A good show, coupled with growing demand for hardy, easy kept cattle ensured a cracking trade for pedigree Galloway cattle at the society’s spring sale at Castle Douglas, where averages improved in all sections.

Add to that breed’s suitability for future payments in environmental schemes, and bull prices peaked at 16,000gns and 11,000gns, while heifers sold to 7500gns.

“Galloway cattle are gaining in popularity for their hardiness and foraging ability in the hills and uplands,” said the judge, Brendan Douglas who owns the Castledore herd from Castlederg, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

“They mix well with sheep and we’re selling more and more into the south of Ireland,” he said adding that he had been most impressed with the quality of cattle on parade.

Breed secretary, Dot Goldie, also highlighted the growing demand for the breed: “Membership to the society is rising and especially in Ireland. Farmers are becoming more aware of how the Galloway can help reduce their carbon footprint as we’re seeing more hill farmers looking to reduce their costs of production with Galloways.

“We’ve also had arable farmers in the south of England buy into the breed to reduce their carbon footprint as the breed provides a natural fertiliser and adds organic matter to the soils.

“The other positive thing we’re seeing is more people who are conscious of their own carbon footprint looking to buy quality, naturally reared Galloway beef.”

Breeders marked their confidence in the breed too with a sale topping 16,000gns paid by Stewart and Katherine McIntosh, for Alan McClymont and sons Sam and Oli’s junior champion at the pre-sale show, Kirkstead Commander, from Kirkstead, Yarrow.

A full brother to the 10,000gns Kirkstead Yeoman, sold here last year, this 14-month-old bull is by Troloss Impeccable and bred from the Ronaldo of Fingland daughter, Kirkstead Nancy. He headed home to the McIntosh’s 100-cow Huntly herd from Borthwickshiels, Roberton, Hawick, which is being upsized to 120 cows.

Troloss Impeccable, a 9200gns bull by Blackcraig Rasputin, shared between the Kirkstead and Balgray herd of David and Rosemary Cornthwaite, was also behind the 11,000gns bull, Oryan of Balgray. Producing a personal best for this couple from Balgray Hill, Lockerbie, was an 18-month-old bull out of the privately purchased cow, Penninghame Urania, by Burns of Gall-Way. Oryan was purchased by Jimmy Wallace, Fingland, Dalry and near neighbours Messrs Wallace, Hannaston.

Joe Cockburn, former stockman at Troloss, who now owns a select number of females at his new base at Wester Forestseat, Pluscarden, Elgin, also came up with the goods for his first year selling cattle in his own right.

Mr Cockburn, who bought several Troloss females, first produced the male champion and reserve overall in Troloss Nelson, a 22-month-old which went on to sell for 7000gns to Tom Elliot, buying for the 25-cow pedigree herd from Jedburgh. He is by Blackcraig Dec, a former stockbull at Troloss that has bred two previous male champions here and sons to 22,000gns and 15,000gns, while the dam is Troloss Bonnie, a Kirkstead Lieutenant daughter.

Two bulls sold for 5000gns with the first being Andrew Waugh’s Avicii of Kilnstown, from Kilnstown Farms, Bewcastle, Carlisle. September 2018-born, Avicii is by last year’s Highland Show champion, Buccleuch Adonis and bred from the Rover of Kilnstown daughter Park End Stella. The buyer was WJ Henderson, Whitehill, Corrie.

Selling all the way down to Devon with Salers and Galloway breeder, John Heard, Hughslade, Okehampton, Devon, was John, Anne and Iain Finlay’s Blackcraig Astranaut. Reserve senior, this similarly aged bull is backed by show winning pedigrees on both sides with the sire, Blackcraig Xtreme being a son of Blackcraig Vagabond out of Blackcraig Noreen, while the dam, Blackcraig Bertha, is a daughter of Highland Monarch of Gall-Way.

The Finlays again enjoyed a flying trade amongst the females too, producing the sale leader at 7500gns, with their pen of five cashing in at £4200.

Tops here was Blackcraig Noreen, a September 2017-born grand-daughter of a former reserve champion at the Highland Show which the same year made up part of the winning inter-breed team. The sire is Blackcraig Xfactor, a bull of which a half share sold for £10,000 privately to Balgray. New breeder, June Mackenzie, buying for her Dava herd from Wester Auchnagallen, Grantown on Spey, was the final bidder of Noreen, which sold served to Blackcraig Yahoo.

Minutes later, Blackcraig Blondchen, which is bred from another show winning family, made 4000gns to Aberdeenshire breeder, Derek Cowie, Polston Farm, The Mill, Maryculter. This simililarly aged served heifer is by Blackcraig Superman, a son of the German sire, Schoenweider Xplosive, retained for breeding that sold to Ireland as a nine-year-old bull.

Mr Cowie also went to 3200gns for Blackcraig Bertha, another served heifer by Superman and bred from a show winning family.

And, at 3500gns the Finlays sold their fourth served heifer to Stuart Brown, 18 Woodmarsh, North Bradley. Blackcraig Noreen is by Blackcraig Vagabond and bred from a previous home-bred Noreen.

Kirkstead was back in the money amongst the females, taking 4200gns for the section champion, Kirkstead Rhapsody, another by Troloss Impeccable, out of the Blackcraig Lucrative daughter, Penninghame Rhapsody, bought at the herd dispersal. She sold served to Kirkstead Vindicator ¬ a bull of which a half share has been sold privately for £10,000 to Fingland - to young Robbie McCornick, Barquhill, Wigtown, Newton Stewart.

The previous Kirkstead heifer, again by Impeccable and served to Vindicator, made 3000gns again to Stuart Brown. Kirkstead sold five heifers to average £2751.

Mr Brown also went to 3800gns for Jimmy Wallace’s red ticket holder, Lady Polka 11 of Fingland, a May 2018-born daughter of Kirkstead Vindicator out of the Orinocho of Over Barskeoch daughter, Lady Polka 4 of Fingland.

Fingland, which was selling heifers for the first time for several years, sold four at £2310.

The reserve female, Joe Cockburn’s Dram 3 of Troloss, a March 2018-born daughter of Troloss Ring Pull, a Blackcraig Dec son sold privately to Barquil, made 3200gns to Dessie Henry, Northern Ireland. She is bred from a previous home-bred Kirkstead Lieutenant daughter.


Heifers – 2600gns – RJ McTurk’s Barlaes Nancy 173, by Blackcraig Xfactor, to HH Kraft, Am Lohe 6, Ottrau, Germany.

2400gns – RJ McTurk’s Barlaes Katie 87, by Watchman of Kilnstown, to J and S Wareham, Little Tottingham, Broadoak, East Sussex.

2300gns – Messrs Wallace’s Pepsi Bell of Over Barskeoch, by Penninghame Windfall, to J McEvoy, Tully Frame Road, Kilkeel, Co Down.

2200gns – Messrs Wallace’s Upperclass 14 of Fingland, by Kirkstead Vindicator, to HH Kraft; RA McClymont and Son’s Kirkstead Moss Rose B3, by Troloss Impeccable, to SK and S Brown.

Averages: 19 bulls, £4117.11 (+£942.11 for two less); 34 bulling heifers, £2186.00 (+£649.00 for 17 more); nine served heifers, £2321.67 (+£245.67 for 16 fewer).

Auctioneers: Wallets Marts.