Stranraer-based Holstein breeder, James McNeil of the Cairnpat herd came home in style from the Burrow family's Stardale production sale, on Tuesday, having purchased the lead priced lot at 20,000gns.

The sale of virtually the entire milking portion complete with heifer calves from this well known herd which finished runner up in the Holstein UK Premier Pedigree Herd competition, saw just shy of £1m change hands, with no fewer than 61 animals selling for 4000gns or more, of which 23 made in excess of 5000gns.

Sale leader at 20,000gs was Stardale Altaiota Vaakje Ex-95-3, a fifth calver backed by 13 successive generations of Excellent classified cows from the amazing Vaakje family, that has to date produced more than 600 Ex cows for Stardale.

Her Excellent classified Crackshot daughter made 5600gs to Messrs Gordon of the Annalong herd in Co.Down.

Mr McNeil also went to 12,000gs for Stardale Atwood Roxy (VG-87), a second calved grand-daughter of the Ex96 Willsbro Shottle Roxy 3 that still grazes the pastures at Tunsteads, having given more 150 tonnes of milk and bred numerous Ex and VG daughters.

Her dam Stardale Leader Roxy was purchased by Wills Bros in the last Stardale sale in 2006 and also became a phenomenal brood cow. She topped off his day’s trading with another Excellent Vaakje by Applejax at 6,000gs.

Just behind on 11,500gns, Martin and Cyril Millar buying for the Glenleary herd, Coleraine, Co Londonderry, bought the heifer in milk Stardale Altalawson Vaakje VG-87-2yr which sold due in September to Stantons Adorable. They also bought a number of the higher priced milkers including the fourth calver Stardale Dreamer Elegance Ex-90 at 6200gs.

Selling down to Mid Glamorgan to the Larks herd of WS Richards at 9000gns was the red cow Stardale Kimball Jodie Ex-91 and Messrs Rees and Son of the Anvil herd, Aberystwyth, went to 8200gs for Stardale Allclass Meg VG-85 2yr.

Biggest volume buyers were Wills Bros of the Willsbro herd in Cornwall who were also prolific buyers at the 2006 sale. This time they purchased 50 milkers, to a top of 7200gs for a Darlingo heifer from the Adeen family. The Adeens were highly popular and 12 milkers averaging £4865.

Read more: Willsbro Holstein sale grosses just shy of £250,000

The 90 calves met a sparkling trade with all bar one selling at four figures to average just short of £2000 per head. Top price in this section was 4200gs given by E Taylor, Co Londonderry for an Excalibur daughter of the 12,000gns Roxy cow.

Lanarkshire producers Euan and Andrew Lawrie, Grangehall, went to 4800gns for the VG85 Stardale Pharo Vaakje 3 and Robert Fleming of the Hillhead herd, Kirkpatrick Fleming, forked out 3000gns for the heifer calf, Stardale Eifle Vaakje 7.

In all, there were 117 individual buyers with 20% sold online via Marteye and 55% of the animals bid for through this medium. More than 11,000 people tuned into the live stream during the course of the sale.

Averages: 218 cows and calved heifers, £ 3737.61; 125 calves, £ 1967.00. Overall, 308 head, £3220.23.

Auctioneers: Norton and Brooksbank