After being postponed on three previous occasions due to COVID-19, host farmers Robert and Hazel McNee, were delighted to finally open their farm gates to visitors who travelled the length and breadth of the UK, and indeed from Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The event, with Virgin Money as major sponsors, featured 40 breed societies and individual breeders, 160 trade stands and various competitions and seminars which were held throughout the course of the day, with the farm tour proving extremely popular.
It was former United Auctions executive chairman David Leggat MBE, who officially opened the event and congratulated the McNee family on how well the farm was looking and the high-quality pedigree and commercial livestock that they produce each year.
He also praised Scottish agriculture, in particular Scottish beef and lamb, but urgently called for more government support to help develop the farming industry beyond 2024.
“The main responsibilities of government include food security, food supply and food safety so we cannot ignore farmers’ roles as providers of food for the nation,” he said.
“Significant support must be given to production and infrastructure as it’s essential to maintain the critical mass of both Scottish beef and lamb.”
With focus on carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, a full farm carbon audit on Over Finlarg was conducted by main sponsors Virgin Money, in a bid to encourage more farmers to make use of new technology to improve efficiency.
Simon Haley, director of Carbon Metrics, said that Over Finlarg was very efficient and that total emissions for both the beef and sheep enterprises were well below agrecalc averages.
The sale of ewe hoggs at the closing of the event attracted its usual crowd of spectators which saw a new Scotsheep record of £2000 apiece paid for a pair of Badgerface Texels from Stuart and Wendy Hunter of the Hunters from West Cairnhill, Insch.
Sired by Cleenagh Biggy, and bred from their foundation ewe, they were purchased by Lancashire breeders, Caroline Brown and Sheila Mason.
The couple also topped the Blue Texels, selling a pair for £1500 to Ayrshire breeder David Alexander, from Millside, Galston. One is by Lyles Eagle, with the other being sired by Hunters Deerstalker.
Robbie Wilson’s Milnbank flock from North Dorlaithers, Turriff, produced the overall champion pair with two Texels by Castlecairn Doodlebro, which sold to David Pickford, Cheshire.
Kate McNee’s black North Country Cheviots made £1300 each to Dean Anderson, Smallburn Farms, Elgin, with all proceeds being donated to Prostate Scotland.
The family also sold Texel cross hoggs with Beltex lambs at foot to a top of £250 per head twice.
A shepherd’s crook made by John Fotheringham from Ardler, Meigle, was sold prior to the sale of ewe hoggs, raising £400 for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.
Jennifer Craig, chairperson of NSA Scotland, was awarded the NSA Scotland silver salver for outstanding contribution to the sheep industry.
Ms Craig farms at Normangill, Crawford, Biggar, and is currently in her fourth year as chairperson of the organisation.
Sponsored by the Texel Sheep Society
1st Ewan Runciman, Huntington Farm Cottages, Lauder, Berwickshire.
2nd Freddy Fulford, Erracht Lodge, Banavie, Fort William.
3rd Billy Gray, Sornbeg Farm, Galston, Ayrshire.
4th Ruaridh Lawrie, Westerton Farm, Balintore, By Kirriemuir .
5th Harry Gemmill, Ifferdale Farm, Saddell, By Campbeltown.
6th Catherine Pringle, Saughland Farm, Pathhead.
7th Joint Ian Armstrong, Brae Farm, Kintore, Inverurie.
7th Joint Thomas Smith, Dairy House Kells, Southwick, Dumfries & Galloway.
Highest placed under 21
Sheep dog element of competition
Sponsored by the International Sheep Dog Society
1st Freddy Fulford.
2nd Catherine Pringle.
3rd Thomas Smith.
4th Ewan Runciman.
5th Rebecca Clarke, West Whitecastle Farm, Biggar, South Lanarkshire.
6th William Fotheringham, Bankhead Farm, Forteviot, Perth.
7th Rebecca Duncan, Lands of Drumhead, Balfron Station, Glasgow.
Sponsored by Tornado & James Jones & Sons.
1st HVB Fencing, Waterhouses, Stoke-on- Trent (Simon Gibbs & John Morgan).
2nd Knoxfield Estate Services, Milton of Collace, Burrelton, Perthshire (Mark Stewart & Matthew Gray)
3rd Samson Fencing, Parkgate, Dumfries (Rory Samson & Duncan Samson).
Sponsored by McCaskie Agriculture
1st Elinore Nilsson, Ardormie, Alyth, Perthshire, with Kid.
2nd Neil Campbell, Quarry Cottage, Fossoway.
3rd Michael Gallagher, Ardormie, Alyth, Perthshire.
4th Stephen Alexander, Easter Auquhollie, Rickarton, Stonehaven.
5th A Cameron, 17 Monteith Crescent, Callander, Perthshire.
6th Stewart McFarlane, Ashmore Estate, Bridge of Cally, Perthshire.
7th Ian Rimmer, Ashmore Estate, Bridge of Cally, Perthshire.
8th Scott MacCauley, Connachan Farm, Crieff, Perthshire.
9th Alistair McKenzie, Blairnairn Farm, Glen Fruin, Helensburgh.
