averages: 34 bulls, £5439.41 (-£910.08 for 69 less); 28 females, £3125.00

Maraiscote Phil ruled supreme at the Limousin Cattle Society's timed on-line sale of bulls and females, staged through Harrison and Hetherington, attaining the top price of £15,000 for Lanarkshire breeder, Ian Nimmo, Bogside Farm, Newmains, Wishaw.

Despite this top bid and a further three five-figure sales, trade was nevertheless severely hampered by trading conditions in place as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. And, with a number of consignors selling their bulls privately prior to the sale, clearance rates and averages were significantly down on the year.

By the end of the four-day on-line bidding period, just 44% of the entry had found new homes.

“The clearance rate is not what we would be seeing in the live ring, but the on-line sale has still served our customers well under the circumstances," said Harrison and Hetherington auctioneer, James Little.

"Heifers in particular were a flying trade which was good to see, and the middle range to top end bulls were easily sold if they had the right marketing behind them.

“People want to get back to being able to view the bulls at the sale in person rather than on line, and while we are not able to do this at present, the online option is the best system we have at present to help our breeders. It shows the strength of the live ring and gives farmers the chance to bid on all types of bulls because there were bulls there to cater for everyone.

“We can’t dwell on fewer being sold as it is a totally different format, and buyers will be using all different ways of buying and selling their stock this year. We now have to see how the rest of May goes and hope to get back to some form of ‘normality’ soon,” concluded James.

Heather Prichard added: “It is the first time we have done anything like this, so we can’t expect the same averages and number sold. Overall, we are pleased with how the sale went under the current circumstances.

“Some of the dearer bulls have been seen before at calf shows and herds' competitions, which has helped their trade, with others using their 'eye' from the photos and videos provided.

“Breeders have been complimentary to us for putting on some form of sale. However, buyers would have been nervous when it came to buying stock online. We have done everything we can to ensure the pedigree sales continue – we just hope people understand that," said Heather.

Topping the trade was Ian Nimmo's Maraiscote Phil, a son of the 50,000gns Bassingfield Machoman, out of Maraiscote Firtree, a daughter of the 23,000gns Goldies Comet. This February 2019 polled bull headed home to Procters Farm, Slaidburn, Clitheroe, Lancs.

The Nimmos – Ian and Moyra and son Andrew – had a particularly good day, with another by Bassingfield Machoman making £10,400 selling to commercial calf producer, William MacDonald, Dunbeath, Caithness. Maraiscote Prince, a January 2019-born bull is out of Maraiscote Essex, which also goes back to Goldies Comet. A former show winner, Prince was best male in the North West calf show at Carlisle, and was also part of the winning duo that won best continental inter-breed pairs at Stars of the Future at Stirling.

Second top price was £13,400 paid for Craig and Matt Ridley's Haltcliffe Paul from Haltcliffe, Hesket New Market, Wigton, purchased by JA Wood and Sons, Ratlinghope, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. This 15-month-old bull is a son of the 32,000gns Ampertaine Elgin that has bred many champions and top bull sellers to include two at 28,000gns, while the dam Haltcliffe Donna, goes back to 100,000gns Haltcliffe Vermount.

Northern Ireland breeders, C and R Mulholland, received £10,400 for Deerpark Pluto from Aghalee, Craigavon, Co Armagh. A Plumtree Fantastic son, this 14-month-old is the first animal to be sold from the 12,500gns Ampertaine Isadora, an Ampertaine Elgin daughter that has bred numerous show winners. He heads home to Keith with his new owners Richard and Kathleen Davidson, Corsairtly, Banffshire.

Next at £8500, Grahams President made his mark for Robert Graham, Airthrey Kerse, Bridge Of Allan, Stirling, selling to Messrs Telfer, Sandwith, Whitehaven, Cumbria. This January 2019-born entry is a son of Goldies Jackpot and the first son to be offered from Grahams Melody – reserve inter-breed champion at both the Great Yorkshire and the Royal Welsh shows in 2018, and another by Ampertaine Elgin.

Best from Bob and Kay Adam and Son, Newhouse Of Glamis, Glamis, Forfar, Angus, was the black coated bull, Newhouse Oban, which made £7200, selling to South Lanarkshire breeder David Baillie of the Calla herd, Carnwath, Lanark. Oban, a July 2018-born son of Westhall Jammy is out of Newhouse Lass, a Greenhaugh Forester daughter.

Leading the female trade at £10,600 was Goldies Omaria from Bruce Goldie,Townfoot, Mouswald, Dumfries. This heifer is one of the first to be sold by Wilodge LJ, while her dam Goldies Jasmine is a maternal sister to the dam of 30,000gns Goldies Olympia and 30,000gns Goldies Owain. Omaria headed home with Messrs Jones, Llanfairr Hall, Caernarfon, Wales.

Brockhurst Onechance certainly lived up to her name too when she made £7600 for WJ and M Mash, Torrington, Chesham, Buckinghamshire. The March 2018-born heifer is a daughter of Hafodlas Domino, and her dam, Brockhurst Lindsey is full sister to Brockhurst Holy, Heavenly and Lucy, which goes back to Wilodge Vantastic.

A similarly aged female from the same home, Brockhurst Oasis reached £5000 selling across to Northern Ireland with Messrs Alexander, Randalstown, Co.Antrim. She is by Newroddige Jetset and out of Brockhurst Ideal.

Auctioneer: Harrison and Hetherington.