But while several struggled to sell their bulls, the Massie family, from its Blelack and Morven herds, enjoyed a bumper day, securing four of the top five five-figure sales, including the day's best at 18,000gns. In contrast to previous years, when Neil and son Graeme Massie's Blelack herd from Dinnet, Aboyne, led the way, this year it was a relatively new name that hit the headlines, when Neil's oldest son, also Neil, produced the day's best from his three-cow Morven herd. Mr Massie, who previously ran the family pig unit at Blelack, but now owns the Rocksalt and Snails coffee outlets and restaurants, in Aberdeen and Ballater, has always kept a few Aberdeen-Angus females in his Morven herd – named after the hill that Blelack looks on to. He, his wife Davinia, daughter Harriet (19) and son George (15), set the trade alight this year, with Morven Kyle, a rising two year-old son of the Netherallan Peter Pershore son, Blelack Evolution – a bull retained for breeding out of Blelack Evora. Placed intermediate champion and reserve overall at the pre-sale show, Kyle is out of the Canadian-bred embryo, Kincarie Kylie, a daughter of Aln Black Bandit, bought at Perth. Kyle was bought by Alastair Fraser and son, Graeme, who run 60 cows in their Idvies herd, at Forfar.
Tops at 11,000gns, twice, were two sons of a different Netherallan Peter Pershore son retained for breeding, Blelack Equity, which is out of the record priced 32,000gns Blelack Eyrie. Blelack Lord Handsome, a 20-month-old bull, is out of the Blelack Lord Hornblower daughter, Blelack Lady Heather, and sold to Jonathan Doyle, who runs 15 cows in his pedigree herd in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
The second Equity son to make 11,000gns was Blelack Justin Eric, an 18-month-old bull out of the Blelack Black Gold daughter, Blelack Jury Erica. He heads north to Orkney for pedigree and commercial use with Rognvald Sinclair, Unigarth.
See this week's The Scottish Farmer, out February 9, for a full report on the Aberdeen-Angus sale at Stirling, including the prizelist and photos of the sale leaders.