Despite averages back £1200 on the year, the Charolais breed still produced the lead price of 23,000gns and top average at £5735 backed up by the highest clearance at 69%.

The number of bulls cashed was also down on the year at 63 compared to 80 at the same sale in 2018, as uncertainty continues to plague the industry.

The breed’s chief executive, Peter Phythian was nevertheless far from despondent adding: “I was delighted with the sale and never doubted the breed – the average was consistent throughout with a good sound trade for all bulls.

“Considering the challenging times in the beef industry, it was a reasonably good sale which was mainly driven by commercial men looking to breed Charolais cross calves that finish quicker than any other breed or cross. These are the type of cattle that are needed for the current market,” concluded Peter.

Leading the breed’s trade at 23,000gns was the 14-month-old, Goldies Oasis, from Hamish Goldie, South Bowerhouses, Ruthwell, Dumfries, which went home with Aberdeenshire breeders, Neil and Stuart Barclay, Harestone, Insch.

First prize in the junior class at the pre-sale show Oasis is a son of the 15,000gns easy-calving sire, Gretnahouse Heman.

The dam, Goldies Icequeen a ‘good breeding’ cow, is by Goldies Formidable, a bull that has bred sons to 26,000gns and 23,000gns.

Another from the same home saw the hammer fall at 7200gns for Goldies Oliver purchased by Terry Coghill, Muce, Birsay, Orkney. The June 2018-born bull is a direct son of Formidable, out of Goldies Joslyn.

The overall male champion, Balthayock Octavian, from Major David Walter, Balthayock, Perth, left the ring at a £12,000 bid selling to Colin Wight, Carwood, Biggar.

This 17-month-old bull was brought out by Tracey and Davie Nicoll, is a son of Balthayock Ferdinand – the herd’s most successful sire to date having bred three Stirling bull champions, as well as sons to 50,000gns and 46,000gns. The dam is Balthayock Emily.

No stranger to the show circuit, Octavian was reserve male champion at Alyth and champions of champions at Perth.

The Balthayock herd also sold at 6800gns to G and J Davie, Harviesmailing, Denny, Stirling. Balthayock Optimist is a May 2018-born bull again by Ferdinand and out of Balthayock India.

Major Walter also sold two at 6500gns with the first selling all the way up to Caithness with MG Shearer, Lythmore, Bridge of Westfield, Thurso.

This was Balthayock Northwind, a second prize winner at the pre-sale show and a son of Balthayock Impression, which is the first choice of sire for the heifers in the herd.

Northwind is the first bull calf out of Balthayock Hannah, which goes back to Balthayock Emerald – the dam of the 50,000gns bull.

Matching the 6500gns wals was Balthayock Oberon, which grabbed a fourth prize ticket and went home to Maesquory Farms, Harray, Orkney. The 16-month-old is the first son sold by Gretnahouse Lunar and out of the heifer, Balthayock Jeanette.

The reserve overall champion, Coolnaslee Oreo, from Northern Ireland breeder, Jonathan Crawford, Tamneymartin, Maghera, Londonderry, realised 12,000gns selling to John and Raymond Irvine, Inverlochy, Tomintoul, Ballindalloch. Their 17-month-old purchase, brought out by stock-man, Stuart Wilson, is the result of the in-calf purchase Balbithian Gilly, bought at the herd dispersal two years ago when she sold due to Mortimers Hurricane. Gilly is a maternal sister to the 26,000gns Balbithian Valpasian.

Top price for Bill Bruce’s Perthshire based Balmyle herd from Meigle was 9500gns paid for Balmyle Oscar, brought out by stockman Dane Ivison. He sold to Arbroath breeders, JM Cant and partners, Easter Knox, Arbirlot who get for their money the first son sold off the 16,000gns, Ovill Lennon. Intermediate champion at the pre-sale show, Oscar is out of one of the best heifers in the herd in Balmyle Heather.

Adding to the herd success, Mr Bruce sold Balmyle Outlaw for 6500gns to John Anderson, Cloy, Fortrose, Ross-shire. The May 2018-born entry is again by Lennon, and out of the heifer Balmyle Larkspur, which is a daughter of Balmyle Duchess, one of the oldest and best breeding cows in the herd.

