4 December 1998

Italians make carcass champ a millionaire

PERTHSHIRE farmer James Neil became a millionaire last Saturday when he won the special Italian prize at the Scottish National Premier Meat Exhibition.

But the million was lire, worth about £350, for the carcass best suited to the Italian market.

Mr Neils winner, from Thorn-green Farm, Blairgowrie, was a Limousin cross heifer with a killing out percentage of 61.3 and a carcass weight of 312kg, which graded U+4L.

Handing over the prize, Filippo Accomazza, one of 10 Italian butchers attending the event, said: "Italian customers still have confidence in their family butchers and it is their duty to seek a product which meets the requirements of the consumer. We have found such a product in this type of Scottish beef."

Overall champion beef carcass at the event, organised by Scotbeef and Marks and Spencer, was a Blonde cross steer from Sandy and Christine Brown, Reidhall, Forfar. Reserve and best home-bred was a Limousin cross steer from Castle Milk Farms, Lockerbie.

A Beltex/Texel cross won the lamb championship for Mac and Debbie Milne, Turriff, and the supreme pig carcass was from Mark and Guthrie Batchelor, Carnoustie.

At the Scottish Winter Fair earlier in the week, a three-quarter Limousin heifer called Black Velvet won the supreme title and later sold for £3200. Black Velvet was shown by Hugh and Lyn Dunlop, Doune, who won the Smithfield supreme two years ago.

Reserve and champion steer was Clansman, a lightweight Limousin cross steer from Archie MacGregor, Kilsyth. Castle Douglas exhibitors, Douganhill Farms led the sheep section with a pair of Texel crosses. &#42