See this week's The Scottish Farmer for full reports and pictures of the leading prices of all breeds, out October 27.
Breeders were brought down to earth with a thump on Monday, when the average fell more than £630 per head on the year and only half of the 77 bulls forward able to find new homes.
But while many bulls failed to meet their reserve price with some even being turned out of the ring as low as 1400gns, it was a good day for the Orr family – Robin and Nancy and daughter, Caroline – who run the 40-cow Halbeath herd, at Dunfermline, when they sold the sale leader at 10,000gns. Hitting the headlines at this price was the family's 18-month-old reserve junior champion, Halbeath Kansas L429, an AI son of Rawburn Elysium and out of the Halbeath Knight daughter, Halbeath Kay. The buyer was pedigree breeder, Ewen Brewis, Eastfield of Lempitlaw, Kelso.
The first bull into the ring, Oakchurch Diplomat J118, a rising four-year-old by the Dalrene Cruz son, Oakchurch Dominator, secured the second top price of 7500gns for Herefordshire breeder, Jeremy Price, Oakchurch. One of the top show animals forward, this big bull is out of Oakchurch Red Delia, a Rawburn No Limits daughter, and sold to Andrew Mylius, St Fort, Newport on Tay, Fife.
Topping the bulls at 8000gns was Robert and Paula McAlister's Langalbuinoch Diesel, from Langalbuinoch, Kingarth, Bute, purchased by Leys Farm, Leys Castle, Inverness. He is by the 12,000gns Newfield Tarquin and out of Langalbuinoch Zara, a Loch Awe Saxon daughter and one of six cows in the herd which runs alongside 70 pedigree Simmentals and a similar number of Simmental cross Shorthorn females.
Just behind on 7500gns, Lanarkshire breeder, Carey Coombs, Weston, Dunsyre, Carnwath, received his best ever price selling Dunsyre Demetri to James Porter of the Northern Ireland-based Uppermill herd. Placed third in his class at the pre-sale show, this two-year-old is by Dunsyre Asterix, a Dunsyre Wolfstone son, while the mother is the show cow, Dunsyre Violet by Dunsyre Sutherland.
Breed records were smashed in the female lines when a served heifer from Donald Biggar's Chapelton herd, Castle Douglas, brought out by stockman Robert Grierson, sold for 13,000gns. Chapelton Honeysuckle 3719, an 18-month-old heifer by the 6800gns Glenisla Banquo and out of Chapelton Honeysuckle 2873, more than doubled the previous record price for a Shorthorn female, when selling to Alan Hay, who runs 12 pedigree Beef Shorthorn females alongside pedigree herds of Aberdeen Angus and Limousin.
Leading the way, at 14,000gns, was the senior champion, Burnbank Gigolo, from Dougie and Lynda Graham's 100-cow herd at Mains of Burnbank, Blairdrummond. An AI son of Rainbow Simon, this 21-month-old is out of the Ronick Hawk daughter, Burnbank Undone, which was shown at the Highland as a heifer. Sporting an EBV of LM+50, he sold to commercial calf producer Liz Galloway, Lochlyoch, Carmichael, Biggar.
Second top and selling for 11,500gns was Elrick Goliath, the reserve intermediate and reserve overall champion from Michael Massie, Mains of Elrick, Ellon. Sired by the 22,000gns Procters Commander, he is a heifer's calf out of the Ryedale Paragon daughter, Elrick Dandelion. Buyer was TW Oliver, Cawfields, Haltwhistle.
Females from Norman and Elma Cruickshank's Normande herd at Cleghorn, Lanark, sold to 5000gns for the three-year-old Normande Elisha and her four-month-old heifer calf at foot, Normande Heidi. Elisha is an Abel daughter, out of Normande Valencia, while her calf is by Brookfield Elmo. The pair sold across the water to DA Geary, Keady, Co Armagh.
Top for Walter and Dawn Cruikshank's consignment from Clury Farm, Dulnain Bridge, Inverness, was a 2600gns bid for Clury Fiona, a January, 2010-born heifer by Sultan. Out of a home-bred Jockey daughter, she sold, having ran with Maraiscote Fergus, to EA Davies, Pantmaenog, Llangadog, Carmathernshire.
An improved show and a reduced entry complete with increased demand, proved a win, win, situation for the Simmental breed at Tuesday's breed sale at Stirling, when averages soared by just shy of £1000 on the year.
Topping the trade at 20,000gns was the champion, Kilbride Farm Comber 11, for Billy Robson and sons, Michael and Norman, Doagh, Ballyclare, Northern Ireland. Comber is by Cairnview Snazzy, and out of the Seaview Prince Charming daughter, Kilbride Farm Eunice. He sold to Lancashire meat wholesalers, Jimmy and Vicki Wood, son Harry and daughter Hannah, of Bowland Foods, who run 20 cows in their Popes herd.
Just behind, on 18,000gns, father and son team, Jimmy and Iain Green, who run 140 Simmentals at Corskie, Garmouth, Fochabers, sold Corskie Callum 11 to Lachlan Quarm, buying for his 25-cow pedigree herd at Annick Lodge, Irvine. A son of the 7000gns Ballinalare Farm Nightrider, he is out of the Ballinalare Farm Gascoigne-sired Corskie Furst.
The female champion, Woodhall Bernadette, from Hector Macaskill, Innerwick, Dunbar, sold for the top price of 5500gns.
This in-calf heifer, by Woodhall Volcano, out of the Freighduff Brendan-sired Woodhall Maree, was knocked down to Ritchie McCulloch, Over Hill House, Armadale, West Lothian.
It was Vexour Garth from Jan Boomaars' Vexour herd in Kent, that proved the star attraction, selling for 100,000gns to Livestock Capital, an AI company in America with two private partners, both of whom own cattle in the States and South America. This son of Dingle Hofmeister is out of the Maerdy Tally-sired Vexour Della and sits in the top 1% of the breed for both terminal sire index and self replacing index.
Selling at 17,000gns was Blackford Gladiator, a son of the 22,000gns Newhouse Bigal and out of the Burradon Talisman daughter Blackford Celia, from Ann Macpherson of Blackford, Croy, Inverness. Placed first in his class at the Highland and reserve beef breeder champion at the same event, this 17-month-old bull was knocked down to Ian Sheed, of J and W Kellas, of The Raws, Dufftown, Banffshire.
Anne, who also received 8000gns for a Simmental bull the previous day, then went on to sell the top priced Charolais female at 8500gns. Blackford Debbie, a 4½-year-old cow by Burradon Talisman, is out of the Maerdy Nero-sired Blackford Suzy, and sold with June-born bull calf at foot by Newhouse Bigal, to Iain Stewart, Balfour Farms, Drumoak, Banchory, having been served by Corrie Alan.
Matching the 17,000gns call, Major David Walker, Balthayock, Perth, sold his 17-month-old bull, Balthayock Gunner, to pedigree breeder, Danny Sawji, for his Swalesmoor herd at Allerbeck, Lockerbie. This youngster is by the 22,000gns Balbithan Vespasian and out of Balthayock Undine, by Barbican Lancer.