Best from Gretnahouse herd of Alasdair Houston, Gretna Green, was Gretnahouse Orangutan which sold for 9000gns to E Scott, Linross, Glamis, Forfar. The March 18-born bull brought out by stockman John Morton, stood second in his class, and is by Westcarse Jimmy, a bull that bred sons to 11,000gns. He is bred from the main breeding line in the herd, being out of Gretnahouse Faradise which goes back to Balmyle Paradise.

Another second prize winner sold for 9000gns this time for Andrew Stott, Longrow Cottage, Canonbie, when chapped down to Mark Ross, Wester Middleton, Gorebridge, Midlothian. The 17-month-old bull, Tophill Olly, is a son of Sandelford Harrison and out of Edenhurst Georgette, which was purchased at the Edenhurst dispersal for 17,800gns. Olly won breed champion at Cumberland Show and stood first at the Royal Highland in June.

Midshield Oslo from Jack and Elma Wight, Townfoot, Symington, Biggar, sold for 8000gns to Welsh breeders Williams Partners, Pant Y Cornant, Glynogwr, Blackmill, Bridgend. This April 2018-born entry is bred from a top breeding line, being a son of Elrick Highlander – a bull purchased from Mike Massie for 17,000gns six years ago, that has been at numerous shows over the years. The dam is the show cow, Midshield Gwen.

This year’s Royal Highland male champion, Wissington Olaf, from Jenny Rix, Wissington Grove, Nayland, Essex, also sold for 8000gns selling to Kenneth Sutherland and sons Stephen and Kenneth, Sibmister and Stainland Farms, Thurso. Male champion at the Great Yorkshire and junior inter-breed at the Royal Welsh, this January 2018- born bull also picked up a red ticket at the pre-sale show. A son of Edenhurst Leader – a former champion winner here in February 2017 purchased for 11,000gns, he and out of Wissington Imogen.

After their big purchase, the Barclays from Harestone, sold their senior champion for 7500gns to Easter Tulloch, Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire. The 19-month-old bull brought out by Robert Marshall, is by the AI sire Balthayock Adonis, which has high performance figures. He is bred from Harestone Foxglove, a cow that goes back to Hollymount Bigboy, which has been a great breeding line for the firm.

A total of five bulls sold for 6500gns with the first being Elrick Obama from Michael Massie, Mains of Elrick, Auchnagatt, Ellon, purchased by Roy and Andrew McNee, Woodend, Armadale, West Lothian. The April 2018-born bull which is the first son sold by Maerdy Gouverneur, goes back to the well known Thrunton Fearless. Second in his class at the pre-sale show, he is out of the second calver, Elrick Louis.

Jonathan and Jayne Watson, who run the Tweeddale herd at Bowsden Moor, Berwick upon Tweed, had a strong trade selling six bulls to a top of 6500gns for Tweedale Owesome.

Forking out the cash for this 16-month-old blue ticket holder was Lanarkshire producer Andrew Provan, Parkhall, Douglas. Bred from the best breeding family at Bowsden Moor, Owesome is sired by Blelack Blackberet, which has had a huge impact on the herd and out of Tweeddale Icemaiden.

Just behind on 6200gns was Burradon Olympican from Chris Curry, Low Burradon, Northumberland, purchased by S Shell and Sons, Brandon, Powburn, Northumberland. Olympican took a third prize ticket and is the first son of Clenagh Lyle, which was bought in Ireland for €13,000 after being unbeaten in his class across the water. He is out of Burradon Fern.

The sole entry cashed amongst the females from JHC Campbell and Sons, Thrunton, Alnwick, sold for £2800 to H and H Heron, Sunnyside, Louehries, Newtonward, Northern Ireland. This was the two-year-old, Thrunton Nefertiti, a daughter of Maerdy Jerusalem.

The dispersal of Charolais females from the Russells, Lesliepark, Denny, saw trade peak at 4000gns, for Ballathie Iwasstuck and her heifer calf, Lesliepark Peggy.

This outfit went home with Jemma and Sandy Forrest, Hillend, Roberton, Biggar, who get for their money a six-year-old cow by Balthayock Empire, out of Moyness Bianca. Included in this transaction was her second January born calf.

Just behind at 3500gns was another mother and daughter outfit that was knocked down to Stephen Allardyce, East town, Tarland, Aberdeenshire.

Selling at this price was the five-year-old cow, Lesliepark Jasmine sired by Blelack Digger and out of Caithness Goldy.

Her female calf, Lesliepark Primrose was January born and a daughter of Thrunton Lachlan.