Best in show at Thainstone

Laura Green with pedigree bull Guinness
Laura Green with pedigree bull Guinness

Preparations get under way for the Christmas Classic in the final episode of the current series of The Mart.

The year is almost over but that doesn’t mean anyone at Thainstone can relax as preparations made for the event – a showcase for some of the best livestock in Scotland and one of the biggest show and sales at the mart.

Farmers arriving with their pedigree stock expect the best of attention from the mart staff, but there is a problem, however yard supervisor Robbie Cruikshank comes to the rescue.

Far from the mart in rural Perthshire, head sheep auctioneer Colin Slessor is on an away day pricing up Blackface lambs for former colleague and friend Finlay McIntyre.

Finlay sold alongside Colin at Thainstone until he left to become farm manager on an estate at Kinloch Rannoch.

Also on an away day is Mart man Charlie Morrison – he’s visiting Gordon and Lorna Hector at their Aberdeenshire farm.

The couple are retiring and Charlie is tasked with selling over 40 years’ worth of farming equipment and possessions in a specialist sale known as a Roup.

It’s the end of an era for Gordon and Lorna, and Charlie is determined to make the day a success.

In Fochabers, Simmental breeder Iain Green and his daughter Laura are preparing their pedigree bull Guinness for the Christmas Classic.

In Dundee hoping to get good prices are Colin Slessor and head auctioneer Alan Hutcheon who are selling off 70 sculptures of Oor Wullie for a new operating theatre at Tayside children’s hospital.

Charity auctioneering is something the lads have done before, last year Alan got £55,000 for a fibreglass dolphin, and there is a friendly rivalry to see if that record can be beaten.

The Mart will be broadcast on BBC One Scotland on Monday, February 13 at 7.30pm.