‘Cream of the crop’ set for another ‘Spectacular’ event at Thainstone

The Champion Animal - Limousin heifer born 2015 - S.Fotheringham, Ballinloan, Dunkeld
The Champion Animal - Limousin heifer born 2015 - S.Fotheringham, Ballinloan, Dunkeld

Buyers throughout the country are set to seek out prize-winning livestock, suitable for further exhibition, at next week’s Thainstone Spectacular - one of Scotland’s leading livestock events.

Taking place at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie on Friday, August 25, the annual show and sale of weaned calves and store cattle attracts hundreds of buyers, sellers and spectators as buyers source prize-winning livestock from the North East summer shows.

Sponsored by Clydesdale Bank and organised by Aberdeen & Northern Marts (part of ANM Group), the event will showcase a line-up of 50 entries, including top show stock competing for the supreme title.

John Angus, Store Breeding and Pedigree Cattle Manager at Aberdeen & Northern Marts, commented: "The Spectacular event is one of our highlights of the year and a great opportunity for buyers to source top-class livestock capable of competing at other national events. As always, we will have an outstanding line-up of summer show champions and a diverse range of prize-winning cattle.

“We’ve decided to change the format of the event this year, which will see classes now divided equally by weight. We also have separate classes for calves born in 2016 and 2017, with the champions in each section eligible to compete for the overall championship. It’s set to be another strong event and we look forward to welcoming everyone to this fantastic show and sale.”

This year’s judge will be Mr Robert A. Elias, with a £4,000 cash prize fund and array of trophies up for grabs. The show begins at 9.30am with the sale set to start at 2pm following the mart’s regular Friday sale.

Clydesdale Bank’s George Moodie, Area Manager - Agri and Commercial Banking for North Scotland,said: "Scotland's agricultural industry is one of the cornerstones of the economy and The Spectacular provides the opportunity to showcase some of the best Scotland has to offer. We work with farmers across the country and it's clear that the quality of the businesses and the produce continues to set the standard."

Mark and Debbie Munro have entered a team of eight from Invercharron Farm, Ardgay, Sutherland, including ‘Hard to Resist’ - a home-bred 11-month-old British Blue cross heifer. She was reserve commercial champion at the Black Isle and Sutherland shows, and reserve cross cattle champion at Caithness and Grantown.

The team also includes ‘Cracker’, a Limousin cross heifer born February 2017 by Plumtree Fallon. She was unbeaten in her class across the summer circuit.

Balfour Baillie, a noted industry breeder from Orkney, will be entering a prize-winning team of eight from across the water, including the reserve overall cattle champion of Orkney County Show. The Limousin cross steer male calf, born in November 2016 by Dyke Triumph, was also the winner of the Orkney East Mainland Show earlier in August.

Barry Paterson, Cairndaie Croft, Sauchen has entered an October-born, home-bred Limousin cross heifer calf by Claragh Franco, which came first at Fettercairn and third at Echt and New Deer.

John and Craig Robertson of Logierait Farm are consigning a team of nine animals comprising a number of prize winners. Their September-born bullock was champion and commercial cattle champion at Perth Show and champion of champions at Aberfeldy. The Robertsons also enjoyed a record-setting £9,000 for their champion heifer at the Royal Northern Spring Show in March.

A strong team of five will also compete from well-known Monzie Farm in Perthshire.

Aberdeen & Northern Marts is once again offering a special buyers’ incentive of £500 for any Spectacular entry that goes on to win the Overall Live Cattle Championship at a number of future shows, including the East of England Winter Stock Festival, Countryside Live, Borderway Agri Expo, Royal Welsh Winter Fair, Livescot 2017 and Thainstone’s own ‘Aberdeen Christmas Classic’. To qualify, the winning entry must have been purchased at the Spectacular, exhibited by the buyer, and sold at the event as a champion.

For those unable to attend on the day, this year’s sale will again benefit from the i-bidder.com online auction system, allowing bidders to view the sale in real-time and bid against ringside buyers for entries. Photographs of the entries can also be seen before the event on the mart’s website at www.anmarts.co.uk/event-details.cfm/eID/11