THERE was a strong demand for Charolais bulls at Carlisle, on Saturday, where the average improved on the year and highlighted the renewed confidence in the breed for producing store and finished cattle. 

From a top bid of 13,000gns, a further four bulls broke the five-figure barrier and a total of 25 sold for 5000gns and above. 

"As with all bull sales, buyers were choosy for easy-fleshed bulls with good figures to match," said the society's chairman, Chris Curry, of the Burradon herd near Morpeth. "No breed is selling the numbers it used to but people were willing to pay for what they wanted and there were plenty commercial buyers coming back to the breed too as the majority of bulls sold to commercial farms and up to 11,000gns. 

"There's been a real push to improve calving figures and breeders are taking notice and looking at them. They realise the Charolais is a lot easier calved than it used to be and there's a confidence coming back to the breed," he added. 

It was a particularly good day for Bill Bruce's Balmyle stable when it welcomed a top price of 13,000gns late on in the sale to back up earlier bids of 11,000gns and 5000gns, selling three bulls to average £10,150. Hitting the high note was a third prize junior bull in the shape of Balmyle Neptune, a 14-month-old son of the 28,000gns Brampton Nacodar, a former supreme champion at Perth Bull Sales whose semen is still in use in the 45-cow herd based near Meigle, Perthshire. Brought out by Balmyle's head stockman, Dane Ivison, Maddie Clarke, and Dane's wife Alice, Neptune is bred from the best female line in the herd, being out of Balmyle Imagine, a daughter of the 22,000gns Balthayock Diplomat which goes back to the Dingle Hofmeister-sired Balmyle Teasel. Forking out the cash to take him to a new home down south at Trenestrall Farm, Truro, Cornwall, was Will Palmer. 

The Scottish Farmer:

Balmyle Nugget made 11,000gns

There were different genetics behind Balmyle's 11,000gns bull when commercial producer, Mark Ross, of Ross Farms, paid that to take Balmyle Nugget back to Wester Middleton, Gorebridge, Mid Lothian. Showing all the credentials of being an easy calving sire, the slightly older Nugget is by the 31,000gns Carlisle supreme champion, Whitecliffe Highlight, while his dam is a heifer in the shape of Balmyle Juliet, herself by the 20,000gns Balmyle Magnate which boasts a calving ease of +23.6. 

The Scottish Farmer:

Elgin Marvel sold for 10,000gns

The first of three bulls to hit 10,000gms was a red ticket holding senior from Roy and son, Matthew Milne's 45-cow Elgin herd from Kennieshillock, Lhanbryde, Elgin. Their Elgin Marvel was born in October, 2016, out of Elgin Isobelle, herself by the reserve breed champion at the Highland Show in 2012, Edenhurst Cognac. Marvel equalled the best price to date for sons of the 14,000gns Westcarse Houdini bought here a few years back, and caught the eye of commercial producer, AJ MacGregor, at Relief Farm, Ecclefechan, Lockerbie. 

The Scottish Farmer:

Allanfauld Napoleon, the intermediate and reserve supreme, made 10,000gns

The reserve supreme champion from father and son team, Archie and John MacGregor, who run just 25 cows at Allanfauld, Kilsyth, was another to make 10,000gns when snapped up by DG McKenzie, Aberdeen. Their reserve champion from the Stars of the Future Show last November, Allanfauld Napoleon, was born in January, 2017, out of the herd's best cow, the Harestone Tyrol-sired Allanfauld Empress, while his sire is the renowned 30,000gns Dingle Hofmeister. 

The Scottish Farmer:

Mornity Nimbus realised 10,000gns

Another by the easy-calving Westcarse Houdini sire was in the money when Robert Young's Mornity Nimbus, from Jack Nicoll Farms, Todpark, Alyth, was the third and final bull to sell for 10,000gns. Snapped up by pedigree breeder, Charles McCombie, of the Auchencrieve herd near Knock, Huntly, Nimbus is bred from one of the best cows in the 20-strong herd, Mornity Dilly, a Balmuith Universe daughter. 

