The sun shone unapologetically on the cattle rings at the Royal Highland Show last week.
Fifteen breeds of cattle took to the show rings to highlight the best of what their breed has to offer.
The judging kicked off at 9am sharp with the British Charolais, Beef Shorthorn, Hereford, British Blonde, Lincoln Red, Highland, British Simmental and Salers all stepping out to get the day’s proceedings under way.
In the Charolais ring, the task of judging fell at the hands of Arwell Owen from Welshpool. A number of tough classes led to a strong overall championship lineup which saw the female champion, an excellent cow and calf pair, fight it out against the junior and male champion. Owen tapped forward Richard McCornick with his March 2022-born bull, Ricknick Thor ET. Thor was sired by Goldstar Gentleman bred by Martin Ryan from Co Tipperary.
The reserve champion cow and pair were brought forward for show by AJR Farms. The January 2020-born cow; Newlogie Royal Eclipse ET was sired by the homebred Newlogie Nobel and was shown with a heifer calf at foot sired by the Irish bred Rosanna Rudolph.
The Beef Shorthorn ring saw the largest entries across all breeds with 101 entries in this section.
The classes were judged by Jane Landers, who had to officiate over some of the hottest classes of the day. Landers tapped forward Harry Horrell’s Podehole Rita Petunia as the female champion and the overall beef Shorthorn champion. The March 2020-born cow was sired by Knockenjing Hercules.
Standing close by and claiming the reserve overall champion title was the male champion from a few classes previous, Willingham Spitfire. The May 2022-born bull was sired by Willingham Lieutenant Commander and was bred and exhibited by Alan Haigh.
A special mention also goes to the junior female champion, Creaga Utopia, who was bred by Noel and Lisa Dowd from Co Galway and was exhibited by Charlesbury Livestock Baird and Park. Utopia was sired by the homebred bull, Creaga Supreme, and to Martin Kelly, of the Ricketstown Shorthorn herd in Co Carlow who sold the senior bull winner, Hildaland Laird.
Irish genetics struck gold once again in the Hereford ring at last Thursday’s show when the judge, Carolyn Fletcher tapped out Coley 1 Vincent as the overall breed champion.
The stylish March 2020-born bull was sired by NCBC’s Fabb 1 Northern Star and was exhibited by Andrew Hughes after being purchased as an embryo from Matt Goulding out of Gouldingpoll 1 Duchess 591.
The reserve champion in the Hereford ring had previously stood as the female champion in that ring as Spartan 1 Victoria’s Secret from the herd of S C and G L Hartwright was tapped forward to claim the much sought after title. The September 2020-born heifer was sired by Solpoll 1 Perfection.
Elsewhere in the Hereford ring, a daughter of Matt Goulding’s Gouldingpoll 1 Duchess 916 was tapped forward as the junior female and overall junior champion. Coley 1 Duchess was exhibited by Heather Whitaker and was sired by Solbakkens Patrik.
In the British Blonde ring, it was Neil Brown from Northhamptonshire that took on the task of judging. A successful day for Thor Atkinson saw his team step up to claim the male, female, junior, reserve overall and overall champion. It was an incredible day with an excellent display of cattle.
The overall champion came in the form of the male champion, Hallfield Plato. Plato is a November 2019-born bull was sired by Broccagh Kingfisher who was bred by John Barry Moran from Co Westmeath.
The reserve overall champion came in the form of the female champion and the junior champion, Newland Tanza. Tanza is a homebred, January 2022-born heifer sired by Ark Maverick.
No doubt this was a very proud day for Mr Atkinson and his team.
The Highland cattle ring was filled with plenty of colour and plenty of hair last Thursday as just shy of 100 exhibits passed through the ring. The Highland cattle were judged by Robert Philip from north Yorkshire.
Standing in prime position and scooping the overall champion spot was William MacLean’s January 2020-born female champion, Neoinean Ruadh 6th of Leys. The faultless female was sired by Sir Lawence II of Springfield.
Standind close by and stepping up to collect the reserve championship title was D and C Logan with their February 2021-born heifer, Arin 2nd of Blairlogan.
