This weekend the Scottish Farmer announced the winner of its Champions of the Decade competition, which has been running for the last few weeks on their website with over 9,000 votes registered throughout the competition. The public voting whittled down the entries to a short lead of three and then the judges Society Chairman Ben Harman and Society President Michael Atkinson had the final agonising task of deciding the ultimate Charolais champion.
They said “After looking at the final three we chose the winner who showed all the attributes of a great Charolais female. She has great depth while retaining clean lines and manages to carry plenty of power, while retaining her femininity. In the picture she is standing beautifully, shows great angles through the pasterns and upward and already hints at being a great milker. She looks good across the plates and the tail head, leaving us to think she will have all the attributes to become a productive breeding cow.”
The winner of the converted prize was the 2013 champion Elgin Catherine, who also won the interbreed beef championship at the same show along with her February-born heifer calf Elgin Iona. No stranger to the show, she had previously won the junior female title in 2009.
Bred and exhibited by the Milne family, out of their 50 strong pedigree cow Elgin herd based at Kennieshillock, Llanbryde, she is by Gower Versace and out of the 14,000gns Rumsden Samurai daughter Elgin Unity, a cow which has bred sons to 9,000gns.
2013 was her last year in the show ring and she sadly passed away in the Spring, however she has produced nine sons and daughters in total and most of her female calves have been retained for breeding in the herd. One daughter which was sold was Elgin Lynsey who made 3,600gns at the 2016 herd reduction sale at Stirling.
Since his success with Catherine, Matthew has added to his Highland show accolades not only with winning tickets in the Charolais classes but also being awarded the championship of the beef breeder classes twice and the junior interbreed title in 2018 with Elgin Neuer.
The first of the other two Charolais champions to make it to the short list was the 2019 winner Balthayock Nessie, an entry from Major David and Nick Walter, Perthshire. A heifer’s calf bred out of Balthayock Jessie, a Swalesmoor Cracker daughter, she is sired by the 30,000gns Dingle Hofmeister. Nessie also visited the Aylth show last year securing the breed championship, the supreme beef interbreed championship and the overall champion of champions awards and has gone on to produce her first calf in March of this year.
Also being selected in the top three was Olrig Dubarry, who was crowned breed champion in 2010. The 2008-born Dubarry who was bred and exhibited by The Logie Farm Partnership, Newburgh, Fife, was also awarded the reserve ticket in the inter-breed championships of that year. She was sired by the £25,000 Maerdy Impeccable who was himself a prolific show winner, counting amongst his many successes the 1999 Highland show championship, and her dam was Maerdy Alien, a daughter of the Royal Welsh show supreme champion Maerdy Ulm.
Finally, congratulations must go once again to all the last decades Charolais Highland show champions, which also include: John and Raymond Irvine’s 2011 champion Inverlochy Cathy; Balmyle Eclipse from 2012 who secured the championship for Bill Bruce; the 2014 champion Balmaud Eclipse exhibited by M Bruce & Partners; Balthayock Imp who secured the title in 2015 for Major Walter; Jenny and John Rix’s 2016 champion Wissington Jocasta; Kilbline 1 Instigator who claimed the 2017 title for previous winners John and Raymond Irvine; and the Barclay family’s 2018 champion Harestone Jaquard.
This week will see the interbreed championship determined with Kay Adam, Newhouse, Glamis deciding the Beef winner.