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Farming in 2021: a look back at the record-breaking livestock of the year

Suffolk ram lamb Salopian Solid Gold set a new breed record when he sold for 200,000gn.

A number of breed records were set for pedigree livestock – both cattle and sheep – throughout 2021.

Here’s a look back at some of the records smashed in sale rings across the UK.

Beef Shorthorn

Meonside Nidavellir set a Beef Shorthorn record when he sold for 27,000gn.

At February’s Stirling Bull Sales a new Beef Shorthorn record was set when a bull went under the hammer for 27,000gn.

The top price was paid for Meonside Nidavellir – a 20-month-old bull from Tom and David Bradley Farmer’s herd at Dumfries.

By the 10,000gn Willingham Kensington and out of the Fearn Wyvis daughter, Ballylinney Lily 25th, he sold to Lucinda Townsend, for her Coxhill herd at Moffat.

Galloway

Blackcraig Fay A899 set a new Galloway record when she sold for 12,500gn.

In March, a new Galloway breed record was set when a heifer sold at the breed’s spring sale at Wallets Marts, Castle Douglas, for 12,500gn.

This was the 30-month-old in-calf Blackcraig Fay A899 which was bought by agricultural photographer Catherine MacGregor from Harestone, West Rossburnlane Farm, Stirling.

By Blackcraig Vagrant, she was put forward by John, Ann and Iain Finlay who farm at Blackcraig, Corsock, Castle Douglas.

British Blue

Gass Okay set a new British Blue record.

British Blue records were smashed in May when a 25-month-old bull from Ayrshire breeder Andrew Kay sold for 30,000gn at the Border British Blue Club’s annual spring show and sale in Carlisle.

Mr Kay, who runs the Gass herd at Gass Farm, Straiton, Maybole, smashed his own record of 16,000gn which was set 11 years ago at his debut outing in Carlisle.

His latest record-breaker was Gass Okay, by Almeley Kwasimodo, which sold to Messrs Morgan for their Almeley herd in Herefordshire.

Suffolk

Meanwhile, new sheep breed records were also set in 2021 including a new record for the highest priced Suffolk.

Salopian Solid Gold set a new record when he sold for 200,000gn.

Selling for a whopping 200,000gn was a ram lamb named Salopian Solid Gold from Shrewsbury breeder Phil Poole.

Smashing the previous 2004 record of 90,000gn, Solid Gold is by the 26,000gn Solwaybank Rock Solid and out of an Irongray Black Magic-sired Stockton ewe, which has previously stood breed champion at the Royal Welsh Show as both a ewe lamb and a shearling ewe.

He sold in a two-way split to Cheshire breeder Charlie Boden for his Sportsmans flock at Mellor, and Cumbria breeder Robert Jenkinson for his Dunfell flock, based near Penrith.

Dutch Spotted

The sheep breed records didn’t stop there and the following month records were smashed for Dutch Spotted, Beltex, Valais Blacknose and Blue Texel sheep.

This imported ewe set a Dutch Spotted breed record when she sold for 20,000gn.

The Dutch Spotted record of 20,000gn was set by an aged ewe, which was sold as part of the Spotacular sale at McCartneys in Worcester.

Put forward by Shrewsbury breeder David Roberts, who runs the Boyo flock near Kenley, she sold to Gloucestershire breeders Jonathan and Janet Corbet for their Wedderburn flock.

Beltex

Buckles Frisky set a new Beltex record.

A Beltex record for the highest priced female sold at auction was set at the breed’s premier sale in Carlisle when a gimmer sold for 15,000gn.

The record-breaker, selling to Lincolnshire breeder Chris Wright for his Brothertoft flock, was Buckles Frisky from Cumbria breeder Kevin Buckle and his sons Jack and Tom.

An embryo-bred daughter of the 10,000gn Gyffin Dexter and out of College Adele, Frisky is a full sister to the 17,000gn shearling ram Buckles Frankel, which also sold at the premier sale.

Valais Blacknose

Two-year-old ram Snowdownia Goliath set a new Valais Blacknose record for Gerallt and Kerry Jones.

