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Heifer calf makes 23,500gns

Despite a lead bid of 23,500gns for a four-month-old heifer calf and another two five-figure transactions, overall averages fell by more than £350 per head at last weekend's Black and White sale of Holstein genetics, at Carlisle.

Sale leader came from 24-year-old Ruth Watson, who aside from being employed as a clerk at Cockermouth Auction Mart, buys in frozen embryos from some of the world's top Holstein cows, and sells them as young calves from her parents, Allan and Christine Watson's Lillyhall herd at Byresteads, Cockermouth.

Their topper was Lillyhall Windbrook Trilly ET, a Gillette Windbrook daughter bred from the Italian cow, Go-Farm Trilly ET VG88-2yr which has seven brothers in AI stations. A grand-daughter of one of Europe's leading bull dams, Go-Farm Tina ET VG89, which gave more than 12,780kg in her first 305-day lactation at 3.91%BF and 3.61%P, she goes back to the Ex93-2E GMD DOM cow, Jeffrey-Way Format Tate.

"She's got a great pedigree and a hell of a good mother," said Trevor Hughes (21) who told his mother, Janice Hughes, who bought the calf, "not to come home without this calf." The family, Iwan and Janice Hughes and son Trevor, who milk 150 cows in their Hafael herd from Gilfachafael, Ceredigion, South Wales, have luckily not been affected by TB and bought three lots at the sale.

Scottish breeders, Brian and Michael Yates, of the East Logan herd from Castle Douglas; Keith and John Jamieson of the Woodhead herd at Annan and Hugh Neilson, East Brackenridge, Strathaven, also made their presence felt, with each buying a third share of the second top priced lot at 14,000gns. This was Sahara Holsteins' Sahara Numero Uno Jessica ET, another four-month-old heifer calf this time by the top Italian sire and leading genomic bull in the world, Amighetti Numero Uno. Consigned by Sahara Holsteins, managed by David Jones, Church Farm, Magor, Monmouthshire, this youngster is bred from the VG88-2yr Hood ATM Jessica, which was bought at the K and L sale in Holland, for €20,000, she is a grand-daughter of the Ex92 DOM American show cow RC-LC Goldwyn, which boasts a 305-day heifer lactation of 12,810kg at 4.50%BF and 3.50%P.

Averages: 79 lots, £3846 (-£369 for six more).

See full report and pictures in this week's issue, out December 8.

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