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Kelso battle over again, with a different result. The former, not having been so fat and so sweet-looking as the latter, lost his place ; but had his advocates for the first premium, although the extraordinary quality and the grand out-bringing of Justice left little or no room for cavil. Knight of the Shire 1699, by this time the property of Messrs Auld & Anderson at 145 guineas, kept his place in the two-year-old class, and looked compact and handsome. Mr. M'Combie of Easter Skene had decidedly the best yearling bull in the out-coming specimen of that fine old herd. The cow class was not popularly judged. The Ballindalloch cow Maid of Aven 2995, placed first, had a beautiful skin, and looked her best, but her shoulders were rather prominent to win in such company as Lord Tweedmouth's Pride 18th 4321, of Tillfour descent. This three-year-old, which cost 160 guineas at Mr Adamson's sale the previous April, and was second to Pavilion at Carlisle and Kelso in 1880, was generally regarded as the best in the cow class at Stirling, although only placed third. The writer certainly considered her the best, with possibly a little to spare. Lord Airlie's Kelso yearling Miranda 4204 improved in the interval, and was clearly abreast of her opponents in the two-year-old class at Stirling. The yearling heifer from Glamis, a 110 guinea purchase at Mr Adamson's sale, and daughter of Sybil 2nd, was handsome, but too thick in the skin. I liked better the second heifer from Kinnaird Castle, Essence 4547, a very sweet Erica, that by a good judicial bench at the Forfarshire show a week afterwards was placed before the Glamis heifer. So much for the diversity of opinion among judges. “In the leading national fat shows, as well as in breeding stock exhibitions, Scotch breeders and feeders of polled cattle have during the last twenty years done much to bring their cherished variety into popular favour. In 1867 the late Mr. M'Combie occasioned no little sensation by the exhibition of his ponderous four-year-old ox Black Prince, who carried the championship at Birmingham and Smithfield, and from whose sirloin the Royal baron of beef for Christmas-day was cut. The extraordinary scale, wealth of flesh, and symmetry of that noble bullock showed the public what with time and care the polls could be brought to. More important features and qualities in the breed had, however, still to be demonstrated. An impression got abroad that the polls were show maturers. In 1872 that erroneous idea was somewhat rudely shaken by the fact that the late Mr M'Combie carried the Birmingham championship with a three-year and some months old polled ox, bred at Tullochallum, Dufftown; and that Mr Bruce, Burnside, Fochabers, secured the Smithfield ‘blue ribbon' with a polled ox of the same age, bred at Achlochrach, Dufftown—five miles distant from the birthplace of the Birmingham champion. The Tillyfour ox was level and mice, but not so firm under the hand as could be desired. Indeed, he was a lucky winner. The Burnside bullock was riper, displaying more length, a grand back, but a rather light underline. The judging struggle, which eventuated in his favour at Islington in December 1872, was the most protracted and exciting that I have yet witnessed. It lasted over an hour and a half, and after all the ordinary set of judges could not finish it. Their breed partizanship apparently brought them to a deadlock. Three fresh men were chosen, and in a short time they gave the fiat in favour of the Scot. “Now and again since the polls have had a nibble at the ‘big things' in the fat shows, but the crowning effort as regards both polled superiority and early maturity was left to Mr Walker, Altyre, factor for Sir William Gordon Cumming, Bart. Mr Walker accomplished the task only last December (1881), when with a pair of polls little more than two and a half years old he carried the special prizes as best male and female in Smithfield; while for the 100 guinea champion plate the contest ultimately lay solely between these two beautiful animals, the heifer having been at last preferred. That unexampled performance in the Smithfield show history redounded to Mr Walker's credit, and also to the credit of the early maturing and splendid fleshforming properties of the polled breed.”
Performances at French Ewhibitions.
In France the polled cattle of the North-East of Scotland have on four notable occasions displayed their superiority over most other breeds—at the International Exhibitions at Paris in 1856, 1862, and 1878, and at Poissy in 1857. In reference to the Exhibitions of 1856 and 1857, we have been favoured with some very useful notes from the able and facile pen of M. F. R. de la Trehonnais, the well-known agricultural authority, who, by his valuable work, entitled Revue Agricole de l'Angleterre, and by other means, has done much to make his countrymen acquainted with agricultural progress in the British Isles, more particularly in regard to live-stock matters. At the first International Exhibition at Paris in 1855, no polled cattle were shown from this country, but one bull of the Aberdeen or Angus breed was exhibited by Mons. Dutrone, who was for many years a passionate advocate of polled cattle, and who never lost an opportunity of extolling the virtues of the northern Scotch polls. The bull he exhibited in 1855, which was awarded a premium, was Monk 149, bred by Sir James Carnegie, got by Balnamoon 36, and out of Meg 708.
