Milkers averaged in excess of £3200 at the Willsbros herd sale at Exeter Livestock Centre on Monday, where Stranraer-based breeder, James McNeil, bought several of the top priced lots for his Cairnpat herd, including the sale leader at 7100gns.

The Wills family who milk more than 1300 head of cattle boasting average milk yields of 13,000kg at 4%BF with a calving index of under 400days, base much of their breeding on genomics, and it was those with the highest figures that topped the sale.

Dearest was Willsbro Pepper Atlee 36, a VG88-2yr that calved in April and is still producing 50kg per day. A daughter of Delaberge Pepper, bred from the VG86-2yr, Heavenly MOM Atlee, she sold with a

GPLI+£290 and GTPI of 2142. Atlee also sold scanned back in calf with a heifer to Sandy-Valley KR Excalibur.

Mr McNeil also went to 5700gns and 3700gns for milking heifers. Dearest was Willsbro Lighthouse Oralie 30, a VG87-2yr by Westcoast Lighthouse out of Willsbro Commander Oralie 2 VG86. A ninth successive Ex or VG classified cow, she sold with a GPLI+£402.

The first lot through the ring made 3700gns selling to Cairnpat. This was Willsbro Calumet Ashlyn 131 a VG87-2yr by Larcrest Calumet bred from the Ex90-SP LP70 cow, Willsbro Bradnick G Ashlyn. A twin to a heifer, she sold with a GPLI+£256 and served sexed to Peak Tropic.

Second top price was 6000gns paid by Co Cork breeders, John and Brian O’Connor from Kanturk, bidding over the telephone, for Willsbro Lambda Pammy 247 for their Bawnmore herd. Another heifer in milk, this time by Farnear Delta-Lambda, and out of the VG87 Willsbro Montana Pammy, she sold with a GPLI+£590 and GTPI 2652.

A daughter of the Ex94-4 SP LP100 cow, Willsbro Garrett B Madison cow, Kimball Madison 7 VG87 -2yr, made 4000gns selling to Messrs Hussell of the Perrins herd. She is by Seagull-Bay SLVR Kimball and sold calved in August.

Other top Scottish buyers included Robbie and Margo Scott of the Nethervalley herd, Tarbolton, who went to 3300gns for Willsbro Cardinals Rozelle 20 VG87-2yr and Robert Fleming of the Hillhead herd from Kirkpatrick Fleming, Lockerbie, bought the seven-month-old heifer, Willsbro Emerald Roxy 368, bred from the Ex92 SP cow, Willsbro Silver Roxy 151, for 2400gns.

Averages: 39 cows and calved heifers, £3263.08; 78 yearling heifers and calves, £1642.98; 10 bull calves, £1039.50. Overall, 127 head, £2092.97.

Auctioneers: Norton and Brooksbank and Kivells