THE DEMAND for easy fleshing cattle ensured the Aberdeen-Angus breed kicked off the Stirling Bull Sales in style, with two five-figure sales and an average in excess of £5000, with more bulls sold.
Add to that a flying trade for females from the Cheeklaw dispersal where prices peaked at 20,000gns twice and several others sold for more than 10,000gns, and from collective sale and various drafts and breeders certainly had plenty to smile about.
“Given the climate and the horrendous summer and autumn, the cattle looked well and sold well as a result,” said breed president, Alex Sanger, who said that while a few bulls sold into pedigree herds, the trade was mostly fuelled by the commercial sector.
“An increasing number of producers are seeing the premiums available for Aberdeen-Angus sired cattle and are looking to buy Angus bulls. We’re also seeing an increase in membership, especially after the Cheeklaw dispersal, which attracted several new breeders, particularly from Ireland.
“We’ve also seen a lot of interest from breeders from Germany and Spain, in recent months,” added Mr Sanger.
However, while averages broke through the £5000 bracket to level at £5063 for 37, this figure was down £328 on the year, but for 11 more sold compared to the same event last year. The clearance rate was 77% and averages were significantly higher than the 2015 sale when 32 levelled at £4544.
Leading the trade at 17,000gns was the pre-sale champion, Linton Gilbertines President, a 19-month-old bull from the trustees of the late Gordon Brooke’s Linton herd, from Upper Huntlywood, Earlston. Living up to his name, this Netherallan Peter Pershore son – brought out by stockman, Iain Campbell – stood inter-breed beef breeder champion at the Highland, male champion at the Great Yorkshire and breed leader at the Border Union.
Bred from one of the top females in the 100-cow herd, the champion is out of Belhaven Pole Star, a Rawburn Lord Ross daughter bought at the Bull Sales where she stood pre-sale champion and later made 5500gns. She has since bred sons to 6800gns and 5500gns.
President goes to work in two pedigree herds having been purchased by Gordon and David Gray, for their Ettrick herd, in Selkirk, and Robin Orr and his daughter Caroline, Halbeath, Dunfermline.
Wigtownshire’s Martin McCornick and his daughter, Gemma, not only produced their best ever show placing at Stirling, but also their top price to date of 11,000gns.
The duo, who run 60 pedigree cows at Boreland, Kirkcowan, and have been breeding Angus for just over 10 years, first secured the reserve championship honours with their 18-month-old bull, McCornick Destroyer. This beefy boy which was champion at Dumfries Show and reserve male at the Border Union, is by Halbeath Pentagon, a Duncanziemere Edwin son bought as a calf at the Halbeath dispersal.
The dam is the Wedderlie Even Bonus-sired McCornick Duchess, which calved at 22 months of age. He later made 11,000gns selling to Andrew Ewing, Dumbretton, Annan, buying on behalf of a client.
Two bulls made 6500gns, including Richard and Carol Rettie’s 17-month-old Retties Lancelot, from Devonside, Falkirk. A full ET brother to Retties Lady Ruth N228, which stood champion at several shows, including the Highland and the National in 2016, and to Retties Lone Ranger N229, which is a herd sire for the Belhaven and Unigarth herds, this youngster is by Rawburn Elysium, and bred from Wall Lady Ruth E397 – one of 30 cows in the herd.
Fourth in his class at the pre-sale show, he was knocked down for pedigree work with Tom and Jack Arnott, buying for their Haymount herd, Kelso.
Matching that 6500gns was the reserve intermediate champion, Logie Lawyer, from businessman, David Stubbs, of AJR Farms, Millton of Collieston, Ellon, who bought the 60-cow Logie herd privately in June.
This bull was bought as a calf alongside his dam, Logie Lavender, a daughter of the 25,000gns Blelack Lord Hildalgo, at the Logie reduction sale in September, 2016. Placed second in his class to the champion, Lawyer, which is by the privately purchased Rawburn Enoch, that has bred sons to 7500gns, was brought out by stockmen Andrew and James Reid, and sold to Peter Crawfurd, Craigenholly, Glenluce, Wigtownshire.
Just behind, on 6200gns, Neil and Graeme Massie’s best from the Blelack herd, from Dinnet, was knocked down to AW Neish, Rodmead, Maiden, Warminster, Wilts. Blelack Evorats, is the first son sold at auction by Blelack Black Blockbuster, a Blelack Duke son, purchased by the Haymout herd. The dam is the Netherallan Peter Pershore daughter, Blelack Evora, which is a full sister to Blelack Evor that has bred sons to 25,000gns for Neil and Mark Wattie’s Tonley herd.
The long trip from Thurso proved fruitful for Denny and Mike Tait, Inkstack, when they received 6000gns from G and E Muir and Sons, Gorn, Shapinsay, Orkney, for this year’s Caithness champion, Inkstack Eros.
The first sons sold by the Nightingale Perry son, Inkstack Prometheus, which was retained for breeding, Eros, is bred from the Rawburn Edge-sired cow, Inkstack Erin, one of 30 pedigree cows that run alongside a further 30 commercial cows.
Donald Rankin, from Kilmaluag, Duntulm, on Skye, also received 6000gns for the two-year-old bull, Kilmaluag Lord Island, which was too old for the pre-sale show. A son of Retties JFK, bred from Mosston Muir Lady Iris, which was bought for 6000gns in 2012 here, he also heads to Orkney, having been purchased by Terry Coghill, Muce, Birsay.
The senior champion from Andrew Hodge and his daughter Emma, Rulesmains, Duns, made 5500gns, selling to the Scottish Government’s Bull Stud at Inverness. This was Rulesmains Glen Gordon, a son of the 17,000gns Hallington Editition which has already bred several top bulls for the herd, bred from the privately purchased, Flodden Gornera, by Carlhurlie Largesse.
Also making 5500gns was the fourth prize junior from Alastair Clark, and sons Brian and Alistair’s Duncanziemere herd from Cumnock. Selling at this price was Duncanziemere Edition, an 18-month-old son of the former Highland Show winning bull, Rawburn Jester Eric, out of the Auldhouseburn Karlos-sired Duncanziemere Edwina K363. Another bound for the boat to Orkney, he was bought by Messrs Rendall and Son, Holland Farm, Papa Westray.