Record attendance as sun shines down

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A record attendance, packed ringside and brilliant sunshine from mid-morning onwards sent Banchory Show organisers home happy on Saturday.

The entry of cattle and sheep was up, with the number of entries just about as many as the showfield could accommodate and, while the turnout of horses and ponies was slightly lower, entries were forward from as far away as Shetland and Caithness to Edinburgh.

A variety of fun events - from a scarecrow competition to children’s races - kept visitors young and old amused and the return of the car-crushing monster trucks proved a great attraction in the main ring.

“We had a first-class turnout of stock in all sections, both in quality and numbers, and we are grateful for all the support we get from the local business community and sponsors which makes a major contribution to the show’s success,” said show president, Graham Peter.

The show proved a triumph for nine-year-old Nicola Lockhead-Anderson – grand-daughter of recently retired FirstGroup chief executive, Sir Moir Lockhead – who brilliantly rode her eight-year-old riding pony, Milton Pageboy, entered by her mother, Claire Lockhead, to take the coveted Champion of Champions title in competition with the overall cattle, sheep and Clydesdale horse champions.

This is the second year running that a horse champion has claimed the show’s top award. Last year’s winner, the three-year-old Clydesdale filly, Redcastle Pretty Amazing Grace, from Sandy Aitken, Newton Cottage, Memus, Forfar, again won her section championship but failed to repeat last year’s success.

Nicola is now looking forward to competing at the Horse of the Year Show after winning the championship at the area five championships at Liverpool to qualify. She is no stranger to success in the show ring, having paraded Pageboy to a similar Champion of Champions success at Turriff Show last year.

Not to be outdone, her five-year-old sister, Crista, was also in the prize list, winning her class in the local child’s pony lead reign class.

In the cattle classes, the star turnout was in the Aberdeen-Angus section which was a qualifying show for the breed’s UK-wide Herd of the Year award.

Leading the 50-strong entry and repeating his Fettercairn and New Deer championship successes, was Alex Davie and cattleman, Jim Smith, from Perkhill, Lumphanan, with their 8500gns Perth purchase, Blelack Woodpecker, a four-year-old son of Blelack Blackstock, bred by N F Massie and Sons, Blelack, Dinnet. His sons will be forward at the Stirling bull sales in October and February.

But it was the Simmental champion which claimed the overall cattle champion. This was the January, 2010-born bull, Boswell Bullet, exhibited by Douglas Smith, Drumsleed, Fordoun, which is another promising bull destined for the autumn sale at Stirling.