The Exhibition of 1856 was carried out on a liberal scale. In regard to it M. Trehonnais says:–“It was a happy thought, for in my long recollection of similar agricultural gatherings, both in England and abroad, I do not remember anything more splendid and successful than the great International Exhibition of 1856. It was held beneath the glass roof of that marvellous palace of industry erected in the most beautiful public gardens in the world, those in the Champs Elysees. On that occasion the Aberdeen or Angus breed appeared in all its excellence and splendour. That great champion, the late Mr M'Combie of Tillyfour, came forward with a lot of such perfection, as that I doubt whether those he brought out in the last International Exhibition in 1878 were of equal merit. Certainly the last lot did not surpass the former, and I well remember the laudatory and wondering remarks of foreign visitors when passing round the stalls where the stately masses of the polled cattle were drawn in a black and imposing array, even and level, as if the chisel of the sculptor had been plied over their grand fleshy frames. It is sufficient to name the exhibitors to give an idea of the excellent and complete representation of the breed. In the front rank, as remarked above, was Mr William M’Combie of Tillyfour. Then came Mr Hugh Watson of Keillor; the Earl of Southesk, Kinnaird Castle; Mr John Collier, Panlathie, Forfarshire; Mr James Stewart, Aberdeen ; Mr Allan Pollok, Ireland; Mr Robert Walker, Portlethen Mains, Aberdeen; Mr R. Wardlaw Ramsay; Mr Thomas Carnegie of Craigo; Mr J. Anderson of Gillespie ; Mr James Beattie ; Sir George Macpherson Grant, Bart., of Ballindalloch; Lord Talbot de Malahide; the Executors of the late Mr Scott, Easter Tulloch; Mr A. Bowie, Mains of Kelly; Mr John Hutchison; and last, but not least, His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch, who showed some very fine Galloways.” The muster of polled cattle, including a few Galloways, at the 1856 Exhibition numbered no fewer than thirtynine animals—thirteen males and twenty-six females. In the bull class Mr M'Combie of Tillyfour won the first prize—a gold medal and 900 francs—with Hanton 228; Mr Robert Walker, Portlethen, the second prize—a silver medal and 700 francs—with Marquis 212; Mr Hugh Watson, Keillor, Forfarshire, the third prize—a bronze medal and 600 francs—with Strathmore 5 ; Mr James Beattie, Dumfries, the fourth prize—a bronze medal and 500 francs—most likely with a Galloway bull; the Earl of Southesk the fifth prize—a bronze medal and 400 francs—with Cupbearer 59; and Mr James Stewart, Aberdeen, the sixth prize—a bronze medal and 300 francs. Commendations (bronze medals) were awarded as follows: Very high commendation to Mr R. Walker, for Raglan 208; the second commendation to Mr John Collier, Panlathie; the third commendation to Mr R. Wardlaw Ramsay, Whitehill, near Edinburgh; the fourth commendation to Mr John Anderson of Gillespie ; the fifth commendation to Mons. Dutrone of Trousseauville, near Dives, Calvados, France, for the bull Monk, already referred to. It is thus seen that of the thirteen bulls exhibited no fewer than eleven received official recognition of their merit. Mr Hugh Watson's third-prize bull Strathmore 5 was sold to the Emperor Napoleon for 50 guineas. Mr R. Walker's bull Raglan 208 was actually placed third in the order of merit, but as, by the rules of the exhibition, each exhibitor could take only one money prize in each class, this fine bull had to pass down to the position of the animal most highly commended. In the female class, the first prize—a gold medal and 600 francs—was awarded to Mr. M'Combie for Charlotte 203; the second prize—a silver medal and 500 francs— to the Earl of Southesk for Dora 333; the third prize– a bronze medal and 400 francs—to Mr John Collier; the fourth prize—a bronze medal and 350 francs—to Mr R. Walker for Daisy 261; the fifth prize—a bronze medal and 300 francs—to Mr A. Bowie, Mains of Kelly; the sixth prize—a bronze medal and 250 francs—to Lord