2008 Scottish Club Report

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By Richard Pettit – Secretary

2008 has been a busy year for the Scottish Club with a promotional trip to Orkney, Beef Expo at Perth, the World Congress and our first Scottish National Simmental Show.

The year started in February with the Perth Bull sales judged by Mr. Gerald Smith from the Drumsleed herd, bulls averaged 4100gns for 113 sold. 67 females sold to average 1592gns. Both the top two prices were from Scottish Club members. Top price was from Finlay and Neil McGowan with Senior and Reserve Overall Champion Dirnanean Typhoon, selling for a joint record price of 22,000gns. Next best was for the Junior Champion Annick Talisker from Lachlan Quarm making 20,000gns to Hector Macaskill. Two other Club members received five figure sums Billy and Anne MacPherson 11,000gns for Blackford Tonka and John and William Young sold Skerrington Talent for 10,000gns. The well known Tillymaud herd was dispersed, selling to 6500gns for Tillymaud Danielle 26 by Blackford Lancer. Next best was 6000gns for Tillymaud Danielle 30. The two stock bulls Islavale Sabre and Blackford Lancer both sold for 5000gns a total of 94 cattle averaged 1786gns.

On the Monday evening we held our Clubs Social evening at the Lovat Hotel. The evening was well attended and a raffle raised £310 for Club funds. Guest Speaker was John Hamilton who runs a large Organic herd of mainly Simmental x Shorthorn cows at Aikengall, Dunbar.

In March we held our Annual Stockjudging training day, this year kindly hosted by Robert and Diane MacGregor at Kirkton of Mailler, to select our teams for the Royal Show and World Congress stockjudging competitions. We had a good turnout of Young Members who judged four classes & gave reasons. Caroline Farquharson, Gillian Greenhill, Varrie Dyet, John Paterson, Jenna Ballantyne & Gayle Houliston were selected to represent the Club at Sacombe Farm for the World Congress stockjudging. Jenna & Gayle were 2nd placed team and Caroline & Gillian were 3rd placed team. Those selected for the Royal show were Varrie Dyet, Jenna Ballantyne, Gail Clark & Gayle Houliston, again Scotland did well with Gail Clark 3rd individual over 21, Gayle & Gail 3rd pair over 21 and Jenna & Varrie 4th pair over 21. Well done to you all.

At the Multi - breed sale in May, Simmentals once again sold well with a top of 5000gns for Corskie Teezer by Ballinalare Farm Nightrider, next best was also from the Greens with Corskie Theo, another Nightrider son selling for 4800gns to John and William Young. Eighteen Simmentals sold to average 3292gns, the best average for any of the breeds .

The Club held its Annual sale of Commercial Simmental females at Perth in May, sponsored by Pfizer. There were three classes- Heifer with calf at foot - Dorothy Moffat, Innerwick- £1550. Bulling heifers under 15 months - Messr’s Millar, Prieston- £1000. Bulling heifers over 15 months - Mr. Barr, North Mains of Baldovan.- £900

The Society organised the stand at Beef Expo at Perth Mart, the Club Members supplied the cattle for the stand with Simmental x cows and calves from Robert MacGregor and organic steers & heifers from John Hamilton, Aikengall and yearling heifers from Gerald Smith, Drumsleed.

The Highland Show this year saw a large entry for the World Congress and well known Irish breeder Mr. Cecil McIlwaine had the task of judging. Selecting Strathisla Nuggat from Aberdeenshire breeders Geraldine & Wilson Strachan as his Overall Champion and John & William Young’s cow Skerrington Rebecca 18th Reserve. I would like to thank Kirsty & Morag Thomson and Alison Leach for serving refreshments, and to the Club Members who helped set up the stand and man it all week. Winner of the Corskie trophy for the Young Stocksperson of the Year at the Royal Highland Show was Gillian Greenhill from Craighill. Saturday evening was the Clubs Annual barbeque at the Highland Showground which was organised by our Chairman Dorothy, and enjoyed by all those who attended.

