After a 28-year break, the Borders Federation of Young Farmers’ Calf Wintering Competition was back in business with a good show of calves attracting a number of buyers and spectators to Harrison and Hetherington’s St Boswells Auction Market.

“A lot of our members were keen to resurrect this competition when we have good grass routes young farmers in the area who are keen to get involved,” said federation chairwoman, Emily Douglas.

“We have got good entries and numbers forward this year, which hopefully we can build upon in years to come,” she said adding that this was the first such competition since club’s previous event in 1992.

A joint top price of £1240 was achieved, both for Charolais crosses. First was a 610kg, 16-month-old heifer from Grace Forster, Hermiston, who initially bought the calf at £950 weighing in at 475kg. At the sale the heifer was knocked down to B Sweenie, Inglewood, Berwickshire, producing a £290 margin.

Selling at the same money was the last calf in the ring, an 18-month-old bullock weighing in at 615kg. This came from Will Wardrop, Harden Mains, which resulted in a profit and weight gain of £205 and 150kg, respectively, when selling to J Thompson, Smallburn, Northumberland.

Pre-sale champion was another Charolais cross bullock, weighing in at 475kg at 11 months of age from Zoe Hall, Horsley Hill.

“The champion caught my eye from the start, it was a real smart calf, and the young farmer turned it out well,” said judge, Robert Neill, Upper Nisbet.

The steer, Charlie, was originally bought for £770 at 275kg from Messrs Morton, Kaeside, Melrose, and at the sale, saw the greatest weight gain – 200kg – of all calves forward. He later realised £1120, selling to D Megahy, Applecross, leaving a margin of £350.

Stewart Shaw, Smailholm Mains, turned out the reserve champion, a 590kg, 16-month-old Limousin cross heifer, that later realised £1210, again selling to D Megahy, Applecross. Previously purchased at £945, she gained 175kg over the winter and produced a £265 margin.

Highest margin gain was £530 for a 16-month-old, 495kg Limousin cross heifer, that was originally purchased for £600. The heifer, from Andrew Fleming, Crookhouse, sold for £1130 to WB Hamilton and Sons, Bee Edge.

LEADING awards

Bullocks – 450kg + – 1, Zoe Hall, Horsley Hill Champion; 2, W Wardrop, Harden Mains; 3, K Paxton, Hadden, Farm. 450kg or less – 1, A Dixon, Whitsome West Newton; 2, A Gaston, Ravelaw. Heifers – 450kg + – 1, S Shaw, Smailholm Mains; 2, L Shaw, Smailholm Mains. Open class – 1, E Runciman, Huntington; 2, A Fleming, Crookhouse; 3, A Runciman, Huntington.

Auctioneers: Harrison and Hetherington