The Scottish Farmer:

At 9000gns was Caylers Merlin

Husband and wife duo, David and Louise Barker, of the Caylers herd near Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire, also celebrated a good day when they sold five bulls to average £5775. Dearest at 9000gns was Caylers Merlin, a result of the first time the duo have used the AI sire, Maerdy Fiend, which marked the third bull sold to J Nelson, Cogarth, Castle Douglas, in as many years. Merlin, a second prize bull, is a heifer's calf out of Caylers Juniper, herself by the 10,000gns Thrunton Goldeneye which has bred well in the 35-cow herd. 

The youngest of offer from the Caylers byre, Caylers Nelson, later sold to J Brown, Drumcoltran, Dumfries, for 6000gns. Nelson offers a different cross, being by the Irish-born Rosanna Jupiter and out of the Thrunton Dominator-bred Caylers Gytha. 

The Scottish Farmer:

Another at 9000gns was Tweeddale Nenuphar

Selling three bulls to average £6755, Jonathan Watson welcomed a top call of 9000gns for his second prize Tweeddale Nenuphar, an ET and dearest bred to date by Goldies Decider, the reserve junior champion at Stirling from a few years ago which joined the herd of 40 cows at Bowsden Moor, Berwick upon Tweed, for 14,000gns. His dam, the Tattenhall Impeccable-sired Lakenheath Ellen, is one of Jonathan's foundation cows and is a consistent breeder. He caught the eye of A Wallace and Co, at Claycrop, Kirkinner, Newton Stewart. 

Just a couple lots earlier and Tweeddale Manwell sold to the Glenkiln Farm Partnership, at Bettyknowes, Crocket, Dumfries, for 6500gns. He goes back to another foundation female and top brood cow, Lakenheath Eugenie, being out of the Blelack Digger-sired Tweeddale Icecream, while his sire is Balthayock Darcy. 

The Scottish Farmer:

The junior and supreme champion, Sportsmans Neptune, made 9000gns

The overall champion from Charlie Boden, Sportsmans Neptune, also hit 9000gns to recoup some of his sire's value, the former breed record-holding and Royal Welsh Show champion, the 70,000gns Barnsford Ferny. This stylish junior, born in January, 2017, out of the 45,000gns Maerdy Express-bred Sportsmans Heartbeat in the herd at Mellor Hall, Stockport, was another to sell down to Cornwall, this time with Roger and Rodney Gregory, Kerley Farm, Truro. 

The Scottish Farmer:

At 8500gns was the reserve junior, Silvermere Nolimit

It was a day to remember for Michelle Hanson when, on her debut selling bulls at Carlisle, she secured the reserve junior championship as well as 8500gns with the youngest to go under the hammer, Silvermere Nolimit. A vet nurse to trade, who also does freezebranding and AI services, Michelle runs just five cows at Bodilly Farm, Trenear, Helston, Cornwall, and saw her son of the AI sire, Anside Foreman, sell to Welsh breeder, MPB Ashton, Belan Dhu, Cefn Coch, Welshpool. Born in April, last year, he is out of the supreme champion at the National Charolais Show in 2013, Rumsden Gamble, a Coley Hamish daughter. 

With a steady trade throughout, two sold for 7500gns apiece with the first being the dearest of the bulls from across the water in the shape of Brogher Masterpiece from Trevor Phair's 18-cow herd at Killybracken Road, Bellanaleck, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. This 18-month-old son of Blelack Digger is out of the Lyonsdemesne Tzar-sired Brogher Fiona, a consistent breeder of fleshy cattle, and sold to H Garside and Son, of Highfield Farm, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield. 

Matching the 7500gns bid was the dearest from Alasdair Houston's Gretna Green-based Gretnahouse, brought out by John Morton. Selling in a two-way split to pedigree breeders, John Christie, of the Westcarse herd, and Iain Millar, of the Lochend herd, both near Stirling, was Gretnahouse Ming, a heifer's calf being out of the Digger daughter, Gretnahouse Iusilla. This senior bull is another by Wesley Equinox. 

Next best at 7000gns for Gretnahouse was Gretnahouse Major, this time by the 17,000gns Balthayock Gladiator that also bred the 25,000gns Gretnahouse Lord. He is out of the Equinox-sired Gretnahouse Hayesse, and sold to A Smellie, Posso Manor, Peebles. 

