Thainestone Spectacular hits £4000 top call

Scotland’s annual Spectacular show and sale of exhibition cattle at the Thainstone Centre in Aberdeenshire more than lived up to its name with one breeder grossing nearly £30,000.


Andrew Anderson, of Smallburn Farms, Elgin, Morayshire, dominated the event with 22 cattle forward, of which 19 sold.


He won supreme with a bullock and the heifer championship with its full sister.

Leading was Tizer, a 462kg 10-month-old Limousin cross, that went on to sell for £4000 to Michael Alford, of Foxhill, Blackborough, Cullompton, Devon.


He was the result of an embryo transfer programme that saw eggs taken from the British Blue cross Simmental cow that bred J-Lo, the noted heifer that won the Aberdeen Christmas Classic for Mr Anderson in 2003. Sire of both the supreme and heifer leader was Bailea Tyson.


Mr Anderson, who has a 400-cow suckler operation, was delighted, adding it was the first time he had done the double in taking the bullock and heifer championships at the event.


More calves from the flush are in the pipeline.Mr Anderson grossed £29,570 and averaged £1,556.31.


Judges were Wendy Hunter, of Spot Farm Cottage, Glenprosen, Kirriemuir, and Neil Lloyd, of Yarpole Lane, Luston, Leominster, Hereford.


Mrs Hunter said the bullocks provided a much stronger line-up. The supreme was well put together, had a great top and good backend.


Mr Lloyd, who runs a show cattle livery service, added: “The champion has great presence and style. He is a well turned out beast and in the right hands could do well at the winter shows.”


Mr Anderson also sold at £3,000 Million Dollar Babe, an 11-month-old Limousin cross heifer that was commercial champion at the Black Isle Show in the Highlands in August. Buyer was Euan Fettes, of Braes of Enzie, Buckie, Banffshire.


His reserve heifer – a November-born Limousin cross by Normande Alpha – was shared at £2,400 by Carnoustie-based Scott Watson and father and son John David and Neil Work, of Mains of Dumbreck, Udny, Aberdeenshire. The Watson and Work partnership won the supreme at the Royal Smithfield Show in 2000 with Danny Boy, a beast bought at Spectacular.


Mr Lloyd bought Smallburn’s heifer leader, which was born in November, at £2300.

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Second top price was £3500 for an 11-month-old Limousin cross bullock, which won a first prize for J. and J. Wilson, of Wester Cairnglass, Gollanfield, Inverness. This one, by Middledale Toronto and out of a Limousin cross cow, was on his first show outing. He too was acquired by Mr Alford.


The Wilsons – father and son Ian and Paul – had nine forward.

They also sold at £2400 to the Watson and Work partnership a yearling Limousin cross bullock that was reserve at Black Isle and Sutherland shows.


Others from Cairnglass  – a yearling Middledale Toronto daughter – made £2200 to Aileen Ritchie, of Burnside, Tamala, near Aberdeen, while a March-born heifer calf, by Burndale Blizzard, was bought by Barwood and Padfield, of Great Yarmouth, for £2000.


Colin Stuart, of Belnoe, Chapeltown, Ballindalloch, Banffshire, accepted £2800 from Ewan Macpherson, of Mill Farmhouse, Benderloch, Oban, Argyll, for his Grantown Show reserve commercial champion, a yearling Charolais cross by Whappstown Allrounder and out of a pedigree Limousin.


D. and R. Durno and Son, of Auchorachan, Glenlivet, Banffshire, sold at £2200 a yearling Charolais cross heifer, by Glenlivet Singlemalt. Buyer was Stewart Brown, of Roepark, Little Brechin, Angus.


In the junior section for animals born in 2009 the championship went to a bullock called Crackerjack from Caithness crofter and engineer Graham Henderson, of 8 Murrayfield, Castletown, Thurso.


This four-month-old Limousin cross  was reserve commercial at Caithness and Latheron shows made £1500 to Kinlochbervie fish salesman and show cattle exhibitor Donald Morrison.


It was Mr Henderson’s best placing at The Spectacular. His last big win was in 1997 when he lifted the supreme at the Scottish National Winter Fair with Scooby Doo.


Aberdeen and Northern Marts’ store cattle manager John Angus said the sale was well supported, with buyers from across Britain purchasing animals that are likely to reappear on the winter prime show circuit.


There were 94 cattle offered for sale and 70 traded. The 32 heifers sold to average £3.77/ kg and £1479.69 a head, while the 38 steers were £2.85/kg and £1285 a head.


Trade was well up on last year when 23 steers averaged £2.69 a kg and £1018 a head and 22 heifers hit £3.28 a kg and £1226.82 a head.