A freelance stockman from the north took home the best price of the day for the Charolais breed at the Stirling Bull Sales yesterday.
Despite a sticky start to the trade, United Auctions put the hammer down 15 times at five-figure sums with the averages up £283 on the same sale last year.
According to the judge of the pre-sale show – Mike Massie who runs the Elrick herd at Mains of Elrick, Auchnagatt, Ellon – there was a very even batch of bulls forward, rather than the variety that there used to be. “The breed is in a good place,” said Mr Massie.
A total of 136 bulls sold with a clearance rate of 76% to an average of £6,821. This means that the Charolais was the only breed to increase its averages at this February’s sales, with all other breed averages down.
According to the breed society’s chief executive, David Benson, trade was driven by commercial beef producers looking for easy-calving bulls.
There had been a particular focus on bulls with high EBV values for easy-calving, said Mr Benson.
The lead price of 18,000gn was achieved by Ronnie Mackay, who only had forward one lot from his five-cow Clyth herd at Clyth Mains, Lybster, Caithness.
First-prize winning Clyth Indestructable is an August 2013-born AI son of Goldies Eddy and out of Clyth Frolic. His grand-dam Clyth Vanilla was bought inside her mother Holstead Rebecca in 2002 as a foundation cow for Mr Mackay’s herd.
Vanilla previously bred Clyth Diplomat, which stood as junior champion in the 2009 October sales and sold for 16,000gn.
The stockman’s top-priced lot was bought by Billy Turner, Brampton Hall, Ripon.
The hammer went down twice at 16,000gn, including a lot from the same breeding as Mr Mackay’s 18,000gn bull. Northern Irish breeders Brian, William and Liz McCallister, who run the Burnside herd, achieved 16,000gn for a July 2013-born son of Clyth Diplomat. Burnside Indian is out of Sandelford Deva – a full sister to bulls that have sold for 25,000gn. She was snapped up by Michael Durno, of Auchorachan Farm, Glenlivet.
The other at 16,000gn was a June 2013-born lot from the Burradon herd of Messrs Curry at Morpeth.
Burradon Insomniac is a second-prize winning bull by Gwenog Banjo son and out of Burradon Barbara. He heads to James Jeffrey’s Kersknowe herd, near Kelso.
Next best at 14,000gn was the pre-show sale junior champion from Neil and Graham Massie, of Blelack Farm, Logie Coldstone, Aboyne. September 2013-born Blelack Imperialist is by Blelack Forbes and out of Blelack Bluerinse, which has bred sons to 8,000gn previously.
He was bought jointly by the Curry family, who run the Burradon herd, and the Campbells who run the Thrunton herd, near Alnwick.
There were then two lots at 12,000gn, four lots at 11,000gn, one at 10,500gn and four at 10,000gn.
One of the lots at 12,000gn was the overall and intermediate champion from Hamish Goldie at South Bowerhouses, Ruthwell, Dumfries.
July 2013-born Goldies Ivan is a Blelack Edition son, out of Goldies Eleanor. He sold to Jock Wilson, of Kinclune, Glenkindie, Alford.
The other at 12,000gn was a fourth-prize winning bull from Alan R. Lawson and Son at South Farm, Hallington, Newcastle.
May 2013-born Alsnow Imperial is a Puntabrava Federico son out of Alsnow Duchess. He heads to Willie Millar, of Prieston, Tealing, near Dundee.
In the female sale, a top price of 4,000gn was achieved for the champion from Hamish Goldie.
Goldies Happy, which is also by the same sire as the champion male – Blelack Edition – is out of Goldies Erin. She sold in-calf to Goldies Formidable to a producer in Northern Ireland.
CHAROLAIS PARADE OF CHAMPIONS
Overall and intermediate champion – Hamish Goldie, South Bowerhouses, Ruthwell, Dumfries, with Goldies Ivan, by Blelack Edition.
Reserve overall and reserve intermediate champion – Neil and Stuart Barclay, South Road, Insch, with Harestone Imran, by Inverlochy Ferdie.
Senior champion – Major David Walter, The Garden House, Balthayock, Perth, with Balthayock Imperial, by Blelack Forester.
Reserve senior champion – Roy, Jim, Matthew and Sam Milne, Kennies Hillock, Lhanbryde, Elgin, with Elgin Ivanhoe, by Caylers Gladiator.
Junior champion – Neil and Graham Massie, Blelack Farm, Logie Coldstone, Aboyne, with Blelack Imperialist, by Blelack Forbes.
Reserve junior champion – Hamish Goldie, with Goldies Icon, by Goldies Uppermost.
Female champion – Hamish Goldie, with Goldies Happy, by Blelack Edition.
Reserve female champion – Hamish Goldie, with Goldies Havanna, by Blelack Edition.