The highlight of the year was the World Congress, arriving in Scotland on 18th June at John and William Young’s Skerrington herd. In the evening the Opening Ceremony was held in the MacRobert Pavilion at the Highland Showground. The guests enjoyed the menu of traditional Scottish produce followed by entertainment of Highland dancing, Fiona Sloan gave a rendition of traditional songs and compere was Ken Fletcher, Editor of the Scottish Farmer.

On the Sunday the Congress visited The McNee’s Sim- Luing herd at Armadale followed by a barbeque. The next day it was on to Hector Macaskill’s herd at Woodhall a fine chance to view the herd prior to Hectors reduction sale. We then visited Dorothy & Lindsay Moffat’s herd at Innerwick, followed by an excellent lunch with Innerwick beef.

Hector Macaskill had a very successful reduction sale in July with a top price of 8000gns for Woodhall Sontana by Woodhall Porter selling with her Ballinalare Farm Rival calf at foot. Next best at 7000gns was Woodhall Sadie a Mackney Hector Daughter again with a Rival calf at foot. Overall 92 females sold to average 2183gns.

National Show Judge Henry Widdicombe pictured with Scottish Club Chairman Dorothy Moffatt.

The Club held its first National Show at Perth Show in August, more than 75 Simmentals from across Scotland took part in the Show held at Perth. Mr. Henry Widdicombe from the Starline herd made the long trip up from Devon to Judge, selecting as his Overall Champion Strathisla Nuggat from Wilson and Geraldine Strachan, Mill of Balmaud, Banff, who went on to win Interbreed Champion as well. Reserve was Iain and Jimmy Green from Corskie with Corskie Star a three year old heifer by Burghbridge Lane. On the evening before the Show we organised a BBQ along with the Scottish Hereford Club who were also holding their National Show at Perth, a fine evening was enjoyed by all.

Three of our committee Members Dorothy Moffat, Stuart Stronach and Douglas Barr went to Orkney Show to promote the Breed funded by a grant from the Society. The Orcadians are regular buyers at Perth and it was felt that our presence would be a good opportunity to build on this. A wet and windy day didn’t deter our trio who had a successful day promoting the breed. It is the smaller, thicker, fleshy Simmentals that they require to cross with mainly Angus X cows. We felt that any future promotion on Orkney should be aimed at this market.

National Show Results Male Champion - Strathisla Nuggat. Reserve - Annick Valentino. Female Champion - Corskie Star. Reserve - Corskie Treasure. Junior Male Champion - Annick Valentino. Reserve - Corskie Valiant 2nd. Junior Female Champion - Corskie Treasure. Reserve - Jewel Victoria. Pairs - Corskie

The Club held its AGM at the McDiarmid Park conference Centre in October, Anne MacPherson, Stuart Stronach, Robert McAlister and Adrian Ivory retired from the committee, thank you for all your hard work for the Club. Caroline Farquharson, Patricia Goldie and Jim Strathern were elected to the committee. Dorothy Moffat retired as Chairman of the Club - Thank you Dorothy for all that you do for the Club. Iain Green was elected as the new Chairman of the Club & Tom Henderson was elected as Vice- Chairman.

After the Club AGM the Society held their AGM and subsequently Hector Macaskill was elected President, we would like to congratulate Hector and wish him a successful presidency.

At the October Bull sales Mr. Robin Boyd judged the Show. Top price for the second sale in a row was Finlay McGowan with Dirnanean Vincent at 12,000gns selling to Alex King, Wolfstar, East Lothian. Three other bulls made five figures, Skerrington Vanguard from John and William Young sold to Finlay McGowan for 10,000gns at the same price was Woodhall Vauxhall from Hector Macaskill selling to Mr. Galloway, Culnoag, Newton Stewart, and Hollywood Tinsley selling to John Wilkie, Braigiewell, Echt. Overall 75 bulls averaged 4086gns. In the female sale heifers sold to 4400gns for Glenturk Tessa from the Glenturk herd, next best was Corskie Topaz selling for 3500gns. Thirty bulls were not forward due mainly to blue tongue restrictions, so with Scotland starting to vaccinate from November hopefully things will return to normal in 2009.

Finally I would like to thank all the Members for supporting Club events during the year.