Scottish breeders dominated the top awards in the Simmental line-up of more than 200 sires on the opening day of this week’s Stirling Bull Sales.
The judge, Ted Fox from Symington, Biggar – the president of the Luing Cattle Society and a keen Sim-Luing breeder – admired the selection in front of him and admitted he had a preference for the darker-skinned bulls.
“They work particularly well with the Luings, but I didn’t put colour choice above quality,” he insisted.
His choice for the supreme award was the senior champion, Islavale Gambler from Keith breeder Stewart Stronach, Berryleys Farm, Grange. This April 2015-born bull is one of the first sons of the 15,000gns herd bull Atlow Dixon.
Another of Dixon’s sons sold last October for 12,000gns and the Stronachs have seven sires from their 120-cow pedigree herd for sale at Stirling today.
Mr Fox described Gambler as a big, long, clean bull, and said both he and the reserve supreme champion, from Simmental breed chief executive, Neil Shand, Cairnorrie Farm, Methlick, Ellon, were “bulls with presence”.
“They both had good backsides and kept their heads up well,” he said.
Mr Shand’s bull was the intermediate champion, Dirnanean Grafter, bred by Finlay McGowan, Incheoch Farms, Alyth. This July 2015-born bull was sold as a calf at foot at Mr McGowan’s reduction sale.
“He was an outstanding calf,” said Mr Shand, who has run the Simmental Society since 2010.
The junior champion came from William Patterson and Son, Upper Forgie, Aultmore, Keith. He was Aultmore Goliath, a September 2015-born son of Banwy Bonzo.
And in reserve place was Dellfield Goldeneye, a son of Islavale Ensign shown by Inverness breeder B. Grant, Druid Temple Farm.
Reserve senior champion was Overhill House Guinness from Richard McCulloch, Over Hill Armadale and the reserve intermediate champion was Chestermann Geraint from N&N Gwynne, Castlewigg Farm, Whithorn.
The Gwynne family also led the female line-up with Chestermann Wick Ginny, a April 2015 heifer by Kilbride Farm Wick.
Strathisla Farms, Moolies, Meigle won the reserve female champion title with Strathisla Fennel’s Veronica, a September 2014-born daughter of the 10,000gns sire Dellfield Brigadier.