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Smallburn Farms success at the Aberdeen Christmas Classic


By David Porter

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Overall Champion from Smallburn Farms, Duffus. Picture: David Porter
Overall Champion from Smallburn Farms, Duffus. Picture: David Porter

A tremendous line-up of Scottish primestock was forward at the 28th Aberdeen Christmas Classic held at the Thainstone Centre on Tuesday where the cattle trade topped at £6200 for the overall champion.

The event, held in conjunction with the Aberdeen Fatstock Association, and sponsored by Rapid Project Development (RPD), included a sale of 45 prime cattle from well-known producers from the North-east and surrounding areas.

Overall averages saw 27 heifers average 388.1p per kg and 18 bullocks level at 283p per kg, with a combined average per head of £2115.11.

Despite the weather and power issues for many rural farms there was a strong turn-out both in the ring and ring side.

Overall Champion from Smallburn Farms, Duffus.
Overall Champion from Smallburn Farms, Duffus.

Leading the way in both the show and sale rings was a Limousin cross heifer named She’s A Belter from Andrew Anderson, Smallburn Farms, Plewlands, Duffus, Elgin.

Tapped out by judges Jamie Scott of John Scott Meats, Paisley, and Louise Forsyth of WTS Forsyth Butchers, Peebles, was a home-bred heifer scaling 625kg.

Sired by Elite Lacette, this March, 2020-born heifer sold for £6200 to The Station Hotel, Rothes, Aberlour.

The owners of The Station Hotel buy Smallburn-bred beef on a weekly basis for selling through the hotel and they have just recently purchased Smallburn Farm itself.

This supreme winning heifer was the last animal to be bred and reared at Smallburn.

Judge Jamie Forsyth, John Scott Meat (Paisley), fellow judge Louise Forsyth WTS Forsyth Butchers (Peebles) and Andrew Anderson, Smallburn Farms with the heifer and overall champion. Picture: David Porter
Judge Jamie Forsyth, John Scott Meat (Paisley), fellow judge Louise Forsyth WTS Forsyth Butchers (Peebles) and Andrew Anderson, Smallburn Farms with the heifer and overall champion. Picture: David Porter

Judges Jamie Scott of John Scott Meats and Lousie Forsyth of Forsyth's Butchers commented: "It was a delight to judge at the show this year.

"The quality on show was outstanding and for us both as buyers, the weights being around the 600kg mark was is ideal.

"With no shows in the summer, there has been less pushing from consigners for shows and for us that led to some fine cattle with a better finish."

Harry Brown, wife Helen, and children Abbie and Murray, from Auchmaliddie Mains, Maud, stood butchers’ champion and reserve overall champion in the open haltered section.

Winning the butchers’ title was a July, 2019-born Limousin cross heifer named Starbust, which was bred by T Delday, Old Voy, Toab, Orkney.

Scaling 595kg, she sold for £3400 to Bruce Of The Broch Butchers, Fraserburgh.

The reserve overall from Auchmaliddie Mains was Robyn, a Limousin cross heifer weighing 594kg.

Reserve Overall Champion from Harry Brown, Maud
Reserve Overall Champion from Harry Brown, Maud

Bred by Ian Sclater, Upper Breckhan, Costa, Evie, this January, 2020-born heifer sold for £3200 to the judges John Scott Meats, Paisley, and WTS Forsyth, Peebles.

The second top price in the sale came at £3500 for Mark Robertson’s Young Farmers’ champion from Fodderletter Farms, Tomintoul.

Selling to Yorkshire with Kitson Butchers, Hutton Rudby, Yarm, was a Limousin cross heifer bred by Gordon Cameron, Acharacle, Argyll.

Crossing the weighbridge at 630kg, this March, 2020-born heifer is by Maraiscote Lothario, and stood first prize in the Young Farmers’ heifer class at the Agri Expo 2021.

Overall Bullock Champion - W Roberston, Tomintoul. Picture: David Porter
Overall Bullock Champion - W Roberston, Tomintoul. Picture: David Porter

The reserve Butchers’ champion from Blair Duffton, Huntly, also sold to Kitson Butchers, for £3000.

Brought out by Steven Smith, was Wee Nippy, a 595kg, April, 2020-born Limousin cross heifer bred by John and Craig Robertson, Newton of Logierait, Pitlochry.

Also selling for £3000 was the reserve overall in the Young Farmers’ section from Thomas Hall, Hillview, Mill Lane, Stuartfield.