A duo of Valais Blacknose sheep breed records were smashed at the Blacknose Beauties national show and sale in August.

A new record for the highest priced Valais Blacknose sold was set when a two-year-old ram fetched 14,000gn, while a new female record was set when a Scottish-bred gimmer sold for 10,500gn.

The overall record-breaker, when sold at Harrison and Hetherington’s Borderway Mart in Carlisle, was Snowdonia Goliath.

Put forward by Welsh breeders Gerallt and Kerry Jones, Goliath is a March 2019-born embryo-bred son of Westmorland Ego, out of Gemstones May. He sold in a two-way split to the Dyffryn and Valeview flocks in Denbigh in Wales.

The new female record price of 10,500gn was paid for the overall champion – a gimmer named Highland Harmonie from Tomintoul breeders Jenni McAllister and Raymond Irvine.

By the 10,000gn Highland Egbert, and out of Highland Fandabbidozie, she sold to Messrs Coates, Filey, North Yorkshire.

Blue Texel

Blue Texels were in the spotlight in August when a trio of new breed records were set at the Northern Supreme Show and Sale in Carlisle.

Whatmore Eccles set a new Beltex record for a gimmer when she sold for 22,000gn.

A new record price for a gimmer of 22,000gn was set for Whatmore Eccles from Welsh breeder Sara Gibbons.

A February 2020-born embryo-bred daughter of Whatmore Bentley, out of Whatmore Battenburg, she stood reserve overall champion in the pre-sale show and sold to Messrs Jewitt, Barnard Castle.

A new ewe lamb record of 8,000gn was also set for February-born Matt’s Flash Harriet, by Drumard Ed, from Northern Irish breeder Matt Burleigh, while a new shearling ram record of 5,200gn was paid for Nantyderri Elfred from Welsh breeder Rhys Cooke.

Kelso Ram Sales

Campsie Drambuie set a new Kelso Ram Sales record when he sold for £65,000.

A new centre record was set at the Kelso Ram Sales in September where 3,536 rams sold to average £970.09 – up 39% on the 2019 sale.

The new record price of £65,000 – surpassing the event’s previous top of £35,000 – was paid for a Texel shearling from Jimmy and Donald MacGregor’s Campsie flock at Dyke Farm, Milton of Campsie, near Glasgow.

Beating the father and son’s previous top price of £5,800, Campsie Drambuie, a son of Ettrick Cockney Rebel, sold in a two-way split to John Elliot, Roxburgh Mains, Kelso, and Ken Hodge’s Greenarch flock at Earlston.

North Country Cheviot

The record-priced North Country Cheviot ram from the Allen family’s Stouphill flock.

In October a new record price for a North Country Cheviot was set when a ram sold for £24,000 at United Auctions in Lairg.

The sale topper was a two-shear from the Allen family’s Alwnick-based Stouphill flock.

By the £11,000 Badanloch Tip Top Tup, which stood Royal Highland Show champion in 2019, he sold to Hugh Mackenzie from Badanloch Estate, Kinbrace, Sutherland.

Blelack dispersal

Aberdeen-Angus breeder Neil Massie looks on as his herd is dispersed at the Stirling Bull Sales.

Returning to the Stirling Bull Sales, but this time the October instalment, records were set at the dispersal of the noted Blelack herd of pedigree Aberdeen-Angus cattle.

The sale of the herd, run by father and son duo Neil and Graeme Massie at Blelack Farm, Dinnet, near Aboyne, made more than £1.1m.

A top price of 32,000gn was paid for four-year-old cow Blelack Princess Carina U902.

An AI daughter of Oneills Black Bardolier, and out of Blelack Princess Carina R508, she sold to Devon breeders Mike and Melanie Alford for their Foxhill herd.

The couple also paid 30,000gn for Carina’s five-month-old heifer calf, Blelack Princess Carina X125, by the 14,000gn Kilmaluag Eriskay –meaning the outfit sold for what is believed to be a new breed record price for a combined unit at 62,000gn.

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