserve – Amanda Butler-Merchant, Rolling Thunder Clydesdales, Fettercairn, with the Angus champion and reserve winner from Fettercairn, Rolling Thunder Magie May by Singlie Storm. This eight-year-old black mare out of Heatherwick Lady Lucinda is also a former native supreme here. Male champion ¬– G Skinner, Strathorn Farm Stables, Inverurie, with the five-year-old gelding, Collessie King Edward, bought privately as a yearling from Ronnie Black. He was overall champion at Crathes. Yearling filly – J Ingram. Yearling male, two-year-old male, senior gelding – G Skinner. Two-year-old filly – J Greenhill. Yeld Mare – Mrs Amanda Butler-Merchant. Ridden – Lynne McDonald. Young handler – Grace Stewart.

Highland ponies (Judge: H Cameron, Forfar). Champion – Ms Lynne McDonald, Tarland, with the five-year-old home-bred stallion, Islay Malt of Coynach, a former supreme winner at Angus, and at Grampian and Tayside Foal Shows. She is by Whitefield Prince Platinum and bred from Pavlova of Whitefield. Reserve – Gordon and Ann Towns, with Yvette May of Forglen, a seven-year-old by Marnonwells Gleann Eagas bred from Pamela May of Forglen. Stallion, mare with foal, foal ¬– L McDonald. Senior gelding, ridden – Mrs Fiona Menzies. Mare – Gordon and Ann Towns. Two-year-old – Mrs Frances McWilliam.

Shetland ponies (Judge: Miss I Spence, Alford). Champion and reserve native horse – Christine Forbes, Dufftown, with the three-year-old home-bred standard filly, Lynemore Mirrie, that was junior champion at Keith Show, overall foal champion and reserve junior at the North of Scotland Shetland Pony Club show and first prize coloured foal at the Grampian Foal Show and North of Scotland all in 2019. She is a daughter of Lynemore Illusion, and bred from the prolific show winner, Lynemore Finess. Reserve – Miss Ann Irvine with the eight-year-old home-bred, miniature grey Shetland yeld mare, Moon Shad of Ore, a former champion winner at Turriff, by Rocky and out of Hazelhead Moonbean. Standard yeld mare/senior gelding, two/three-year-old – Christine Forbes. Standard mare with foal, standard foal, miniature yeld mare/gelding, miniature mare with foal, miniature yearling, miniature two/three-year-old – Ann Irvine. Yearling – Margaret Greaves. Miniature foal – Ashleigh Watt. Miniature male – C Matthew.

Beltex (Judge: D Douglas, Inverness). Champion – A Miller, Miller Farms, Midmar, with a home-bred gimmer on her first outing. She is by the 6000gns Vogue Fastrac and bred from the privately purchased, Woodies Currency. Reserve – S Wood, Skene, with the previously unshown shearling ram, Vicky’s Gladiator a son of Orkney Eurostar bred from Vicky’s Dawn. He was bought last year at Carlisle for 5000gns in partnership with Alan Miller. Aged ram, shearling ram, ewe, ewe lamb – S Wood. Gimmer – A Miller. Tup lamb – Ellie Miller, Midmar.

Bluefaced Leicester (Judge: A Adam, Forfar). Champion – R Blackhall, Banchory, with a home-bred two-crop ewe on her first outing by a Blackcraig sire and out of a ewe by a Mossvale ram. Reserve – C Millican, Rothienorman, with a tup lamb by a Macqueston sire bought at Hawes last year and out of a Glen gimmer from Jim Hunter, Wedderburn, bought at Carlisle in 2021 as a ewe hogg. Ram, ewe, gimmer, ewe lamb, group – R Blackhall. Tup lamb – C Millican

Blue Texel (Judge: E Macarthur, Nairn). Champion – Stasa Moyse, Skene, with Saltire Ferocious, a natural born home-bred shearling ram that stood second at the Highland Show. He is by a Corra ram that was male champion at the Royal Highland Show in 2018 and 2019, and bred from a home-bred ewe that goes back to Saltire A Beauty. He made up part of the winning inter-breed group of four alongside, a home-bred ewe, gimmer and ewe lamb from the Saltire flock. Reserve – Deborah Atkinson, Duncanston, with Tap O’ Noth Elegance, a home-bred ewe by CJs Casanova bred from a six-year-old Sams ewe bought as a ewe lamb in 2016 at Worcester that remains in Deborah’s show team. Aged ram, ewe – D Atkinson. Shearling ram, gimmer – S Moyse. Tup lamb, ewe lamb – WJ and M Hunter, Culsalmond.

Suffolk (Judge: J Henderson, Cruden Bay). Champion – S Lorimer, Kingswells, Aberdeen, with Redbrae HRH, a shearling ram bought last year at Lanark, from Jim Cannon. The sire of first prize ram lamb, and best lamb for the breed sale at Lanark, HRH is by Forkins Samson and stood male champion at Fettercairn. He also made up part of the reserve inter-breed group of four for the 40-ewe Cadgerford flock. Reserve – G Christie, Inverurie, with the reserve inter-breed sheep from Fettercairn, a home-bred gimmer by Howgillfoot Snipper bred from a ewe by Lakeview Under The Radar. She was also placed at the Highland. Aged ram, ewe lamb – G Troup, Whitestone. Shearling ram, ewe, tup lamb, confined pair – S Lorimer. Gimmer – G Christie.

