ON the most part, averages improved on the year at United Auctions’ multi-breed sale of pedigree bulls, where, despite a long and expensive winter putting extra pressures on producers, breeders were willing to invest for the long term. 

The Salers breed took the biggest knock off its average having led the 2017 event with a breed record-equalling bull at 12,000gns, with that top price matched this year by the Limousin champion, Anside Magneto from the Irvine family – Stephen and Denise together with sons Martin and Darren – who run 80 cows at Braehead, Drummuir. Securing the Irvines’ first ever overall championship at Stirling, Magneto is by the herd’s stock sire Powerful Irish, a bull that also produced the family’s 13,000gns Anside Mexican, which stood senior champion at Carlisle in February, as well as further five-figure bulls both at Anside and in other herds. Bred from the Ardnacrusha Uthman daughter, Normande Bouquet, Magneto caught the eye of Iain Wilkinson, a share farmer at Balgay Farms, Inchture, who will use him on his Redstroke pedigree herd. 

It was a good day for the Irvines as they sold six bulls to average £7315, with two more Irish sons selling for 7500gns and 7200gns. Dearest of these when sold to TL Stirling, Auchterblair, Carrbridge, was Anside Mercury, which was this time bred from the Pacha-sired Hudscales Eartha, making him a full brother to an 8200gns bull. 

Messrs Sime forked out 7200gns to take Anside Murphy home to Bruceland, Elgin. His pedigree includes the Frewstown Breakdance daughter, Anside Gale. 

The Limousin breed achieved the lead clearance rate of 92% and the best average improvement on the year, backed up by the third top price overall of 9000gns. This was paid for the reserve breed champion, William and Anne Oag’s Brims Murphy from Achiebeg, Shebster, Thurso, which sold to G McCormick, Claggan Farm, Bridgend, Islay. Murphy is by Ampertaine Gigolo, a sire that also bred the 140,000gns Trueman Jagger, while his dam is the Ronick Iceman daughter, Brims Allover. 

A black Limousin from mother and daughter team, Mary Fotheringham and Hazel McNee, was also in the money when snapped up by WM Patrick, Ballikinrain, Balfron, for 8000gns. Their Westhall Black Man, from Over Finlarg, Tealing, is by Westhall Jammy and out of Westhall Dancer, a Tamarvalley Boscastle daughter. 

The Scottish Farmer:

Dearest of the Charolais at 9200gns was Goldies Moonlight from Hamish Goldie

The Charolais breed was also in demand as it welcomed an £824 increase on the year thanks to a solid commercial demand and the second top price on the day of 9200gns. That was paid for Hamish Goldie’s Goldies Moonlight, a son of the 15,000gns easy-calving sire, Gretnahouse Heman, from the herd at South Bowerhouses, Ruthwell, Dumfries. His dam is the Goldies Uppermost-sired Goldies Judy. Colin Cameron was the las man in buying for his South Uist-based herd at Rhughasinish, Lochcarnan, Lochboisdale. 

Hamish was another to return home in style, having sold four bulls to average £8321.25, with his second highest priced bull at 7800gns, Goldies Moonbeam, selling to Messrs MacIntyre, Glenehervie, Southend, Campbeltown. He is full of home genetics, being by Goldies Jetset and out of the Goldies Elation daughter, Goldies Hazel. 

The very next bull, Goldies Mercedesbenz, sold to Liam Muir, Upper Onston, Stenness, Orkney, for 7500gns. He is also backed by home breeding, but this time is by Goldies Formidable and out of the Blelack Blackberet-bred Goldies Irene. 

Hitting 8000gns was the reserve Charolais champion, Thrunton Maestro from the Campbells at Thrunton, Alnwick. Forking out the cash were Messrs Wilson, who will take the Thrunton Gladiator son home to Fichlie, Glenkindie. Maestro’s dam is Thrunton Hirondelle, by Thrunton Doubletop. 

Another Charolais bull realised 7500gns when Andrew Burnett’s Spittalton Newton, from the herd near Blair Drummond, sold to the RSPB farm at Aoradh, Loch Gruinart, Islay. His pedigree features Woodpark Elgin on to the Maerdy Dublin-sired Elrick Idelle. 

The Scottish Farmer:

Balgay Farms' Balgay Khamul led the Shorthorns at 8000gns

Shorthorn bulls met a strong demand when 10 of the 11 bulls forward sold to new homes with a top of 8000gns paid for the champion, Balgay Khamul, from the Balgay Farms team near Inchture. Brought out by Iain Wilkinson and Lucy Christie, this two-year-old is by the Meonhill Highland Fortress bull that has done well at Balgay, and out of the Chapelton Braveheart daughter, Balgay Rothes Mari. Messrs Hogg forked out the cash to take him home to Birkenside, Earlston, Lauder. 

The very next lot, David and Rosemary Dickie’s Knockenjig Kite, followed in the trade stakes when sold to Stephen Mackie, Balquhindachy, Methlick, Ellon, for 6000gns. Bred from the Sutherland Bundaberg-sired Gregors Zola, which has bred bulls to 9000gns, Kite is by the consistent breeder, Glengloy Geronimo from the Sanquhar-based herd. 

John Elliot, of Roxburgh Mains, Kelso, welcomed 5200gns from JH Younger and Co, Baro, Haddington, for Elliot Kaiser, an ET featuring Canadian genetics, being by HD Swagger 802 and out of SBF WHR Janet, herself a Waukaru Patent daughter. 

