A MIX of UK, Irish and German buyers ensured a steady trade throughout for the Galloway Cattle Society’s annual spring show and sale at Castle Douglas, where trade peaked at 15,000gns for the best of the bulls.

“There were a lot of good quality heifers on offer, and although averages might have been mixed, a steady trade remained,” commented Wallets Marts managing director Robin Anderson.

“Vendors were well rewarded for quality stock. The bottom end of the bulls struggled slightly but those with a bit more style about them got away well.”

Kicking off a stellar day's trading for Troloss Farms at Elvanfoot was the sale leader at 15,000gns.

Their sale leader was the May-2017-born bull, Troloss Matrix, brought out by Troloss farm manager Joe Cockburn and free-lance stockman Dennis Gall, who were producing a personal best for the herd.

This success followed a good morning’s showing too where judge Willie McLean, Inverglen, Barcaldine had picked Matrix as his male and eventual overall show champion.

His sire is Blackcraig Dec, a bull bought from the Finlays of Blackcraig by Troloss at Castle Douglas for 3000gns in 2014 and that has gone on to win the Royal Highland Show. Notably, his progeny have grossed in excess of £115,000 for the Elvanfoot-based set-up.

His dam is the home-bred cow, Troloss Gypsy, which bore the 2016 Highland Show female champion, Troloss Jackie.

Matrix found a new home with Richard and Alison Maxwell from Howside at Ennedale, Cleator. Their herd, established back in 2006, has 30 Galloways ready to go to the bull.

"He's a tremendous bull and one I just couldn't go by," said Richard who was buying his first bull at Castle Douglas.”

Troloss sold five bulls to average an impressive £5187 with Troloss Maverick coming next in line, selling to Clive Groves of Higher Farm, Sutton Mallet, Bridgewater for 3200gns.

By Hallmark of Upper Buckna, this rising two-year-old is out of previous Highland Show female champion, Troloss Jackie.

Kathleen 1 of Troloss topped the day’s heifer trading for the team from Troloss at 2350gns. This two-year-old is a Dec daughter out Kathleen of Ardoch. She sold to John McEvoy of Kilkeel, Co. Down, scanned in calf to Yoker of Romesbeoch.

Father and son team Duncan and David Maxwell also enjoyed a successful day, selling their bull Ben Lomond Blackthorn for 8000gns.

Bred from the Maxwell's herd of 40 Galloways from Drymen, Blackthorn superceded their 2018 trade, when they sold Ben Lomond Avatar at 6500gns.

Blackthorn is by Carslae Eddie, out of Ben Lomond Peaches, and was knocked down to David Cornthwaite buying for his herd at Balgray Hill, Lockerbie.

At 4000gns was Zonda of Kilnstown from Andrew Waugh, Kilnstown, Bewcastle. By Kirkstead Taurus – the male champion here in 2013 – this bull is out of the home-bred Bridget 14 of Kilnstown. September-2017-born, he headed home with Duncan and David Maxwell, Blairvockie, Drymen.

The first bull from John and Ann Finlay and son Iain, of Blackcraig, Corsock was knocked down for 3000gns. August-2017-born, Blackcraig Zodiac is by Blackcraig Vindicator and out of Blondchen 3 of Auchenhay. He found a new home with Scott McKinnon for Klondyke Farms, Shancastle, Moniave.

Zodiac kicked off a good day for the Finlays as they went on to enjoy a strong trade for their female consignment.

Topping their trade was the female champion and reserve overall winner, Blackcraig Noreen Y694, which made 4500gns.

This two-year-old is by Blackcraig Vindicator daughter – a former reserve overall champion at the Stewartry show – out of what is described as one of the best breeding cows in the herd, Blackcraig Noreen R334.

She travels to Aberdeenshire with relatively new breeders, Derek and Kate Cowie, who are building up their herd based at Polston Farm, Invercrynoch, Maryculter.

The Cowie’s bought another two of the four top priced heifers, again from Blackcraig.

At 2800gns was Blackcraig Bertha Y733. October-2016-born, a fully home-bred Blackcraig Vagrant daughter, out of Blackcraig Bertha S393.

And, at 2500gns, they bought Blackcraig Noreen Y705 which stood second in her class to the eventual reserve overall. By Blackcraig Vagabond, a bull imported as an embryo from Canada, she is out of Noreen V520.

All three Blackcraig heifers sold having run with the German bull, Ufus Vom Bechtelsberg.

Leading the bulling heifer trade at 3000gns was Barlaes Nancy 168 from Robert McTurk, Dalry. Knocked down to Joe Cockburn for Troloss Farms, this March-2017-born home-bred beast is by Barlaes Magic and out of Barlaes Nancy 150.

The team from Barquil – Michael McCornick and sons William, Mark and Robbie, Port William, saw their two-year-old heifer, Barquil Brownie sell for 2000gns.

This home-bred Barquill Dominator daughter sold to Hunter Smith, Wylie Syke, Gilsland, Brampton, having run with the bull, Hiawatha of Upper Buckna.

Averages: 21 bulls, £3175 (-£663 for three more); 25 in-calf heifers, £2076 (+£170); 17 bulling heifers, £1537 (-£309 for 10 fewer).

Auctioneers: Wallets Marts