Charolais cattle breeders enjoyed a bumper trade with no fewer than seven five-figure sales, a further 13 selling for 8000gns or more and overall averages up more than £400 on the year.
The breed also sold the highest number of bulls and secured the lead average of all the breeds forward, with 85 bulls cashing in at £6181, which represents an increase of £405 on the same sale last year, for two more sold and, with an 82% clearance.
Not surprisingly, society chairman, Chris Curry, was delighted with the result, albeit almost expected when Charolais cross calves continue to top the sales.
“Producers know there is nothing to beat the Charolais for weight gain, and when they know they can finish them faster than any other breed or cross to hit the lighter carcase weights demanded by the abattoirs, they’re looking to the breed more than ever to improve levels of efficiency.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen the number of Charolais bulls sold and clearance rates up at all the society sales and that is all on the back of Charolais cross calves topping the store and suckled calf sales,” he said.
“Producers are still looking at calving figures and the modern Charolais has the size, shape and easy calving figures, demanded by the industry,” added Mr Curry.
A much improved commercial trade for bulls saw averages improve without any extreme five-figure prices, with the entry being led by two 12,000gns sales to include the youngest in the catalogue from the Boden family – Charlie and Steph, daughter Rosie and sons Tom and Josh – and their Sportsmans herd from Stockport, Cheshire. 
This was Sportsmans Monarch, a 16-month-old bull which stood first in his class at the pre-sale show, before attracting that big bid from John McGrath who runs 16 pedigree cows in his Drumconnis herd from Northern Ireland.
“He has a fantastic head, top line, shape, balance and muscling,” said Mr McGrath. “He is also very pleasing to the eye,” he said, adding that Monarch is the first stock bull purchased for the herd established in 1993.
For his money he gets one of the best bred bulls in the catalogue as Monarch is a son of the former record priced bull, Barnsford Ferny, which was bought here for 70,000gns. A heifer’s calf, this cracker is out of Sportsmans Honeydew, which is a daughter of the 45,000gns Maerdy Express.
The Bodens also received 8000gns for their second prize winner, Sportsmans Merlin, a similarly aged son of Ferny, this time out of the Thrunton Voldemort-sired daughter, Sportsmans Fantastic. Reserve junior champion at the Royal Welsh in July, Merlin heads back down south to Cornwall, with PR and M Hooper, Trefrawl, Lanreath.
Welsh breeder, Esmor Evans, Monfa, Mold, also received 12,000gns and 8000gns for bulls, with his big sale coming for the 17-month-old Maerdy Magestic, which stood third in his class. Backed by home-bred genetics on both sides, this big boy is a son of Maerdy Grenadier, a bull purchased by the Balthayock and Mornity herds for 20,000gns, which bred sons to 14,000gns for Major Walter, in February. The dam, Maerdy Cachucha, is a daughter of the French sire, Victorieux, and has already bred heifers to £5000. 
Magestic goes out to work at Carwood, Biggar, having been purchased by pedigree breeder, Colin Wight, for his “size and scale.”
Maerdy Grenadier was also behind the top priced bull from Major Walter’s Balthayock herd from Perth, which made 10,000gns to Ballindalloch breeders, Johnny and Raymond Irvine, buying for their Inverlochy herd from Tomintoul. This was Balthayock Maestro, a 17-month-old bull brought out by Tracey and Davie Nicoll. A full brother to the junior champion sold here last year for 14,000gns, this youngster, which stood first in his class, is out of the Balbithan Vespasian-sired Balthayock Glory ET.
Mr Evans’ 8000gns sale came for the reserve junior champion, Maerdy Morellis, a similarly aged bull this time by Maerdy Heracles, a son of the French bull Ecrin, out of Maerdy Baroness, by Maerdy Padirac.
Flying the flag for Scotland, Allen Drysdale and his father Peter, enjoyed their best ever sale from the Glenericht herd from Blairgowrie, with bulls at 11,500gns and 8500gns. 
Dearest was Glenericht Majestic, a blue ticket holder by Caylers Gladiator, a bull bought in partnership with the Kennishillock herd at Carlisle for 12,000gns, that has bred sons to 7000gns. Bred from one of the best cows in the 25-cow herd, Majestic is out of the Clyth Diplomat daughter, Glenericht Gem whose last calf sold for 7500gns here. The buyers were pedigree breeders, Iain and Dot Goldie, Greenfield, Cummertrees, Annan.
Local breeder, Allan McArthur, Cretlevane, Balfron, bought the 8500gns bull, Glenericht Matrix. Senior champion at the pre-sale show, this rising two-year-old which stood reserve Beef Breeder champion at the Highland, is the first son sold by Glenericht Hollywood – a son of the former stock bull, Balnuith Valour which bred bulls to 12,000gns – retained for breeding. The dam, Elrick Fern, by Coolnaslee Adversary, was bought privately from Mike and Lisa Massie.
There were more big bucks to come when Jonathan and Jayne Watson, sold the best from their Tweeddale herd from Berwick upon Tweed for 10,500gns and 9000gns. 
The couple who run 40 pedigree Charolais alongside pedigree Limousin, Texel and Suffolk females at Bowsden Moor, sold their dearest to Hamish Goldie, buying for the Goldies herd from Dumfries. This was Tweeddale Matador, a son of the easy calving sire, Blelack Blackberet bought privately from the Massies, whose last crop of sons sold to 20,000gns. A heifer’s calf bred from the Blelack Digger daughter, Tweeddale Icemaiden ET, Matador is a grand-daughter of the foundation cow, Lakenheath Eugenie, which boasts 14 daughters in the herd. He’s also a previous show winner, having stood junior champion at the Highland in June.
