The last of the breed sales ended on a high note at Stirling with the Charolais not only producing the lead average for the largest number of bulls sold, but also the highest clearance rate at 85%.

While the day was bereft of any bumper pedigree sales, such was the demand for good commercial bulls that no fewer than seven lots sold at five-figure prices, which coupled with a further four at 9500gns produced an average of £6171 for 121.

"Charolais remains king," said a delighted Peter Phythian, chief executive of the Charolais Cattle Society.

"It is great to see so much confidence in the breed from commercial producers when there is so much uncertainty surrounding the industry, but then it's Charolais cattle that are outselling other breeds in both the store and the prime markets.

"Producers are looking to breed fast growing cattle and that's where the Charolais scores time and time again," said Mr Phythian who added that the sale attracted several new commercial producers and new breeders looking to establish herds.

And, with Charolais cross cattle attracting premium prices, a packed ringside from start to finish saw no fewer than 23 bulls sell at or above the 8000gns bracket with a top price of just 13,000gns paid for the best from Ian Campbell and sons Bruce and Andrew's Thrunton herd from Alnwick.

Their sale leader, Thrunton Nugget, a May 2017-born entry is by Thrunton Gladiator – an easy calving sire retained for breeding by Balmyle Dickler that has already bred sons to 11,000gns. Bred from the same family as Thrunton Equity which made 14,000gns to Archie John McLean, Heylipol, Tiree, this big boy is out of Thrunton Hoopla, by the home-bred Doubletop. Kevin Thomas buying for his Moelfre herd from Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthern, Wales, was the final bidder.

Having been the second last bidder on the previous lot, Archie John McLean bought the next best from Thrunton at 10,000gns for the family's 130-cow suckler herd on the Isle of Tiree. Thrunton Nike, a 16-month-old by the same sire, is bred from the Newhouse Bigal daughter, Thrunton Exquisite, one of 75 pedigree Charolais females which run alongside a further 25 pure Aberdeen Angus. Fourth in his class at the pre-sale show, he was brought out with assistance from Bruce's wife, Gayle.

Adding to the Thrunton celebrations, the family's first prize junior bull, Thrunton Nighthawk, made 8500gns to JW Hogg, Longyester, Gifford, East Lothian. Sired by the 28,000gns Maerdy Jerusalem, a stock bull shared with the Tweeddale herd, he is bred from the same family as Thrunton Socrates and Thrunton Camelot both of which made 25,000gns, being out of Thrunton Gitane, a daughter of the top breeding Moncur General that was bought for 20,000gns.

The senior champion, Inverlochy Nelson from Johnny and Raymond Irvine's herd all the way from Tomintoul, sold next at 12,000gns, to John Wight and Sons, Midlock, Crawford, Abington. He is backed by the Southern Irish-bred sire, Kilbline 1 Instigator a bull that has won numerous shows for the family to include the National at Turriff and the Highland Show, and more importantly bred sons to 8000gns. The dam, Inverlochy Gypsum, also boasts some top genetics being by the 4000gns Lochend Apache, which produced several five-figure sales for the herd.

Three bulls came under the hammer for 11,000gns including Alistair Houston's Gretnahouse Neverland, from Gretna Green, brought out by stockman John Morton. A red ticket holder, this June 2017-born entry is one of the first sold by Westcarse Jimmy, an easy calving son of Mortimers Echo bought for a bargain price here as a junior. The dam, Gretnahouse Daisy, is a daughter of Gretnahouse Ultimate, a bull that has bred two bulls at 9000gns to include a former champion. Neverland goes out to work at Netherton, Whitehouse, Aberdeenshire, having been purchased by T Smith and Sons.

Another by the same sire and from the same stable made 8500gns selling to H MacDonald, Mains of Dalvey, Advie, Morayshire. This was Gretnahouse Nylon, a third prize winner out of the Woodpark Bishop daughter, Stobarts Fabulous.

Matching the 11,000gns bid was Harestone Nighthawk, an intermediate red ticket holder from North-east duo, Neil and Stuart Barclay, Insch, brought out by stockman Robert Marshall. A son of the 11,000gns Balymyle Addition, he is bred from the best breeding female in the 80-cow Charolais herd which runs alongside several other pedigree breeds. His dam is Harestone Brigitte, a former Highland Show champion that bred the first prize heifer and member of the inter-breed team at the Highland last year, while Brigitte's sire, Harestone Ronsard, a French-bred bull is also a former Highland Show champion. Nighthawk sold to fellow Aberdeenshire breeder, Jock Wilson, buying for his Kinclune herd from Glenkindie.