Texel (Judge: E Macarthur) Champion and supreme sheep – Gillian Adams, Banchory, with a home-bred gimmer by Sportsmans Cannonball, bred from a Deveronvale ewe bought privately by Mullan Armani. Previously unshown, she was providing the 30-ewe Dee Valley flock with its first supreme overall. Reserve – R Blackhall, Banchory, with the two-shear ram Ettrick Déjà Vu, a son of Ettrick Cockney Rebel, bred from an Ettrick ewe by Clinterty You Cracker. He was bought at Lanark as a lamb. Aged ram, shearling ram, ewe – R Blackhall. Gimmer – Mrs G Adams. Tup lamb, ewe lamb – WJ and M Hunter, Culsalmond.

Zwartbles (Judge: J Pirie, Kingussie). Champion – Hannah (16) and Chloe (13) Murray, with the home-bred gimmer, Bannachie Jackpot Jay, bred from the privately purchased foundation female, Whitestone Delight and sired by Auldline Edwin. Reserve – Hannah and Chloe Murray with the two-shear ram, Janetstown Hillbilly, purchased privately as a lamb from Sammy Stuart. He is by Cerynw Gerallt. Aged ram, gimmer – H and C Murray. Shearling ram, tup lamb – Jennifer Birtles. Ewe lamb – D Miskelly.

Any other native breed (Judge: I Ogg, Angus). Champion – A Leek, Lonmay, with a Dalchirla-bred three-crop Blackface ewe bought as a rough ewe hogg at Stirling. She is by a £24,000 Connachan and bred from a ewe by Dalchirla Boris. Reserve ¬– Marianne Sheed, Culbrach, Huntly, with a home-bred Dorset shearling ram by Kildowney Brandy, on his first outing. He is bound for the breed sale at Stirling on July 20. Aged ram, ewe lamb ¬- M Sheed. Ewe, tup lamb – A Leek. Gimmer – Mrs Anne Adams.

Any other continental breed (Judge: Ms Y Spence, Grantown-on-Spey). Champion – Eilidh and Erin Duncan, Clola, Mintlaw, with a home-bred Charollais gimmer by Logie Durno Valhalla, bred from the second prize ewe, a home-bred daughter of Logie Durno Single Malt. Reserve – WJ and Hunter, Culsalmond, with home-bred two-crop Badgerface Texel ewe with imported genetics on both sides of her pedigree. Previously unshown, she is the dam of the second prize ram lamb and last year bred sons to 3000gns. Ram, ewe – WJ and M Hunter. Gimmer, tup lamb, ewe lamb – E and E Duncan.

Ryeland (Judge: Mrs P Maddock). Champion – R Aitken, Turriff, with Fetternear Aramis, a home-bred two-shear ram by Fetternear Yoshie, out of a Sue Quigley-bred ewe bought at a flock dispersal. He was first at the Royal Highland Showcase, last year. His full sister, Fetternear Ailsa, which was supreme at the Highland Showcase, was reserve Ryeland. Ram, ewe, tup lamb, ewe lamb ¬– R Aitken. Gimmer – Miss Eilidh Garrett

Oxford Down (Judge: K Willox, Netherley) Champion and reserve – K Milne, Sauchen. Supreme was a five-shear ram bought privately three years ago from Welsh breeder, James Brown. Reserve was an end of March-born ram lamb sired by the champion and bred from a home-bred ewe. All classes – K Milne.

Cross sheep pens of three (Judge: A Smith, Tarland). Champion and reserve – R Blackhall, Banchory. Supreme was a pen of three home-bred Suffolk cross Texel cross gimmers by a Cadgerford sire. They will be retained for breeding. Reserve was a pen of three similarly bred ewe lambs. Three native cross gimmers ¬– R Blackhall. Three continental gimmers – Mrs Teresa Anderson. Three cross ewes, cross ewe with lambs, three continental ewe lambs, three continenetal prime lambs – R Wilkie.

Cross sheep singles (Judge: A Smith). Champion – R Blackhall, Banchory, with a Suffolk cross Texel ewe. Tup, gimmer – R Wilkie. Ewe, lamb – R Blackhall.

Pet lambs – 1, Murray Wood; 2, Ellie Youngson; 3, Lucy Youngson.

Hoof and carcase (Kepak McIntosh Donald) Hoof champion – Ronnie Wilkie, with a pair of Texel lambs.

Young handlers (Judge: A Adam, Forfar). Junior – Erin Irvine; 2, Murray Wood; 3, Ellie Youngston. Intermediate – 1, Cody Reid; 2, Stuart Adams; 3, Katie Milne. Senior – 1, Faith Miskelly; 2, Isaac Miskelly; 3, Erin Raich.

Dairy goats (Judge: Mrs J Davies). Champion and supreme goat – Dr Katy Whitby-Last with the Anglo Nubian, Kaverquil Esther, a first kidder running through by Ivans Dragonstar out of Gilfoyle Partypopper. Reserve – Dr Katy Whitby-Last with Kaverquil Edith, an Anglo-Nubian goatling by the same sire but out of Kaverquil Estella. She has been places at previous British Goat Society Shows.

Pygmy goats (Judge: Mrs J Davies). Champion – Claire Bailey, with the January 2022-born kid, Brucklay Nebraska, a female by Richmoor Celtic Lark that was first at Dunblane. Reserve – Claire Bailey, with the first kidder, Brucklay Lucky, by Mithral Kincaid.

Any other breed goat (Judge: Mrs J Davies). Champion and reserve overall goat – Maureen and Malcolm Ross, Belhelvie, with the 18-month-old Boer goatling, Balmedie Hope, which was champion at the Royal Highland Show. Unbeaten in the show ring, she is by Caistealcnoc Eddie and out of Balmedie Dancer, a former champion winner at the Highland in 2019. Reserve – Maureen and Malcolm Ross with the two-year-old first kidder, Balmedie Greta a daughter of Topknot Tonic, out of Balmedie Buttercup. She was reserve at the Royal Highland Show.