PRICES matched last year’s high of £2800 and with further sales at £2600 and £2400, saw entries with show potential meet an improved trade at Caledonian Marts’ Premier show and sale of suckled calves at Stirling. 

This resulted in improved averages as the nine heifers met the best of the trade to level at 423.08p per kg compared to 363p for 12 in 2017, while 13 bullocks averaged 326.07p against 313p for 19. 

In a first for the sale, Brian Harper secured his second supreme championship in a row. However, hitting the high note and selling for the top price of £2800 was a Limousin heifer from father and son team, John and Craig Robertson, who are well known for producing top show calves from their 170-cow unit at Newton of Logierait, Pitlochry. Their leader was a nine-month-old by the privately purchased stock bull, Penthryn Jacob, out of a Limousin cross mother that is in turn out of one of the best breeders in the herd that has produced many show winners. On her first outing, this 400kg entry secured the reserve senior title and was knocked down to Dougie McBeath and Sarah Jane Jessop, Greenyards, Stirling. 

Close behind with a £2600 price tag was the senior champion, Harry, a bullock from the Lairds at Sunnyside and Carbello, Cumnock, brought out by husband and wife duo, Alan and Shona Stevenson. This 13-month-old, which also stood reserve Limousin and reserve supreme champion, was bought as a calf at foot from John McAlister, West Thomaston, along with his Limousin cross mother and is by the Easegillhead Exterminate bull that has bred exceptionally well. Harry, which tipped the scales at 510kg, had been shown all summer with top titles including champion at Muirkirk and reserve inter-breed at Colmonell. He was snapped up by the judge, Craig Malone, of Pitcairn, Cardenden. 

Shona and Alan also received £1800 for Thunder Flash, an eight-month-old Limmy cross bullock that was shown by their six-year-old son, Ramsay, during the summer to stand reserve at Muirkirk and junior champion at Dumfries. Selling to Andrew and Lisa Powdrill Dickinson, Derbyshire, he is among the first crop by the new stock sire Garyvaughan Longstain, and bred from a Blue cross Limousin cow. 

Brian Harper’s champion, the April-born Blue Magoo, which had secured the Limousin and spring-born championships before going on to stand supreme, was next in the trade stakes at £2400 when selling to Cameron Jackson, Woodyett, Lanark. In contrast to previous years when Brian’s show stock had been purchased as calves at foot from West Thomaston, the 290kg Blue Magoo was bred at home at Greenwells, Falkirk. He was however again by Easegillhead Exterminate and out of a Limousin cross mother. 

Another consignor with plenty to celebrate was Duncan Semple whose entries from Dippen, Carradale, sold to £1900 and £1600. Mr Semple also landed the award for best turned out stocksman and for the best entry from Kintyre and Knapdale. His topper was the reserve champion from Mid Argyll Show, a Limousin cross heifer by the AI sire, Emslies Galileo. Bred from the same Blue cross cow that produced the butchers’ champion at the 2013 Winter Fair, this 470kg yearling caught the eye of Paul McHarg, Crofthead, Ochiltree. 

At £1600 was Duncan’s Charolais champion, a similarly-aged heifer by his home-bred Carradale Felix. The dam here from the 80-cow herd is a Limousin cross, making this entry a full sister to a past reserve junior champion at LiveScot. Crossing the weighbridge at 405kg, this red ticket holder from Mid Argyll was purchased by RH Brunton, Crudie Acres, Arbroath. 

Matching a previous £1900 bid was the very last beast to sell, Tom Miller’s British Blue champion and reserve junior from Glenhead, California. This seven-month-old heifer which weighed 255kg, is by the cross-bred bull Huntershall Frankel, and out of a Limousin cross cow. She sold to Andrew Morton jnr, Lochend, Denny.

Also hitting £1600 was Tom Epps’ junior Charolais champion, a six-month-old heifer that stood reserve champion of champions at Islay Show for the 160-cow herd at Ardnave, Gruinart. Marking a successful return to the Cally after 10 years for Tom, this Fury Leader daughter, bred from a Blue cross Simmental cow, sold to Louise Allan, Arnsow, Maybole.