Hamish Goldie's Dumfriesshire-based Goldies herd enjoyed a cracking day with sales at 11,000gns and 9500gns twice. Dearest was Goldies Navigation, an October 2017-born first prize winner by Gretnahouse Heman, a bull bought for 15,000gns that has bred numerous high priced commercial bulls to a top of 10,000gns twice. His dam, Goldies Hazel, a daughter of the 12,000gns Goldies Elation, is also a consistent breeder having bred sons to 8000gns and 7800gns. The buyers were Gordon and Donald Mackie, Drimmie, Rescobie, Forfar.

Another by Heman, Goldies Nugget, made 9500gns selling to up to Aberdeenshire with A and J Wilson, Mains of Tillymorgan, Culsalmond, Insch. Equally well bred, the dam of this first prize senior bull, Goldies Gilly, is by Blelack Blackberet, whose daughters have produced sons to 26,000gns.

Blackberet was also behind the dam of Mr Goldie's second 9500gns bull when Goldies Noelle, was knocked down to Adrian Ivory, Strathisla Farms, Blairgowrie. This 15-month-old is by the Dingle Hofmeister son, Goldies Formidable, which is another that has bred top priced bulls up to 26,000gns and 23,000gns.

Blelack Blackberet was also the sire of the final five-figure priced bull when Killadeas Noah from David and Stuart Bothwell, Ballinamallard, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, made 10,500gns selling to James Warnock and Sons, for their pedigree and commercial unit at Dreva, Broughton, Biggar. September 2017-born, this second prize winner is equally well bred on the mother's side as the dam, Killadeas Hazeline, is a full sister to the 9500gns Killadeas Garfield, being sired by the 16,000gns Blackford Dynamite.

Fellow Irish breeder, Will Short, who owns the 50-cow Woodpark herd from Omagh, Co Tyrone, was another in the money, selling Woodpark Neptune, a 20-month-old bull for 9500gns. This boy boasts some new genetics with the sire, Deeside Gulliver, a son of the French bull, Esperanto, having been purchased privately in Southern Ireland and one which has since bred sons to 16,000gns. The dam, Woodpark Izzy by Corrie Alan, is also full sister to Woodpark Elgin, an 11,000gns bull that sold to Archie and John MacGregor, Allanfauld. Unplaced at the pre-sale show, Neptune headed up to Inverness-shire with D Munro, Pitmain, Kingussie.

Major David Walter, who is celebrating 50 years breeding Charolais this year, had a great day, selling no fewer than 17 bulls from his Balthayock herd from Perth, to average £6551. Tops here for this 100-cow herd managed by Tracey and Davie Nicol, was 9500gns paid twice. This included the intermediate champion, Balthayock Nanook, a June 2017-born son of the show bull, Balthayock Imp, a former Highland Show champion and reserve inter-breed winner at Ingliston that has bred sons to 19,000gns and 14,000gns. Dundee producer, WJ Millar, Hunting Faulds, Tealing, was the last man in on this entry bred from the Barbican Lancer daughter, Balthayock Gemma.

Earlier, Balthayock Nominee, made the same money when chapped down to Yorkshire producer CD Timm, Westend, Appleton, Roebuck. Similarly aged, this second prize winner is by Balthayock Impression, a bull retained for breeding and one of the highest rated in the national herd with sons having sold to £15,000 privately. Also well bred on the mother's side, his dam, Balthayock Japonica, is out of the top breeding female, Balthayock Glory, which is the mother of the herd's new stock sire, Balthayock Loyalist.

The team also sold two bulls at 8500gns to include Balthayock Newton, a second prize senior winner and another by Imp. He is out of one of the most consistent breeders in the herd, Balthayock Heloise, a Swalesmoor Cracker daughter and sold to Wester Coul Farm, Lintrathen, Kirriemuir.

There were more show winning genetics behind the Major's second 8500gns bull when Balthayock Nuffield, a June 2017-born entry, was knocked down to AD Cameron, Shanry, Rait, Perthshire. He is by Maerdy Grenadier, the male and inter-breed champion at the Highland in 2012, while the dam, Balthayock Heroine, another by Cracker, bred a first prize heifer at last year's Highland Show.

Auctioneers: United Auctions.