Torrential rain on the Friday night almost resulted in the cancellation of Tarland Show last Saturday.
The decision to go ahead was taken following a 5am inspection of the show field, and the day turned out bright and fair with the sun finally making an appearance by mid-afternoon.
“It was touch and go, but it had stopped raining by the time we inspected the field and although underfoot conditions were soggy, I’m happy we decided to go ahead with the show,” said secretary, Debbie Smith.
The show organisers were rewarded with a large crowd who enjoyed an entertaining day with an impressive turnout of more than 100 vintage tractors and a similar number of lorries in the Tarland Truck Show, which has become a major feature of the show, attracting great interest.
Some of the cattle classes were somewhat sparse in numbers, but was made up for in quality with a string of champions from earlier shows vying for honours in the cross cattle section.
But it was Her Majesty The Queen who claimed the top accolade of the day, when her Highland bull from the Balmoral fold repeated its championship success at Turriff last Monday and went on to take the supreme cattle championship of the show on his last outing before being retired from the showring.
“He’s really going out on a high,” said Balmoral stock manager, Dochy Ormiston, who paraded the bull to championship success.
The five-year-old bull, Ruaridh 1 of Ubhaidh, was also breed champion at the Royal Highland Show in June and was winning his second Tarland interbreed championship.
It was also a memorable day for SRUC student, Aileen Ritchie from Whitecairns, who celebrated her 21st birthday later this week by winning her sixth championship of the season with her 16-month-old heifer, Emslies Ieryl, a 15,000gns Carlisle purchase.
Aileen also had the reserve champion in the cross cattle section for good measure and went on to win the interbreed award for the best group of three.
Also continuing on their winning ways were Blair Duffton and Rebecca Stuart from Huntly, who had three champions from earlier shows competing in the cross cattle section.
Taking top honours on Saturday was the Turriff champion, Sparkles, a 10 month old Limousin cross heifer which went on to stand reserve for the interbreed award.
The two from Aileen and the three from Blair and Rebecca will be among the champions competing for the Scottish Beef Cattle Championship of 2014 at Keith Country Show today.
Two October-born Limousin cross calves from Michael Durno, Auchorachan, Glenlivet, won the interbreed award for the best pair of beef cattle bred by exhibitor.
Both were sired by the 7000gns Beulah Ernie, owned jointly with Macarthur Bros, Mid Fleenas, Nairn.
The steer calf is entered for the Spectacular show and sale at Thainstone and the heifer calf will be retained.
A 10-ewe Texel flock founded only three years ago which is making a name for itself in the sheep world scored a double in the Texel classes by winning both the championship and reserve with the champion going on to win the interbreed sheep championship.
Owner, farmer and machinery dealer, Stuart Barclay of Harestone, Banchory, wasn’t in attendance to see his sheep being paraded to championship success by stockman, Stuart Hunter, and his wife, Wendy, and their two sons.
Winner was a ewe lamb with an impressive pedigree being full sister to a ram lamb sold last year at Lanark for 48,000gns.
Brothers, David and William Moir of Cairness, Fraserburgh, stood reserve for the interbreed championship with their champion in the any other sheep breed class which was a Zwartbles gimmer bought at Carlisle as a ewe lamb for 750gns.
A magnificent turnout of horses and ponies saw the top award go to the winner of the ridden horse class, a Dutch-bred 12-year-old Hunter gelding, Carte D’Or Van De Zijpe, from Ashley McDonald, The Steading, Belhelvie, which was also champion at Banchory.
The Clydesdale champion, the five-year-old yeld mare, Anguston Amber, from Norman Christie of Kinellar added to her illustrious career in the showring over the past three years by taking the reserve horse and pony championship. Her successes this year alone have included championships at Turriff, Fettercairn and New Deer and reserves at Echt and Banchory.
Best horse overall 14.2hh and under was the nine-year old Highland mare, July Mist of Coynach, from Lynne McDonald of Tarland, which edged ahead of the Banchory champion of champions, the eight-year-old stallion, Cloulnacraig Jacobite, from Robin and Karen Stewart of Durris, to win the Highland breed championship.
A much-fancied 14-month old foal from Barbara Forbes’ Fifeshill stud at Kingswells repeated her success at Banchory by winning the foal championship after earlier leading the riding pony in hand class.