The British Simmental ring which boasted 77 entries was commanded by judge, Simon Key from Norfolk, where it turned out to be ladies day as it was two Simmental females that marched their way to the top of the lineup.
Claiming the top spot of overall champion was R and A Simmers with their cow, Annick Gingers Lucia.
Lucia, the February 2020-born cow was sired by Wolfstar Gold Digger and stood proudly as the female and overall champion on the day. Doing the ladies proud and scooping the reserve overall champion title was a second cow and calf pair, this time from the herd of W J and J Green.
Corksie Mimic and her young calf had previously been tapped out as the reserve female champion. The January 2021-born first-calver was sired by Kilbride Farm Haka.
Another success for Irish breeders saw Corskie Miami a daughter of Co Carlow man Nigel Hogan’s Rathnashan Kellog’s stand as the junior breed champion at the show last Thursday.
Again, there were just over 80 entries in the Aberdeen Angus ring and this time it was the turn of Dallas Allan from Northumberland to take on the difficult task of judging. Securing the overall champion on the day was Melanie Alford with her May 2021-born in-calf heifer Blelack Princess Carina X125. This exciting heifer was sired by Kilmaluag Eriskay T203.
Standing as a close reserve champion was the junior champion of the day, Kilmallie Juggernaut Eric Y389 from the herd of Caroline Morton. Eric was an April 2022-born bull and was sired by HF Rebel.
In the Galloway section of the show, it was Catherine MacGregor who took the limelight with her standout September 2021-born bull, Moss Chancellor.
The Blackcraig Yahoo son secured the junior male championship, the junior championship, the male championship and the overall championship at the 2023 show.
The reserve champion title in this section was awarded to Graham and Gall with their female champion, Princess Maryln Of 3G.
No stranger to the show ring himself, Philip Halhead from Lancashire took to the judging stage in the British Blue ring.
The top spot was awarded to Alastair Jackson for his male and junior champion, Topgun Splash. The May 2021-born bull was sired by Engin D’Hontoir.
Stepping up to secure the reserve overall championship title was the female champion of the day, Ellglen Olympia, a Attribut daughter from the herd of Ellen Elliot.
In the Belted Galloway ring, Peter Hunter-Blair from Dumfries took on the task of judging and tapped out Croasdale Rihanna, a young cow with her calf at foot from the herd of Castleton Farm Ltd as the overall champion.
Glen Imogen, a July 2018-born cow from the herd of D MacGregor secured the reserve championship title.
The eagerly anticipated commercial cattle section was judged by Stewart Bett from Stirlingshire. The overall champion was awarded to well-known exhibitor James Nesbitt and his February 2022-born Limousin cross heifer Starlight sired by the Limousin bull Gallaber Leo.
The reserve champion title was secured by Messrs Gamie with their Limousin cross bullock Top Boy. Top Boy was born in April 2022 and is sired by Johnstown Premiere.
There was a huge entry of commercial cattle on display with 43 entries battling it out in the under 30-month-old heifer class.
The British Limousin judging was carried out by Orkney native Michael Cursiter. The very impressive cow and calf pairing from R & J Graham took the top spot on the day and the overall champion title. The 2020-born Grahams Ruth is sired by Claragh Franco.
Following on closely in the Reserve Overall spot was junior champion Maraiscote Tangerine from J & JF Nimmo.
The April 2022-born heifer is sired by Sliabh Felim Mourinho who was bred and sold by Sean Ryan from Cappamore, Co Limerick.
There were several other Limousins with Irish connections, including the male champion and junior and reserve male champion, both sired by Mayo native Gerry Walshe’s renowned bull Derryguillinane Kingbull. Meath native Tom Bailey also bred a first prizewinner in the bull born on or after 1 June class.
The Salers judging was overseen by Donald Gilder from Gloucestershire. Gilder tapped out Lisnamaul Rebecca from the team at Trayboyack Salers as his female and overall champion. The February 2021-born heifer was sired by Nemo and bred by PJ Maginn.
The young bull Redknock Salvador from Redknock Estate clinched the reserve champion title after also winning the junior male champion accolade. The March 2022-born bull is sired by the French sire Baron.