Despite the difficulties surrounding pedigree bull sales amid the coronavirus lockdown, Harrison and Hetherington is continuing with its May sales through a live online auction platform.

The sales, which will be staged under National Beef Association rules and assurance over three weeks, include events for the Limousin, Blonde, Aberdeen-Angus, British Blue, Simmental, Shorthorn, Beef Shorthorn, Belted Galloways, Lincoln Red, Hereford and Salers breeds.

All sales will be in pounds sterling, with delivery agreed between the buyer and seller.

Catalogues are already published for the first sale, on Friday, May 1, (yesterday) for the Limousin breed. All sales will have a six-day online preview followed by just over four days of trading via the H and H online portal

With an entry of 120 bulls and 40 females, viewing for the Limousin sale commenced on Monday, April 27, and bidding started on Friday, May 1 at 9.00am.

The second pedigree sale on Friday, May 8, includes entries for the Charolais, Blondes, Beef Shorthorn and Aberdeen-Angus. This will include 90 Charolais bulls and four females; 19 Blonde bulls and one female and 80 Aberdeen-Angus bulls and four females. The Beef Shorthorn sale the same day is represented by 10 bulls and four females. Again, this event will commence at 9.00am.

Finally, the sale of 50 bulls and 15 females, most of which are British Blues along with more select numbers of Belted Galloways, Lincoln Red, Hereford and Salers, will start at the same time on Friday, May 15.

In delivering such a sale, H and H believe they have created a transparent bidding process as near to the live auction process as possible, albeit without the animals.

Heather Pritchard, pedigree sales and marketing manager at Harrison and Hetherington, said: “Of course it would be preferable to have hundreds of bulls coming through a ring, with the place brimming with hundreds of customers, but this format is the best alternative under the current circumstances.

“Without exception, the breed societies we have spoken to are all very positive and pleased that we have forged ahead and offered an alternative at this such unprecedented time.”

“We believe we have provided a high-quality platform which stays true to our business principle of creating genuine competition.

“This was demonstrated at our recent pedigree dairy sale conducted in exactly the same manner, where we saw a similar clearance of bulls sold, and averages achieved when comparing to last year’s sale here at Borderway.”

Of course people do like to see stock in the flesh, so H and H’ s auctioneers are giving support to the vendors to ensure that the animals are portrayed in the best possible light.

Heather added: “For us these sales are about providing an open and transparent platform for selling these animals. The advance proactivity and hard work being completed by everyone, breeders, societies, vendors and auctioneers, will be integral to the overall success of these important pedigree bull sales.”