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A SEEMINGLY insatiable demand for Limousin females sold on the first day, not only saw a whopping 42,000gns lead bid, but also 26 animals make 5000gns or more, with seven of those selling at or above the 10,000gns bracket.

A packed ringside from the outset also saw overall averages rise £422 per head on the year and for 62 more sold, with 142 lots cashing in at £4162 with an impressive 87% clearance.

Heifers from Mike and Melanie Alford's Devon-based Foxhillfarm herd which numbers just 12 pedigree females attracted most of the attention, securing the top four highest prices at 42,000gns, 35,000gns, 19,000gns and 15,000gns with their 17 females bringing in a colossal £189,210, to average £11,130.

As it expected, it was their much talked about Foxhillfarm Mammamia, that proved the out and out star too, when selling for 42,000gns. This 16-month-old ET heifer was one of four heifers up for grabs out of the record-breaking 125,000gn Glenrock Illusion, jointly owned with the Swalesmoor herd.

Junior Limousin champion and reserve inter-breed at the Stars of the Future show, in Stirling, last year, Mammamia is a daughter of the 38,000gns Foxhillfarm Irishlad, now owned by the Tweeddale and Goldies herds. New breeder, Brian Evans, Penrhos, Trefeglwys, Powys, was the final bidder on this stylish heifer which also boasts a Beef Value of LM49, and in the Top 1% of the breed.

Mr Evans, a former pedigree Suffolk and Charollais sheep breeder, also bought the next two top females from the Alfords, including Mammamia's full ET sister, Foxhillfarm Missworld, at 35,000gns.

His third purchase, Foxhillfarm Liberty, at 19,000gns is a June-15 born ET heifer bred from the 15,000gns top breeding cow, Bankdale Alice, which has produced just short of £400,000 worth of progeny, to include the award winning 38,000gns Foxhillfarm Gracie. Liberty's sire, Broadmeadows Cannon, is equally well known having produced numerous pedigree and commercial show winners over the past 25 plus years.

Selling across the water to Ireland, Eddie Lynch, Drumbannow, Co Cavan, went to 15,000gns for Foxhillfarm Mary, which is a full sister to Foxhillfarm Gracie, being out of Bankdale Alice and sired by Wilodge Vantastic.

Another from the Alford's herd, Foxhillfarm Missmoneypenny, the third of the four 16-month-old ET calves bred from Glenrock Illusion and by Foxhillfarm Irishlad, sold in a two-way split to Garry Patterson, Aultmore, Keith and Graham Morrison, Inchbruich, Banff.

Two other heifers came under the hammer for 10,000gns to include the first from Procters Farm, Clitheroe, Lancs, brought out by Gary and Karen Swindlehurst. Their October 2015-born Procters Jamaica, an ET bred from Procters Divine, a Greenwell Ronick daughter that produced the 21,000gns Procters General, and sired by Swarland Eddie, changed hands AI’d to Gunnerfleet Hicks, to the Ladybowers pedigree herd of Lee White, Two Thorn Fields, Bamford, Derbyshire.

The same stable also produced an 8000gns sale in Procters Leiha, purchased by Helen Claxton, High House Farm, Newton, Stocksfield, Northumberland. This March 2015-born heifer is out of the Haltcliffe DJ Dam, Procters Harleiha, and sired by Ampertaine Foreman.

Matching the 10,000gns sale was Jonathan and Jayne Watson's Tweeddale Lollipop from the Tweeddale herd near Berwick-upon-Tweed. Another by Foxhillfarm Irishlad, this October-15 born heifer is out of the Normande Arapaho daughter, Goldies Dahlia, and sold to Gary Morrissey, buying for his Grangeford herd based at Bennekerry, Co Carlow, Ireland.

Also selling across the water to Ireland, Kelly Stephenson, Rustyduff, Donard, Co Wicklow, bought Robert and Jean Graham's Grahams Lilley, a rising two-year-old by Rathconville Eugene. Another heifer boasting the best of genetics, Lilley is a maternal sister to the 40,000gns Grahams Lorenzo; 37,000gns Grahams Humphrey and the 32,000gns Grahams Lilly, being out of the Millington Vascular-sired, Grahams Coffee.

Averages: Three cows, £3710; three weaned calves, £1435; 29 served heifers, £3990; 110 maiden heifers, £4294.

OTHERLEADINGprices

Heifers – 7500gns – M and M Alford's Foxhillfarm Monalisa, by Guards Boomer, to D and R McFarland, Comber Road, Omagh, Co Tyrone; M and M Alford's Foxhillfarm Lookatme, by Guards Boomer, to R and J Graham, Airthrey Kerse, Bridge of Allan; M and M Alford's Foxhillfarm Mellie, by Guards Boomer, to R Thomson, Cairnbog, Kilsyth, Glasgow; McKinney Brothers' Heathmount Leanna, by Ampertaine Gigolo, to D Thomas, Henbant, Cwman, Lampeter.

7200gns – M and C Ridley's Haltcliffe Lust, by Haltcliffe Gentry, to K Donaldson and J Little, The Guards, Ireby, Wigton.

7000gns – E and E Norman's Norman Lick, by Claragh Franco, to M Diamond, Pointhouse, Garvath, Co Londonderry, Northern Ireland; R and J Graham's Grahams Liz, by Claragh Franco, to J Neill, Derryboy Road, Crossgar, Downpatrick, Co Down, Northern Ireland.

6800gns – WJ and J McKay's Ampertaine Locket, by Sympa, to K Kennedy, Killdoag Road, Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

6500gns – M and M Alford's Foxhillfarm Molly, by Guards Boomer, to C Knox, Cragside, Hume, Kelso; WJ and J McKay's Ampertaine Locket, by Sypma, to E Blenkhorn and Son, Elder Farm, Goole, North Humberside.