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livestock shows

Day one’s cattle and sheep match-ups – Ready, Set, Show!

And we’re off! Today sees the first day of The Orcadian’s online livestock shows, with the cattle and sheep sections kicking off. Ready, Set, Show!

2019 County Show cattle champion
Click to enlarge. Balfour Baillie’s champion of the 2019 County Show – a Limousin cross heifer. (pic: Tom O’Brien / The Orcadian)

On what should have been East Mainland Show day, it’s only right that we have a match-up between two County Show cattle champions from the East. Today sees the 2019 inter-breed champion judged against the supreme cattle champ from the year before, with the former exhibited by Balfour Baillie and the latter exhibited by his father, James Baillie.

The 2019 County Show beef champion was a 15-month-old Limousin cross heifer, shown by Balfour Baillie from Sebay View, Tankerness. The unnamed heifer’s sire was Craigatoke Jamieson and she was out of a homebred British Blue cross Limousin cow. She went on to be shown and sold at the Thainstone spectacular, on August 23, following the show.

This will be tough decision as both animals were held in high regard by the judges at the time of their show victories. The judge from last year’s show, Albert Taylor from Northmuir, Kirriemuir said of Balfour Baillie’s heifer: “She had a great carcass and bags of style. She had a real femininity about her as well.”

2018 Orkney County Cattle champion
Click to enlarge. The 2018 County Show Cattle champ – a Limousin cross stot calf, shown by J. S. Baillie & Co. (pic: Tom O’Brien/ The Orcadian)

The 2018 supreme cattle champion was a December 2017-born Limousin cross stot calf, shown by J. S. Baillie & Co, of Sebay Farm, Tankerness. The homebred animal was from a Limousin cross cow, sired by Newhouse Colorado. The stot itself was sired itself by Craigatoke Jameson.

The unnamed stot went on to be shown at the 2018 Thainstone spectacular that year, held on August 24.

John Wight, from Bigger, was the interbreed cattle judge at the 2018 County Show, of his winner he said: “He’s the best calf I’ve seen for some time. He was extraordinary – how he stood, his back end, top line, a lovely head and excellent on his legs. He was an outright champion.”



2019 Orkney County Show Sheep Champion
Click to englarge. The Texel gimmer, that won the 2019 County Show shown by Robbie Scott, Holm (Pic: Ken Amer / Orkney Photographic)

Our match-up in the sheep is between two Texels – the 2019 County Show overall sheep champion and the champion from five years before, in 2014. The 2019 winner was a Texel gimmer owned by Robbie Scott, from Dawn Cottage, Holm.

The gimmer was an embryo transfer, whose dam Robbie bought at the Lanark Premier Sale after it placed as a reserve champion and whose sire was a tup called Tophill Wall Street. The interbreed sheep judge that year was Jim Kennedy, of Lyonston Farm, Mayboyle, who said Mr Scott’s gimmer showed “a bit of power and strength” which he looks for in any breed.

The judge said: “She had a very good head on her and very good skin. She was a beast that would have stood in any company at any show.”

2014 Orkney County Show sheep champion
Click to englarge. Ivan Scott’s champion of the 2014 County Show. (pic: MacGregor photography)

The 2014 sheep champion was a Texel ewe lamb shown by Ivan Scott, 3 Hill of Heddle, Finstown. Born in March, the ewe lamb was by Cairness United and out of a Knap ewe by Knock Papoose. It was a very successful show for Mr Scott who hadn’t shown anything for the 15 years previous to the 2014 show.

Mr Kenny Mair, from Kinnermit Farm, in Turriff judged the ewe. He said of the champion: “The Texel is a very bright and alert animal who stood well. She had a fair bit of character.”

Check back at 5.30pm to see what our judges went for. Judging the cattle we have Mr William Gill, from Rosskeen Farm, Invergordon and judging the sheep is Mr Kenneth Sutherland, from Sibmister Farm, Thurso.

  • This week should have been Orkney’s agricultural shows week, kicking off with the Sanday Show on Friday, July 31. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the associated restrictions, the shows had to be cancelled. To mark the week, we are pitting past sheep and cattle champions of The County Show against each other, under the eyes of judges, in a knock out competition.  All the animals are judged based on pictures and information from the day they won. Those who owned and exhibited them on the day are treated as the ‘current’ owners for the purposes of the competition, some of the animals went on to be sold following their win. For more information on the competition and animals click here.

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