On the 30th and 31st of July, the Turriff Show will host both The Scottish Ryeland National and The Aberdeen-Angus Society’s Summer National.
Robert Gilchrist, chief executive officer of The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society said, “The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society is delighted to hold once again our Summer National at the Turriff Show, we always get a great welcome at the Haughs. We are looking forward to a great entry from some of the top herds in both the area and indeed the country.”
The Society has been the regulator for Aberdeen Angus cattle since 1879, focusing on breeding quality bulls and cows that produce quality meat. “With Turriff being in the heartlands of the origins of the breed, it is great to be bringing our National back to Aberdeenshire,” added Mr Gilchrist.
Last year’s summer national winner Mark Wattie breeds Aberdeen Angus cattle at Mains of Tonley, just three miles from the breed’s origin at Tillyfourie. “We are proud to keep the breed alive in its roots and homeland. The Aberdeen-Angus is a hardy breed which suits our upland farm during the winter. I am now the third-generation farmer following my grandfather and father to show Aberdeen-Angus cattle and have been passionate about it from a young age,” he said.
The Society plays a key role in safeguarding the industry and driving its future, with standards around traceability and authentication through the Sire Verification Programme, while the Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development Programme is shaping the industry.
“The Youth Development Programme is now available for all those ages 8-24 years. It is a great way to learn how to produce major show champions. I joined the programme at the age of 6 which really kickstarted a passion and success for showing,” explained Mr Wattie.
HRH King Charles is the current patron of the Society, running a successful herd at Highgrove and taking an interest in the Castle of Mey herd at Caithness. Last year, HRH Princess Anne attended the Turriff Show and awarded Mr Wattie with the Champion of Champion’s Trophy.
Mr Wattie added: “It was a great honour to meet HRH Princess Anne and I look forward to The Aberdeen-Angus National Show being hosted by Turriff this year. Turriff Show always provides a great atmosphere with support from all directions and a large ring to exhibit your cattle.”
This year’s event will be judged by Angus Stovold of the Rosemead Herd in Surrey. He is the immediate Past President of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society.
Chairman of The Scottish Ryeland Group Susan Bryden said: “The Scottish Ryeland Group is delighted to bring its annual championship to the north east of Scotland this year. We are extremely grateful to Turriff Show for hosting our championship event for a second time.”
The Scottish Ryeland Group is an independent organisation supporting the work of the breeds’ governing body, the Ryeland Flock Book Society. The Society was founded in 1903 and now has around 1,000 members breeding Ryeland and Coloured Ryeland sheep.
Northeast representative for the Ryeland’s National flock book society Raymond Aitken explained: “Originating from Herefordshire, Ryeland’s are amongst one of the oldest of the established breeds in the UK. We bought our first two Ryeland’s in 1997 at Thainstone Mart. There has been a lot of fun and excitement over our many years of showing this docile and ‘easy to look after’ breed.”
It’s suggested that the breed derives from Spanish Merino sheep. Apart from fine fleeces, Ryelands offer quality carcasses. When a Coloured Ryeland is bred, they lose the white gene and so always produce coloured lambs.
“Numbers of both breeds have shown a marked increase in Scotland over recent years with flocks now in existence across the whole of the country,” added Ms Bryden.
“Exhibiting the Ryeland’s at Turriff Show is always a pleasure. It is such a well-organised show with brilliant facilities for exhibitors and their livestock. This year’s national show will be a great chance to showcase the Ryeland breed in the Northeast,” noted Mr Aitken.
Both the Ryeland and Coloured Ryeland classes will be judged at the Turriff Show by Tom Redmayne, near Carlisle.
For more information go to Home – The Turriff Show