Aberdeen-Angus numbers on the first day of the Stirling Bull Sales were well back on previous years with just 29 forward for sale out of the 43 entered.
Only 19 sold, but those that traded did for respectable prices which resulted in the average climbing £1,454 to £5,466. But last year the breed sold 38 bulls.
Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society chief executive Ron McHattie said the entry was disappointing as it made the sale the among the smallest held by the breeds for decades. There appeared no single reason for the numbers being down. He suggested it could be due to the continuing switch from autumn calving to spring.
Topping yesterday’s trade at 12,000gn was Linton Gilbertines Rocco, a January 2012 son of Netherallan Peter Pershore and out of the 9,000gn Elliot Rosebud. He won a fifth in the pre-sale show for breeder Gordon R. Brooke, of Upper Huntlywood, Earlston. The bull, with a self replacing index of +58 and a terminal sire index of +44, was bought by the Elliots, of Roxburgh Mains, Kelso, and who run the Rawburn and Elliot herds.
Rosebud was national calf show champion in 2005 and sired by Riverbend Powerline, the Canadian show bull of the year in 2004.
The much-fancied pre-sale supreme, Warrenho Elite, a February 2012 son of Warrenho Dalmigavie and Warrenho Elegant, from father and son, Alan and Rob Bishop, of Church Farm, Finchampstead, Wokingham, made 11,000gn to pedigree breeder Angus Neish, who has 30 cows in the Rodmead herd in Wiltshire.
The Bishops, who have 30 pedigree cows, won the October championship at Stirling with another son of Dalmigavie, who was Angus breed champion at the last Royal Show in 2009.
Elite was a member of the winning pair at the Angus national show at Perth in August and was interbreed at the South of England.
Judge Liam Muir, of Upper Onston, Stenness, Orkney, said Elite stood out from the moment he entered the ring. “He’s tall and upstanding, full of flesh and ideal for either a commercial or pedigree man,” he added.
Mr Muir, a livestock agent and farmer who has 50 suckler cows, said the reserve, Warrenho Emperor, a March 2012 son of Dalmigavie and Eastfield Ethelda, also from the Bishops, hardly had the same power as the champion, but was a classy and modern bull.
The bull, with a self replacing score of +47 and a terminal sire index of +37, was bought for 9,000gn by Neil Wattie, of Mains of Tonley, Alford.
Hallington Lord Tim, a March 2012 son of Nightingale Proud Jake and Hallington Lady, sold at 6,500gn from Alan R. Lawson and Son, of South Farm, Hallington, Newcastle, to F. T. Walton, Flotterton, Morpeth, and J. Dixon, of The Stobbs, Rochester, Newcastle.
Mr Brooke had another at 6,200gn. Erlend Flett, of Hurtiso, Holm, Orkney, bought Linton Gilbertines Pryor Star, a January 2012 son of Galawater Bentley and Belhaven Pole Star.
At 5,500gn was Blelack Pilot, an April 2012 son of Blelack Equity and Blelack Penny, from Neil and Graeme Massie, of Blelack, Dinnet, Aboyne, to Carskiey Partners, of the Carskiey Estate, Southend, Campbeltown.
Rawburn Mambo Prince, a March 2012 son of Netherallan Peter Pershore and Rawburn Mambo Princess, from the Elliots made 6,000gn to Marsden Farms at Penistone.
At 5,000gn from the Massies to G.D. Pate and Sons, of Stobshielmains, Humbie, was Blelack Prince Chad, a November 2011 son of Blelack Prince Consort and Blelack Princess Charmaine.
Louise and Murray Henderson, of Yonderton Farm Cottage, Hatton, Peterhead, sold their first bull and the intermediate champion for 5,000gn to John Bell. They set up their Yonderton herd in 2009 after buying the Westpit herd from the Gammies at Laurencekirk. The couple now have 15 cows.
Yonderton Panther, a January 2012 son of Westpit Percy and out of Spittal Shore Puffin, was bought by Mr Bell for his Fairfield Farms operation at Colinsburgh, Fife.
John Milligan’s Ballathie Estate at Stanley received 5,000gn from Mr Muir for their third prizewinner, Ballathie Brando.