Tweeddale Maximum, another intermediate bull by the same sire made 9000gns selling to Evans Corfield and Son, Big Huntingdon, Ashford, Ludlow. A blue ticket holder, this youngster is out of Graywood Ebony ET, which is a Dingle Hofmeister-sired cow bred from the Rumsden show cow, Ultra.
Kelso breeder, John Jeffrey, has had a good run of sales in recent years and Tuesday was no different with bulls at 10,000gns and 9500gns. Mr Jeffrey, who runs 60 pedigree Charolais cows alongside a herd of 40 Simmentals, saw his dearest, Kersknowe Matador, a 19-month-old bull, sell to Eric Mutch, Whitefield, Forglen, Banff. A son of the 22,000gns Inverlochy Fencer, which has bred several five-figure sons for the herd, Matador is out of the Kersknowe Topmodel daughter, Kersknowe Dido.
The first son sold by the 8000gns Jurieshouse Hero, by Blelack Digger, bought at Carlisle, realised 9500gns to Dundee producer, WJ Millar, Hunting Faulds, Tealing. This was Kersknowe Matthew, which is bred from a home-bred Fencer daughter.
James Anderson and Sons, bought the last of the five-figure priced bulls at 10,000gns for their 125-cow mixed Limousin and Simmental suckler cow herd from Headshaw, Lauder. Selling at this mark and producing a personal best for the 15-cow Mornity herd from Alyth, managed by Robert Young, was Mornity Mushroom, a heifer’s calf bred from the Elrick Frenchman daughter, Mornity Icicle. The sire was the 14,000gns Westcarse Houdini, that has bred sons to 8500gns.
Ronnie Mackie and son Graham, The Ross, Madderty, Perth, also got in on the action, forking out 9000gns for Gretnahouse Macbook, another 18-month-old bull this time from Alasdair Houston’s 50-cow herd from Gretna. Their purchase, is by Wesley Equinox, a 12,000gns bull bought at Carlisle that has bred several easy calving stock bulls, out of Gretnahouse Edwinesse ET from the Esse dam line which has bred sires to 14,000gns. Macbook was brought out by stockman John Morton and is a full brother to a previous 7000gns bull sold here.
Also hitting 9000gns was Sam Milne’s Elgin Mojo from Kennishillock, Llanbryde, Elgin. This big white boy is bred from the Goldies Banker daughter, Ugie Halfpenny that was bought at the Ugie dispersal, and sired by Woodpark Elgin, a bull that originally sold to the Torrance and Allanfauld herds for 14,000gns, with the Milnes later buying the Torrance share. Mojo was bought by G Brown and Sons, Stoneypath, Stenton, Dunbar.
Two bulls came under the hammer for 8500gns including the first sold from Andrew Burnett’s Spittalton herd from Blair Drummond, Stirling, bought by commercial producer, George Mitchell, who runs 80 Simmental cross cows at Campdalmore, Tomintoul.
This was the aptly named Spittalton Massie ET, bred from the Maerdy Dublin-sired Elrick Idelle, that was bought privately from Mike Massie and flushed to produce eight embryos. The sire of this youngster brought out by Tim Russell, was Whitecliffe Highlight – a Blelack Digger son sold at Carlisle for 31,000gns.
Charolais’ from Mike and Lisa Massie’s Elrick herd from Ellon also sold well, peaking at the same money for the junior and overall champion, Elrick Malt. Another backed by the best of genetics, this May 2016-born entry is again by Thrunton Fearless, a bull purchased here for 16,000gns that has since bred no fewer than four 12,000gns bulls and a heap of other top sellers, while the dam, Elrick Florida, is by the 11,000gns Maerdy Dublin, which has done equally well for the herd. The buyers were WJ Fraser and Sons, Auchnarrow, Glenlivet.
The intermediate champion from David and Albert Connolly’s 35-cow Brigadoon herd from Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland, made 8000gns selling all the way up to Caithness with J and M MacDonald, Tormore, Dunbeath. Brigadoon Maverick, an April 2016-born bull is the first son sold by the 10,000gns Goldies Icon and out of the French-bred cow, Royal Eloisa, by Royal Mozard. No stranger to the limelight, Maverick was junior champion at the Balmoral Calf Show, last year.
Adding to the Irish celebrations, Robert McWilliams, a builder to trade with 12 cows in his Strangone herd from Maghera, received the same money for Strangone Magic. This was the first son sold by the Blelack Digger son, Strangone Jones, out of the Prime Roberto-sired Strangone Del ET. Senior champion at the NI breed championships, this May 2016-born bull was knocked down to H Ramsey, Falsidehill, Kelso.
Danny Swarij’s Swalesmoor herd from Kedzlie, Blainsie, Lauderdale, also attracted an 8000gns bid for the third prize Swalesmoor Marquis, a son of the 22,000gns Balmyle Headline, purchased by George Wordie, Cairnborrow, Glass, Huntly. He is bred from the Balthayock Universe-sired Swalesmoor Countess.
The last of the big prices came when Hamish Goldie sold his 16-month-old bull, Goldies Magictouch for 8000gns to FT Walton, Flotterton, Thropton, Morpeth. A son of Blelack Blackberet, which has bred bulls to 20,000gns, he is out of the Maerdy Naser daughter, Goldies Veil ET which is a full sister to the 34,000gns Goldies Uppermost.
Mr Goldie, Ruthwell, Dumfries, also sold the lead priced female and reserve heifer at 5000gns to new breeder, Paul Daniel, Lower Heathley, Maxworth, Cornwall. Goldies Lullaby, a rising two-year-old, is by the 15,000gns Gretnahouse Heman and out of Goldies Bonney, which goes back to Kinclune Pipper. 
Overall, the 14 collective heifers averaged £2760.