Bred by Helen Brown, Greenacres, East Mitchellhill, Maud, this 635kg, November, 2019-born heifer sold to IJ McIntosh Butchers, Fraserburgh, who were celebrating the opening of their new shop after 40 years in business.

Standing bullock champion in the open section was a 20-month-old Limousin cross bullock weighing 685kg from Michael Robertson, and sons Scott and Mark, from Fodderletter Farms, Tomintoul.

Bred by Douglas Macdonald, Tiree, and sired by Huntershall Jimbo, he sold for 325p per kg or £2226.25 to Kitson Butchers.

The reserve bullock champion award in the open was won by David and Neil Work, Mains of Dumbreck, Ellon, with their native winner, an 18-month-old, home-bred, Aberdeen-Angus cross bullock weighing 620kg.

Sired by Sebay Jacobite, he sold for 305p per kg or £1891 to the judge, Jamie Scott of John Scott Meats, Paisley.

Cally Harper, Sheep Park Farm, Bridge of Marnoch, Huntly, stood overall bullock champion in the Young Farmers’ section with an 18-month-old Limousin cross heifer bred by Gordon Cameron, Acharacle.

Weighing 570kg, he sold for 315p per kg or £1795 to John Scott Meats.

Reserve to Cally, in the Young Farmers’ bullocks, judged by Aileen Ingram, East Comalegy, Drumblade, was Jack Hendry’s 22-month-old, 598kg, Limousin cross bullock also bred by Gordon Cameron, which sold to Kitson Butchers, for 300p per kg or £1785.

On the Monday evening, the unhaltered beef cattle was judged by Bill Cameron, Burnside of Edengight, Grange, Keith.

Ruling supreme was a 25-month-old British Blue cross heifer weighing 670kg from Ewan Fettes, Brae of Enzie, Buckie.

Bred by GAM Munro, Garnish Farm, Aviemore, she sold for 400p per kg or £2680 to Jim Baillie and Co, Sebay Farm, Tankerness, Orkney.

Reserve to Ewan in the unhaltered section, was a home-bred, 20-month-old Limousin cross heifer weighing 594kg from Harry Brown, Auchmaliddie Mains.

The buyer of this one was Stuart Mackie of SA Mackie Butchers, Aberlour.

Overall champion in the Young Farmers’ unhaltered cattle was a 610kg Limousin cross heifer from Jack Hendry, Heads of Auchinderran, which made 460p per kg or £2806 to Bruce Of The Broch.

In reserve, was a 646kg Limousin cross heifer from Thomas Hall, which sold for 390p per kg or £2515.50 to Kitson Butchers.

Two other heifers from Wilson Peters, Cuilt Farmhouse, Monzie, Crieff, surpassed the £2000 mark including his 19-month-old Limousin cross heifer scaling 620kg.

Bred by Jim Baillie, Sebay, she is by Ronick Laddie and sold for 400p per kg or £2480 to butcher David Comrie, Perth.

Another heifer from Wilson, this time a home-bred, 20-month-old Limousin cross weighing 595kg, sold to Kitson Butchers, for 410p per kg or £2439.50.

A strong show of prime lambs was also forward for the annual event and saw 86 lambs cash in to average £157.67 or 355p per kg.

The overall champion award went to the winners of the open section, a pair of 51kg Beltex lambs from William and David Moir, Home Farm, Cairness, Fraserburgh.

Selling for the top price of £420 per life, they head back to Fraserburgh with IJ McIntosh.

Reserve in the open section was a pair of Beltex cross lambs from J and B Muir, Honeysuckle Farm, Maud, Peterhead.

Weighing 50kg, they sold for £250 per life to the judge Jimmy Stark, Bluebell, Alton Farm, Milton of Campsie, Glasgow.

Reigning supreme in the butchers’ lambs was a pair of Beltex lambs scaling 48kg from Messrs Smith, Drumnahive, Kildrummy, which sold to Jamie Scott of John Scott Meats, Paisley, while the reserve title went to Ryan Shand, Lythebrae Croft, Aberchirder, with 38kg Beltex selling for £170 per head Jimmy Stark.

In the Young Farmers’ lambs, James Lowe, South Tarwathie, Strichen, stood champion with 40kg Beltex cross lambs, which sold to IJ McIntosh, Fraserburgh, for £240 per head.

Faye Wilkie, Braigiewell, Echt, stood reserve with 46kg Beltex crosses, which were unsold.


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