The Scottish Farmer:

Simmentals hit 6500gns for John Jeffrey's Kersknowe Heirloom

Both the Simmental and Aberdeen-Angus offerings hit tops of 6500gns, with the first to go under the hammer at that price being John Jeffrey’s Simmy bull, Kersknowe Heirloom, one of only a few by Auchorachan Wizard while his dam is Kersknowe Ella, a Starline Apollo daughter from the Kelso-based herd. Heirloom heads to work at the Scottish Government Bull Stud, Inverness, along with a further seven bulls also bought on the day. 

Having secured the Simmental champion and reserve honours, it was a different bull that topped Stewart Stronach and team’s Islavale offering from Berryleys, Keith, when Islavale Handy was knocked down for 6200gns. Selling to Aitken Bros at Riccarton Farm, Linlithgow, he is by Ranfurly Confederate, which also sired the 24,000gns Islavale Hester sold in February, while his dam is Islavale Girlie 5, a Woodhall Walker daughter. 

Islavale Hoogee, the reserve Simmy champion, sold to Jim McLaren for his Dargill herd, near Crieff, for 5800gns. Bred from another Woodhall Walker daughter in the shape of Islavale Erin, he is by the 15,000gns Atlow Dixon that also bred the 13,000gns Islavale Gambler. 

Matching that 5800gns when sold to Robert Aitken, Bogside, Fintry, was David Lowry’s Coose Emperor-sired Keeldrum Hi Flyer from Newsteadings, Cartland, Lanark. His dam is a Keeldrum Jessica by Keeldrum Schubert. 

The Scottish Farmer:

The Angus champion, Neil Wattie's Tonley Ernie, topped at 6500gns

Neil Wattie had plenty to celebrate in the Aberdeen-Angus lines when his champion sold for the top price of 6500gns, backed up by two at 6000gns. Leading the way was Tonley Ernie, a son of the home-bred Tonley Anelka whose first son stood reserve junior and sold for 10,000gns back in February. Born in September, 2016, out of a Lockerley Legend-sired Tonley Emiline, Ernie sold to the Jenkinson family at Whinghill, Kirkby Stephen, who were impressed by his topline and will use him in their 40-cow Ponder Hill herd. 

The first of the Tonley bulls to make 6000gns was Tonley Equador, a Blelack Evor son bred from the Tonley Annand daughter, Tonley Equidora. He caught the eye of the team at Easter Tulloch, Laurencekirk. 

Also making 6000gns, Tonley Paprika sold to Andrew Mylius for his St Fort herd near Newport on Tay. Used on cows last September, his breeding includes Tonley Essian on to another by Blelack Evor, Tonley Princess, in the Alford-based herd. 

The MacMillans at Ballimartin, Ballygrant, Islay, also paid 6000gns to secure Neil Massie’s Blelack Proteus from Firmarron, Aboyne. Sired by Hallington Principal, he is out of a Blelack Princess by Blelack Equity. 

With a total of five Angus bulls making 6000gns, the next at this price was John Gilmour’s Belhaven Iron Man, which is by the same sire as the reserve supreme sold at the February sale in 2016, Billinge Magic Jack Eric. Bred from Belhaven Island Girl, a Rawburn Elysium daughter, he sold to the Mountquhanie team near Cupar. 

Donald Rankin’s Kilmaluag Lordoftheisles, by the privately purchased Retties JFK, was the last to make 6000gns when snapped up by W Aitken, Scotston Bank, West Linton. He is bred from the Hallington Walter-sired Mosston Muir Lady Iris in the Isle of Skye-based herd. 

Of the other breeds on offer, it was Salers bulls that caught the eye and peaked at 5200gns for Rigel Laredo from the team at Rigel Pedigree, Leven Fields, Yarm. Selling to C Robertson, Carline, Ballindalloch, he features home-bred genetics, being by Rigel Byron and out of the Amazonien-sired Rigel Dixie. 

At 4500gns was Whitebog Laurie, a Seawell Diplomat son from Alastair MacKenzie’s Whitebog herd near Fortrose. Bred from the Uni daughter, Whitebog Dawn, he heads to work at Boghall, Kingsbarns, St Andrews, for JM Turnbull. 


Limousin6500gns – BT Goldie’s Goldies Mighty, by Goldies Fortress, to Scottish Government Bull Stud, Inverness; D McBeath and SJ Jessop’s Springsett Marbles, by Woodroad James, to R and D Farquhar, Tewel Farm, Stonehaven. 

Charolais6500gns – WR Baillie’s Baillieston Mint, by Maerdy Hasse, to Glenpark Farms, c/o D Rew, Bavelaw Mill, Mid Lothian. 6200gns – J Burnett and Sons’ Spittalton Maverick, by Whitecliffe Highlight, to Messrs Adam, Braeside, Leochel, Cushnie, Alford; WK and P Drysdale’s Glenericht Manhatten, by Maerdy Hwre, to Messrs Mitchell, Pairney, Auchterarder. 

Aberdeen-Angus5800gns –NA Wattie’s Tonley Pascal, by Tonley Evor, to KM Fraser, Wester Lumbennie, Newburgh, Fife; NF Massie and Sons’ Weeton Lord Ragnor, by Rawburn Elysium, to W Lockhart and Son, Laggan Park, Glencairn, Moniaive. 

Simmental5500gns – R McCulloch’s Overhill House Hanover, by Dermotstown Delboy, to J Hunter, Braehead, Huntly. 5200gns – WS Stronach’s Islavale Houston, by Ranfurly Confederate, to J Drummond, Townend, Craigie, Kilmarnock.