10th Rory Hood, Glenarm Farm, Glen Clova, Angus.
Best Outrun & Lift – Stewart McFarlane.
Best Pen & Shed – Neil Campbell.
Sponsored by Galloway & MacLeod.
1st Kevin Laing.
2nd Anna Smith.
3rd Harry Gemmill.
1st John Graham.
2nd Gavin Law.
3rd Muriel Forbes.
Sponsored by Blackface SBA, Luing Cattle Society, TagFaster – Datamars UK, Scottish Woodlands & Scruffy Dog Cider.
1st Hamish Mitchell, Glen Farg – 29.6 seconds to shear one hogg.
2nd Archie Paterson, Isle of Bute.
3rd Michael Dagg, Scottish Borders.
4th Brian Simpson, Blairgowrie.
Sheep Breed Society
1st Bluefaced Leicester Sheep Breeders’ Association.
2nd North Country Cheviot Sheep Society.
3rd Rough Fell Sheep Breeders’ Association.
Indoor Trade Stands
1st Logie Durno Sheep, Inverurie.
2nd Luing Cattle Society.
3rd Parkside Veterinary Group, Dundee.
Outdoor Trade Stands
1st GP Smart & Son, Alford.
2nd` ATV Services Scotland, Ayr.
3rd Ogilvy Spirits, Glamis.
Champion Pair Sponsored by Algo
Robert Wilson, North Doralithers, Turriff with a pair of Texel hoggs by Castlecairn Doodlebro, £1,600 pph sold to David Pickford, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
Class 1 – Bluefaced Leicester Sponsored by Parkside Veterinary Group.
1st A & J Adam, Newhouse of Glamis, Forfar. £350 pph
Class 2- Scotch Mule Sponsored by Kidd Veterinary Centre
1st Moir Livestock, Newmill Rathen, Cairness, Aberdeenshire. £200 pph
2nd Moir Livestock. £200 pph
Class 3 – North Country Cheviot Sponsored by Harrison & Hetherington
1st RM Adam & Son, Auldallan, Kirriemuir. £450 pph
Class 4 – Scottish Blackface sponsored by Savills
1st W Brady, North Amulree, Dunkeld. £200 pph
Class 5 - Suffolk
1st Essie Suffolks, Adziel, Strichen. £700 pph
Class 6 - Texel
1st & Champion Robert Wilson £1,600 pph
2nd Richard Close, Nethermill, Langbank, Port Glasgow. £600pph
3rd Robert Wilson. £1,100 pph sold to H Hunter, Braehead, Huntly.
Class 8- Any Other Continental Breed Sponsored by Thornton Law LLP
1st W. J & M Hunter, West Cairnhill, Insch, Aberdeenshire. Blue Texel £1,500 pph sold to David Alexander, Millside, Galston, Ayrshire.
2nd W. J & M Hunter. Badgerface X Texel £2,000 pph (An NSA Scotsheep record price) sold to Caroline Brown and Sheila Mason, Clapham, Lancaster.
3rd Ian McConnell, Crawfordhall, Kirkmahoe, Dumfries. Rouge
Class 9 - Any Cross Bred
1st Moir Livestock. Texel X (Ex Scotch Mule) £200 pph
2nd Moir Livestock. Suffolk X Texel £200 pph
The sale conducted by mainline sponsors of the event, United Auctions started off with the sale of a shepherd’s crook made by John Fotheringham, Ardler, Meigle which made £400, with the proceeds donated to Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, followed by two black North Country Cheviot ewe hoggs from the McNee family that made £1,300 per head to Dean Anderson, Smallburn Farms, Elgin, with the proceeds donated to Prostate Scotland. The McNee’s also sold thirty Texel hoggs with Beltex cross lambs at foot in seven lots, to a top price per head of £250 twice. Other leading prices included £1,100 per head for a pair of Badgerfaced x Texel hoggs from James Scott, Forfar which sold to Howells of Gelli Farm, Cymmer, Port Talbot, Wales.
£50 Harbro voucher and bottle of Ogilvy Vodka
Winner: Sarah Martin, Tealing, By Dundee.
Class Axion 960 with front loader toy tractor sponsored and supplied by Sellars Agriculture
Winner: Rhona Sharp, Nether Logie Farm, Eassie, Forfar.
Jen Craig, Normangill, Crawford, Biggar, currently in her fourth year as NSA Scotland Chair, is this year’s recipient of the NSA Scotland silver salver and was presented at NSA Scotsheep 2022 by host farmer Hazel McNee. The silver salver is presented annually to an individual or organisation for outstanding contribution to the sheep industry. The award demonstrates the appreciation NSA Scotland has for its hard-working members and the exceptional people who make up our sheep farming sector. It is a small step towards thanking those who have had lifetime commitments to further advance the Scottish sheep industry who may not have had the recognition they deserve.
In 2018 the event was held at Kings Arms farm, Ballantrae (Robert & Caroline Dalrymple), 2016 - Blythbank, West Linton (Glenrath Farms Ltd), 2014 - Quixwood, Berwickshire (Macfarlane Farms Ltd) and in 2012 at the Morrison Farm at Dumfries House.
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