Growing demand for hardy, easy calving maternal breeds ensured a flying trade for Salers bulls at Stirling, where averages improved by a colossal £1400 on the year from a modest top price of 8000gns.

New breed secretary, Sian Sharp, who was taking over from Liz Wilde, said she was absolutely delighted with the trade.

“We’ve had a fantastic sale which is really positive for the breed when you think prices for prime cattle are so low,” she said.

“Farmers are looking for easier handled, easy calving cows that require reduced inputs and that is where the Salers scores every time,” she said.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, 16 bulls were cashed to average £4935, which is up £1406 on the year, for just two fewer sold and with a 73% clearance.

Sale leader at 8000gns was the intermediate and overall champion, Strathallan Navigator, from local breeder, Murray Lyle, Mid Cambushinnie, Dunblane.

Producing a personal best for this 20-cow herd which runs alongside similar sized units of pedigree Charolais and Aberdeen Angus, was a 22-month-old bull brought out by stockman Robbie McNeil. Navigator is backed by Seamore cattle bought privately from Peter Donger, on both sides, with the sire being Seamore Kawasaki onto the Whitebog Fantastic-sired Seamore Jenna. Reserve inter-breed junior bull champion at Perth Show, he sold to the judge, William Aitken, Carlopshill, Penicuik, who was most impressed by his choice of champion, especially for breeding females.

The senior and junior champions both sold for 7000gns. First was the senior best and reserve overall champion, Rigel Nirvana, a 23-month-old bull from Terence Pye’s 60-cow Rigel herd from Yarm, Leven. This big bull is by Rigel Byron, a former 10-year-old stock bull that has bred sons to 9000gns and out of Rigel Desire, a daughter of the French sire, Casimir. Father and son duo, Robert and Peter Mackie, forked out the cash for Nirvana, to breed home-bred replacement females from their 160-cow Shorthorn and Limousin cross commercial herd at Goodockhill, Newhouse, Motherwell.

Cumbrian Nadal, a polled bull from brothers Tom and Ian Walling, from Over Whitlaw, Selkirk, bagged the junior championship before matching the 7000gns bid. This June 2018-born entry is by Ideal, a French sire and former junior male champion at the Highland, and out of the Cumbrian Joker daughter, Cumbrian Hyacinth. Norman and David Douglas, were the last men in on this bull, buying for their eight-cow pedigree Catslackburn herd from Yarrow, and to cross over their 160 Salers and Angus cross commercial herd.

Pedigree and commercial breeder, Andrew Hamilton, Marr, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire went to 5800gns for retired Tiree vet, Patrick Boyd's, Drumaglea Natural. His April 2018-born bull is another by the top breeding French sire, Halley, and bred from the Sancy daughter, Drumaglea Yo-Yo.

The second prize winner to the champion and reserve intermediate champion, Cleuchhead Noah, from Rob and Kath Livesey, Nether Firth, Lilliesleaf, Melrose, made 5500gns, selling to G Brown and Son, Stoneypath, Stenton, Dunbar. He is by the Gulliver son, Cleuchhead Dick Dastardly and out of a home-bred cow by Drumaglea Brandon.

Aberdeenshire breeder, David Watson, Darnford, Banchory, also enjoyed a good day selling four bulls to average £4253, from a top price of 5000gns for the second prize junior champion, Darnford Nelson. He is by Fangio, a French sire that has bred sons to 7800gns, out of a home-bred Chapelpark Ali daughter and sold to the Scottish Government’s Bull Stud at Inverness.

Matching that 5000gns bid was Alister MacKenzie and son Alister’s Whitebog Nobleman, a 22-month-old by Seawell Jewel, out of a home-bred cow by Seawell Diplomat. He heads north to Orkney with Terry Coghill, Muce, Birsay.

LEADING awards

Seniors – 1 and reserve champion, R Pedigree's Rigel Nirvana, by Rigel Byron, 7000gns to R Mackie, Goodockhill, Newhouse, Motherwell; 2, G and M Pye's Rednock McQueen Poll, by Rigel Officer, 3000gns to Klondyke, Shancastle, Moniaive, Thornhill; 3, BJD Lyburn's Over Bow Nugent, by Seawell Lancelot, 4500gns N and D Austin, Boreland of Girthon, Gatehouse of Fleet, Castle Douglas ; 4, P Boyd's Drumaglea Norman, by Halley, 4200gns to J and A Dunlop, Ashfield, Maybole, Ayrshire; 5, BJD Lyburn's Over Bow Nigel, by Cumbrian Capermello, 2000gns to Klondyke, Shancastle, Moniaive.

Intermediate – 1 and overall champion, M Lyle's Strathallan Navigator, by Seamore Kawasaki, 8000gns to JM Aitken, Carlopshill, Penicuik, Midlothian; 2, R and K Livesey's Cleuchhead Noah, by Cleuchhead Dick Dastardly, 5500gns to G Brown, Stoneypath, Stenton, Dunbar; 3, P Boyd's Drumaglea Natural, by Halley, 5800gns to AV Hamilton, Marr Farm, Thornhill; 4, G and M Pye's Rednock Nile Poll, by Rigel Munro, unsold; 5, R and K Livesey's Cleughhead Nordic, by Cuil Godfather, 3500gns to RH Brunton, Crudie Acres, Arbroath, Angus.

Juniors – 1, Farmstock Genetics' Cumbrian Nadal Poll, by Ideal, 7000gns to WN Douglas, Catslackburn, Yarrow, Selkirk; 2, D Watson's Darnford Nelson, by Fangio, 5000gns to Scottish Government bull stud, Inverness; 3, D Watson's Darnford Nat, by Fangio, 3000gns to R McCarlie, Wester Hassockrigg, Harthill, Shotts; 4, D Watson's Darnford Napoleon, by Darnford Flashy, 4000gns to Genoch C/O JJM McIntosh, Genoch Mains, Stranraer ; 5, JC McIntyre's Corrichie Nero, by Ashbury Jackal, unsold.