Borderway Mart, Carlisle was packed to the brim for the dispersal of the Houston family's highly prized Gretnahouse Aberdeen-Angus and Charolais herds, which saw a record price of 50,000gns and a further 10 five-figure prices.

The two herds which have enjoyed notable success in the past both in the sales rings for the family and as superior breeding cattle, were equally sought after by new and established breeders alike, but it was the Charolais consignment that produced the majority of top prices.

Setting a new female record for the Charolais breed at 50,000gns was the yearling heifer, Gretnahouse Tequila, a daughter of the stock bull Lochend Nighthawk, out of the Westcarse Jimmy-sired Gretnahouse Orangina. Bred from the Gretnahouse Drink family that has bred bulls to five-figures and one that goes back to the foundation female, Gower Sherry, Tequila sold to Charlie Boden of the Sportmans herd from Stockport.

Mr Boden also went to 14,000gns and 10,000gns for Charolais. Two lots earlier, he bought Gretnahouse Tara, a similarly aged heifer by Westcarse Jimmy for 14,000gns. She is bred from one of the best cows in the herd – Gretnahouse Peauty ET, a daughter of Gretnahouse Beauty that bred the 15,000gns top breeding Gretnahouse Heman that goes back to the famous Paradise line. Another Jimmy daughter sold at 10,000gns to Sportmans. This was Gretnahouse Tigresse, a 19-month-old heifer and a full sister to the 20,000gns Gretnahouse Primate purchased by the Goldies. Her pedigree features the Esse family being out of Gretnahouse Iugesse ET, a Blelack Digger daughter.

Cornwall-based breeders, RS and SM Hopper of the Penfound herd from Poundstock, also splashed the cash, going to 28,000gns and 16,000gns for Charolais. The former was paid for the six-year-old stock bull, Lochend Nighthawk which originally sold for 7500gns. This Nuthampstead Judas son bred by Iain Miller, has bred sons to 16,000gns and is out of the Gretnahouse Archangel-sired, Lochend Jakota.

It was a son of Nighthawk that made 16,000gns too. This was paid for the seven-month-old calf, Gretnahouse Utopia, which is out of the the Blelack Digger-sired Gretnahouse Iusilla, a cow that has bred sons to 7500gns and daughters to £5000.

Gretnahouse Raradise, from the Paradise family made 13,000gns selling to Messrs Coppinger, Edstaston, Shrewsbury, who gets for his money, a March 2020-born Westcarse Jimmy daughter, out of the Blelack Digger-sired Gretnahouse Garadise ET. She sold in calf to Lochend Nighthawk and due in June 2024.

The top priced Charolais heifer calf at 12,000gns also goes back to the Paradise family. This was the seven-month-old Gretnahouse Unpopular, another by Hawk, out of the home-bred Popular by Balthayock Gladiator which was also out of Garadise ET. Top commercial calf producers, JB and EJ Peile, Greystoke Castle Farm, Penrith, wrote the cheque for this youngster.

Minutes earlier, her dam made 11,000gns selling to Grant and Mark Smeaton, of the Bombax herd, Cotton of Ovenstone, Forfar. Gretnahouse Popular, a four-year-old sold scanned with her third calf to Lochend Nighthawk and due in March.

Gretnahouse Peauty ET – the dam of the 14,000gns Gretnahouse Tara – also made her mark, selling for 10,000gns with her September-born bull calf at foot, Uproar, by Nighthawk. This four-year-old out of Gretnahouse Beauty ET, a Major daughter bred from Balmyle Paradise, was knocked down to C Todd, Lisburn, Co Down, Northern Ireland.

While the Angus herd saw fewer five-figure prices they sold just as well all through and to a top of 12,000gns for the first calf in the catalogue – Gretnahouse Karama Lady, a March 2023-born heifer by Rodmead Primero, out of a previous home-bred Karama Lady by the great Gretnahouse Blacksmith. She was bid to that money by Moses Irwin, Fintona, Co Tyrone.

A similarly aged bull calf sold next at 10,000gns to Messrs Fleming, Teviothead, Hawick. Grentahouse Egbert, another by Primero, is out of the Stouphill Lord Ramon-sired cow, Gretnahouse Eliza.

Devon-based breeders Mike and Melanie Alford, Foxhillfarm, bought two Aberdeen-Angus at 8000gns each – Gretnahouse Evas Honey and her April-born heifer calf of the same name. The five-year-old cow is by Deveron Leggat and changed hands due to the sire of the calf, Rodmead Primero. The dam goes back to the foundation female, Kitewood Evas Honey.

averages – Aberdeen-Angus – 15 spring-calving cows with calves at foot, £9317.00; five autumn calving cows with calves at foot, £5250.00; three in-calf cows, £2660.00; eight bulling heifers, £4305.00.

Charolais – 25 spring-calving cows with calves at foot, £10,516.80; 12 autumn-calving cows with calves at foot £5512.50; three in-calf cows, £5005.00; 11 in-calf heifers, £5937.27; 22 bulling heifers, £7159.09.

For full report and pictures see next week's Scottish Farmer (25th November 2023)

Auctioneers: Harrison and Hetherington.