Strong demand for British Blue bulls ensured a buoyant day's trading at the breed's Border Club show and sale at Carlisle, where averages improved by more than £1000 on the year and, for more sold.

Add to that a top price of 20,000gns, a further six bulls selling at 10,000gns or more and an 85% clearance, and breeders had plenty to smile about.

Leading the trade was Graham Morgan's Almeley Lightning ET, the second bull in the catalogue all the way from Tillington, Herefordshire. Bred from a Rosemount Faith flush and sired by Drybarrows Cawdale, this August 2016-born bull is a full brother to the 10,000gns Almeley Kendrick sold here last year and a half brother to the Royal Welsh Show champion and stockbull, Pinnacle Hero. Lightning stood first in his class at the pre-sale show before selling to Oak Grange Estate, Ireland.

Pinnacle Hero was behind Mr Morgan's second top priced bull at 9000gns, when Almeley Marhez was purchased by Border Club breeder Dean Saunders, Tarn Flatt, Ulverston, to join his Maidenlands herd. Marhez is out of another Drybarrows Cawdale daughter in the shape of Almeley Izzy.

The Dragon Blues herd of Geraint and Kim Williams from Tynllyn, Lampeter, Wales, enjoyed a cracking trade with bull sales at 16,000gns and 15,000gns.

Their sale leader was the junior male champion at the pre-sale show, Dragon Blues Mike, a June 2017-born son of Phenomene de Martinpre. He is out of Dragon Blues Hazel, a Dragon Blues Darky daughter and was knocked down to DJ Lloyd and Co, Cefnbarrach, Trefeglwys, Caerslis.

Making 15,000gns was their senior male and overall champion, Dragon Blues Mark ET, a two-year-old black bull bred from the Cromwell Fendt-sired cow, Dragon Blues Kelly which is a sister to the 11,800gns Dragon Blues King sold here in 2017. Aberdeenshire commercial show calf producer, Lloyd Fowlie, Guise, Alford, was the final bidder.

Two bulls came under the hammer for 12,000gns including the red ticket holder, Springhill Mighty Mate, an August 2017-born son of Ballygrange Dudley from Northern Ireland breeders, James and Sam Martin, Ashvale Farm, Newtownards. Pedigree breeders, Adam and Jess Neachell, buying for their Cromwell herd from Shrubbery Farm, Walsall, forked out the cash for this black and white bull bred from the Springhill Blackstar-sired Springhill Fizz.

In an all Scottish transaction, Solway View Monty ET, a November 2017-born entry from Kevin Watret, Maulscastle, Annan, sold to David McKerrow and sons David and James, Nochnary, Cupar. Their purchase, a mainly black bull, is from a Solway View Katie flush and sired by Tweeddale Ironman.

Shrewsbury breeders, JA Wood and Sons, Kinnerton Hall, bought two of the top priced bulls, going to 11,000gns twice for second prize winners. First up was Richard Mowbray's Droit Max ET, a 20-month-old blue and white entry from Droit Road, Newtownstewart, Northern Ireland. Full brother to the 5000gns Droit Julie sold here in May 2016, Max is bred from the Bringlee Blackstar daughter, Droit Enid, a former female champion at the October 2011 sale, and sired by Mountjoy Utopia.

Another from across the Irish Sea, Knockchree Max, a similarly aged black bull by Blackford Big Ben made the same money for SH Gordon, Ballymageough Road, Kilkeel. He is out of Knockchree Hetty, a Springbank Eddie daughter.

And at 9000gns, Harrogate breeder, Stewart Gill, Hallfield House, Dacre, sold Hallfield Mojo, a 25-month-old son of Drift Domino, out of Hallfield Grace, to M Read, Brook House, Hemingby.

Dumfriesshire breeder, Kevin Watret was back in the money amongst the females, selling three of the top four highest priced lots at 8000gns, 6000gns and 5000gns. His best, Solway View Nancy ET, brought out by stockman Ali Jackson, is a 13-month-old light blue roan heifer from a flush from the Solway View Firecracker daughter, Solway View Kesha and sired by Attribut Du Fond De Bois. She stood second in her class at the pre-sale show and sold down to Somerset with J and YJ Hopkins, Splotts Farm, Highbridge.

Another from the same flush, Solway View Nesha ET, made 6000gns. Female champion at the pre-sale show, this 11-month-old heifer joins the Drift herd of AS Phillips and Sons, Shooting Lodge, Reading, Berks.

And, at 5000gns, Northern Ireland breeder, Brendan O'Hare, Newry, Co Down, bought the Empire D'Ochain daughter, Solway View Moonlight ET, an 18-month-old heifer bred from the triple crown winner, Solway View Elegance. She is a sister to the 10,000gns Solway View Haribo.

Top priced cow and calf outfit at 5100gns was Ben Haigh's Stowbeck Judith which sold with heifer calf, Luce Water Nicole, by Tweeddale Ironman, from the Luce Water herd from Breckenhill, Low Gate, Hexham. Bred by Skirwith Hall Farms, Judith is a five-year-old cow by Drift Domino out of Stowbeck Freda and sold with November-born calf to Norbreck Genetics.


Bulls – 8500gns – GL and KS Morgan's Almeley McLaren, by Pinnacle Hero, to Messrs Dent and Sons, Lartington, Barnard Castle, County Durham; K Watret's Solway View Moonboots ET, by Solway View Firecracker, to J Carruthers, Silloans, Rochester.

7500gns – GL and KS Morgan's Almeley Michelin Man ET, by Drybarrows Cawdale, to Messrs Rees and Son, Brecon, Powys.

6000gns – AM and E Hartley's Pendle Minstrel, by Jalon De Martinpre, to Messrs McCallum, Tarbert, Argyll; G Jackson's Woodend Menhance ET, by Attribut Du Fond De Bois, to Messrs Thorp, Baslow, Bakewell.

Females – 4000gns – JE Bellas and Son's Croftends Meg, by Croftends Iceman, to Messrs Geary, Hanslope, Milton Keynes.

Averages: Bulls – 26 senior, £5682.11; 26 junior, £6195.00. Overall, 52 bulls, £5938.56 (+£1029.61 for eight more). Females – 27 served or maiden heifers, £2854.44; three ET calves, £3080.00.

Auctioneers: Harrison and Hetherington.