BREED records were broken not once but twice at the dispersal of the Sterling herd of Simmental cattle from the Hewlett family at Boddington Estate, Cheltenham, in Stirling, last week.

A cow and calf outfit first surpassed the previous 18,000gns record at 22,000gns, before a maiden heifer near the end of the sale broke the record again when knocked down for 28,000gns. 

The sale was brought about because of a change in policy at Boddington Estate and offered existing and new breeders the chance to purchase some sought after genetics from strong show lines. They were brought out in tip-top condition by the stockmen team of Jimmy McMillan, Graham Fishlock, John Hughes, and Millie Hendy, and a number of behind-the-scenes helpers.

Ending the sale on a high was Sterling Bacardi’s Hawaii, a March, 2016-born daughter of the 7200gns Annick Exocet bought at Stirling to suit the Sterling Cotswold daughters in the herd. Bred out of Sterling Naomi’s Bacardi, she placed second to her maternal sister, Sterling Bacardi’s Hope, on many occasions and she was snapped up by Bridget Borlase, buying on behalf of her parents, Paul and Judy, who run 120 cows in the Sacombe herd in Hertfordshire. 

“We watched and admired her at the English National Show at the Three Counties where she was breed champion and were keen to buy her at the dispersal,” said Bridget, who paid a further 6000gns for Sterling Petra’s Cairo, a 2011-born daughter of Dovefields Gallant, out of the Sterling Flint-sired Sterling Dalores Petra. She changed hands due with her fifth to Sterling Cotswold. 

The Scottish Farmer:

           Sterling Celia's Fifi and Sterling Fifi's Indigo

Setting the sale alight early on when sold to new breeders, Harte Farms, Leonards Island, Clones, Co Monaghan, for 22,000gns was Sterling Celia’s Fifi, a three-year-old that sold with her heifer calf at foot and served again to Sterling Haymaker. Fifi was unbeaten on the 2016 show circuit and earlier this year won championships at the Royal Cornwall and English National, as well as the cow and calf class at the Royal Highland. She is full of home breeding, being by Sterling Cotswold and out of the Sterling Rochester-sired Sterling Dolores Celia. Her January-born calf was also full of home genetics, being by Sterling Gino, a son of Auchorachan Wizard.

Notably, her dam, Sterling Dolores Celia, and her February-born bull calf, the Sterling Cotswold-sired Sterling Ike, realised 7000gns when sold to the Smith family at Towiemore, Drummuir, Keith. 

Two cow and calf units sold for 8000gns with the first of these, Sterling Candy’s FCUK and her heifer calf, Sterling FCUK Impuls, selling to Jimmy McMillan who is to become the Sacombe stockman but bought three of his own females to re-stock his Brandane herd. This three-year-old Sterlings Cotswold daughter is out of the Darshams Playboy-sired Sterling Nova’s Candy, and changed hands in calf to Sterling Glastonbury along with the February-born FCUK Impuls, by Sterling Gino. 

Selling to Northern Irish breeder, Joe Wilson, of the Ballinalare herd, at Martin’s Lane, Co Down, for 8000gns was the next lot, Sterling Sadie’s Faith and her similarly aged bull calf at foot. Served and scanned in calf to Burghbridge Gabriel, this Mendick Butch daughter, is out of the Kilbride Farm Van Gogh-bred Thursford Sadie 2, while her bull calf, Sterling Innes, is another by Sterling Gino. 

Heading up the in-calf heifer trade at 7000gns was Sterling Virtue’s Gracie, a Sterling Flint daughter that was knocked down to the Green family for their Corskie herd near Garmouth, Fochabers. Served by Burghbridge Gabriel, this January, 2015-born heifer is out of Sterling Newmoon’s Virtue, a Sterling Rochester daughter. 

Jim and Vikki Wood forked out 6000gns to take the dearest of the calves, Sterling Doll’s Holly, home to their Popes herd near Preston. Bred out of Sterling Alicia’s Doll, another by Mendick Butch, this 11-month-old is by Annick Exocet.

Averages: 13 cows with calves, £5605; 25 in-calf cows, £2375; 14 in-calf heifers, £3135; 17 maiden heifers, £4101; 14 young bulls, £1560.