Another Equinox-sired Gretnahouse bull sold to JG Pears, Bella Vista, Penistone, Sheffield, for 5500gns. That was Gretnahouse Mosses, which is out of another heifer, Gretnahouse Jaisy, which is in turn by Baltahyock Gladiator. 

Ian and Dorothy Goldie also welcomed a steady trade for their 20-strong Solwayfirth herd at Greenfield, Cummertrees, Annan, with their dearest, Solwayfirth Mailman, selling to Terry and Sheena Coghill, a Muce, Birsay, Orkney. This reserve senior champion, a 23-month-old, is backed by home genetics being by the Balmyle Vendetta-sired Solwayfirth Hannibal, a former inter-breed champion at Dumfries Show, while his dam is the Dingle Hofmeister daughter, Solwayfirth Foxy. 

Later, the Goldies, who sold four to average £5381, received 6000gns from the Clints Farming Partnership, at The Neuk, Crookston, Heriot, for Solwayfirth Milo. Another first prize winner, he offers different home-bred genetics being by Solwayfirth Javelin, himself by Maerdy Restful, and out of Solwayfirth Jaylo, a Gower Drambuie daughter. 

Whitecliffe Neptune, another by the Whitecliffe Highlight bull, sold to RE and B Potter, North Ghyll, Farndale, Kirkby Moorside, for 5500gns. Consigned by Mark and Jane Hayhurst, of Great Carr Farm, Kirby Mispearton, North Yorkshire, he is out of the Mowbraypark Paramount daughter, Whitecliffe Beatrice. 

The Scottish Farmer:

The female champion, Crookdake Nightingale, sold for 4000gns

It was the female champion that topped the heifer entry when David and Sharon Miller's Crookdake Nightingale sold to DR and RL Bowen, White House, Molleston, Pembrokeshire, for 4000gns. This January, 2017-born entry from the Waverton, Wigton-based herd, is by the French-bred AI sire, Vald'or-Ra, while her dame is Crookdake Diamond, a daughter of the 25,000gns Goldies Unbeatable. 

Messrs Bowen paid a further 2900gns for the reserve female, Holtstead Misshalfpenny from Freddie, June and Emma Andrews, Holmfirth, Yorkshire. She boasts the best of breeding, being by Wesley Equinox and out of the Burradon Talisman daughter, Holtstead Halfpenny, which goes back to a former Great Yorkshire, Scottish and Welsh National champion, Holtstead Velvet. The January, 2016-born Misshalfpenny changed hands in calf to Blelack Digger. 

Also heading to White House with the Bowens was Goldies Melissa, a Balthayock Influence daughter from Hamish Goldie, South Bowerhouses, Dumfries. This yearling is out of the Goldies Unbeatable-sired Goldies Angelina. 

At 3000gns, Jonathan Watson saw hisn Tweeddale Missholly sell to Tom Story, Greenburn, Canonbie. The 16-month-old's pedigree includes Tweeddale Justthejob on to the Blelack Blackberet-bred Tweeddale Jemdeholly. 

Averages: 18 senior bulls, £4952.50; 22 intermediate bulls, £5316.82; 20 junior bulls, £5845.88; overall, 60 bulls, £5383.88 (+£225.75 for 12 fewer); three served heifers, £2572.50; 13 maiden heifers, £2245.38.


5000gns – J Wardlaw and Son's Haughhead Major, by Davally Illusion, to G McClanachan and Sons, Gairloch Farm, Torthorwald, Dumfries; Caylers Charolais' Caylers Magnate, by Rosanna Jupiter, to J and W Menzies, Burn, Thornhill, Dumfries; H Goldie's Goldies Nobleman, by Goldies Formidable, to JN and ME Tweddel, Grange Farm, Cornsay, County Durham; R and N Barclay's Harestone Nickel, by Inverlochy Ferdie, to J and W Menzies, Burn, Thornhill, Dumfries; WP Bruce's Balmyle Nobel, by Maerdy Egret, to T and T Coltman, Laggansarroch Farm, Pinmore, Girvan; P Stobart's Scalehouses Nathan, by Woodpark Bishop, to JB and E Peile, Lowlands, Greystoke Castle Farms, Penrith.