WITH most roads into Oban rendered unpassable by extreme weather, it was a miracle that the sale of Highland cattle went ahead on Monday – but it did and it went a lot better than anyone could have hoped for with a new breed record for a heifer calf at 11,000gns.

The Scottish Farmer: Bhoidheach-Beag-21-of-Shenavallie made 9200gnsBhoidheach-Beag-21-of-Shenavallie made 9200gns

That was paid for the smart heifer calf champion, a January-born red entry from Jon and Queenie Stricland, from Cladich, Dalmally. The new record holder was Capleadh Ruadh of Cladich, which was paraded by herd manager Stuart Campbell – who had a lucky escape when his pick-up and trailer were shunted off the road by a landslide two days prior to the sale.

The Scottish Farmer: Selling for 5000gns was Kathleen-14-of-Earn Selling for 5000gns was Kathleen-14-of-Earn

This little star is by Angus 2 of Sorne, which smashed the breed record when he was bought as stock sire for the Cladich fold for 27,000gns at the February sale in Oban in 2022. Her dam is Capleadh Buidhe Beg 4 of Cladich.

Taking a shine to her good looks and her back pedigree – having bred her dam’s sire – was Angus MacGillivray for his new business, Highland Cattle Services. He’s resurrecting the An Sidhean fold with new purchases with big plans to create an international trade in Highland cattle genetics through AI and ET work, as well as promoting his own stock at some of the major shows next year.

“I bought four animals at the sale and all with great back pedigrees,” he said. “I’ve also bought a couple of bulls which I hope to put through testing for semen collection for the international market including one from the late Hugh MacPhail, of Callachally, on the Isle of Mull.”

The Scottish Farmer: Next best on 5500gns was Marsili-29th-Of-LeysNext best on 5500gns was Marsili-29th-Of-Leys

Another of his purchases in the top bracket was the 4200gns Eilidh 1 of Glengarnock, from Andy and Helen Kirkpatrick, from Glengarnock, Beith. This yearling heifer is out of a much-shown family and is by Iain Ruadh of Glenkinglass.

The second top on the day was the first prizewinning three-year-old, Bhoideach Beag 21 of Shenavallie from Duncan Buchanan, Shenavallie, Benderloch. Packed with home-grown genetics, she’s by Neil Ruadh of Shenavallie and out of Bhoideach Bedag 19 of Shenavallie. Valuing her at 9200gns were Balrownie Farms, from Brechin, who will be also looking forward to a calf sired by Ross of Rhudle next spring.

The Scottish Farmer: Kirsty 8 of Gartocharn recieved 6500gnsKirsty 8 of Gartocharn recieved 6500gns

The reserve overall female champion came next in the price stakes with a 6500gns value. That was Jim and Catherine McKechnie’s Kirsty 8 of Gartocharn, from France Farm, Gartocharn. This yearling heifer is by Brodie of Culfoich and out of Kirsty Morag of Ubhaidh and she headed off for a new life in the far south with Milly Bradley, Thelbridge Hall farm, Witheridge, Tiverton, in Devon.

This was followed by the breed champion with a 5500gns price tag – Marsili 29 of Leys, a two-year-old from breed vice-president, Hugh Saggers, from Inverness. She has an impressive track record at shows in 2022, having won her class at Nairn, the Black Isle, Grantown, Appin, and the National, at Turriff, before going on to be reserve female at the Stars of the Future Show last year.

The Scottish Farmer: Next best at 4200gns was Eilidh 41 of GlengarnockNext best at 4200gns was Eilidh 41 of Glengarnock

Produced by stockman, Dale Scott, she’s by Dougald of Leys and out of Marsili 16 of Leys and headed off to join the fold of long-time German supporter of the breed, Falko Steinberg – one of a handful of foreign buyers on the day.

Ewan MacKay, from Balfron Station, near Glasgow, sold the first of two which made 5000gns to Norman McBurney, a haulage specialist from Ballymena who also has a farm in Ayrshire. This was Oighrig Og of Glengoyne, a red three-year-old heifer by Ceannard of Eilean Mor which sold in calf to Feat-bata of Achnagoul.

Mr. McBurney also paid the same for the 2023 Great Yorkshire Show champion, Kathleen 14 of Earn, from Mrs. Heather Corrigal, Culnaha, Nigg. By Magnus of Earn, she was sold in calf to Doddie of Pressock.

The Scottish Farmer: Young handler Tara AdamsYoung handler Tara Adams


Selling for Dunlossit Estate, from Islay, stockman John Hogg was pleased with the 4500gns he got for the reserve three-year-old, Nadine Geal of Ceannacroic, a daughter of Chieftain of Rannoch which is PD’d in calf to Cluaran of Springfield. Putting the final bid in for this one was Yann Guisnel, from France, who also paid 4000gns for the first animal into the ring, Miss Eilidh MacKay’s Bridget 3 of Brindle Point, from Torloisk, Mull. Another in-calf heifer, she’s by Macsaul of Achnacroish and out of Bridein 4 of Kynedor, with the calf inside her being by Jock of Glenklinglass.

• Young handlers – Aged 14 and under – 1 and best young handler, Tara Adams; 2, Ruairidh Mackay; 3, Jamie Adams. Aged 15 to 18 years – 1 and reserve young handler, Sophie Adams; 2, Rhianydd Davies; 3, Calum Mackay.

Averages: Five three-year-olds, £5817; 12 two-year-olds, £2590; 20 yearlings, £2425.50; 28 heifer calves, £1983.75, six unhaltered females, £1680.

Auctioneers: United Auctions.