POTENTIAL buyers travelled from throughout Scotland, Devon, Ireland and Wales for the dispersal sale of the Stafford family's Saxelby Holstein herd from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, where trade peaked at 3000gns – twice.

The sale of this former 'Master Breeders herd' staged at Beeston Auction Mart included no fewer than 20 Excellent classified cows; 54 Very Good cows and 56 10,000kg cows, and as a result, some 23 lots selling for 2000gns of more.

It was nevertheless cows from the top families that led the trade with Saxelby Smurf Rosabel, being the first to hit 3000gns. The 13th successive VG or Ex-classified cow, this Chartroise Smurf daughter, that calved her third in September, sold due to Impression to JG and CA Bayley, Warwickshire.

Minutes later, the similarly aged Saxelby Brady Amber Ex91-4yr and SP, a daughter

of Atwood Brady, sold for the same money to Robert and Elaine Butterfield, buying for their Ingleview herd from Linghaw, Lancaster. She sold fresh in December and giving 40 kg daily.

Also travelling on the same lorry load to Linghaw with the Butterfields, was Saxelby Extreme Sallie VG85-2yr, a fresh third calver by Silverridge V Extreme bred from the Ex91-4yr Saxelby Dude Sallie. She made 2800gns.

Her dam also made 2800gns selling across the Irish Sea with Lee Bros, Co Fermanagh, who again went to the same money for Saxelby Smurf Sallie, a third calver by Smurf but bred from Saxelby Winners Sallie.

The Patricia family was one which certainly helped put Saxelby on the map, and saw 55 members pass through the ring at Beeston. Top priced member at 2700gns was Saxelby Butler Patricia VG85-2yr, a fresh second calver by Brady giving 42kg per day. She was purchased by Midlands buyer BK Adkin and Son, Leicestershire.

Calves were a great trade from start to finish, topping at 1650gns for Saxelby Upright Sallie, a 10-month-old daughter of Morningview Upright out of a VG85-classified Ralma Confirm dam, selling to DN James and Co, Ceredigion.

In-calf and served heifers peaked at 2250gns for Saxelby Contrast Patrica, by Larcrest Contrast with six generations of VG or Ex dams behind her. She sold due to Unix, to PJ Waring, Beverley.

Averages: 127 cows and milking heifers, £1774.99 (including 63 heifer calves at £628.50); 41 recently served heifers, £1209.04; 27 maiden heifers £847.39.

Auctioneers: Wright Marshall.