Simmental breeders selling at the Nxtgen III sale of pedigree heifers and weaned calves at Carlisle enjoyed a flying trade with a new Northern Ireland female record of 26,000gns achieved and a further 13 lots selling at or above the 5000gns mark.

Such was the demand for quality breeding females that heifer calf averages soared by more than £1420 to level at £5180 with served and maidens cashing in at £5583.53 which represents a rise of £376 on last year's trade. There were also 10 more sold this year.

Sale leader was the heifer champion, Coolcran Heidis Noreen, an AI daughter of Saltire Impressive, from first time consignors, Shane and Paul McDonald, Tempo, Co Fermanagh. Inter-breed calf champion at Fermanagh Show; reserve at Clogher Valley and reserve overall at the NI National as a nine-month-old, this 14-month-old was knocked down to the pre-sale judge, Reece Simmers buying for the family's Backmuir herd from Keith, Banffshire.

Following her at 18,000gns was the reserve female, Overhill House Neva, an April 2022-born heifer from Richard McCulloch, Armadale, brought out by stockman Scott Gilmore. She is the first daughter to be sold from the 26,000gns Pistyll Kingsman, the stock bull that bred the 46,000gns record priced Overhill House Neo, at Stirling in October. Neva also heads up to Banffshire having been purchased by Graeme Smith and sons Ryan and Lewis, buying for their 15-cow pedigree Towiemore herd, Keith.

Michael Barlow and family's Denizes herd from Leyland, Lancashire, had a particularly good day selling two heifers at 10,000gns and several others at big money. First to sell at this price was Denizes Melody 48, a rising two-year-old by the former Highland Show champion, Blackford Galaxy. A red ticket holder at the show, she sold down to North Yorkshire with Alex Bulmer, Great Habton, Malton.

Matching that 10,000gns sale was another from the same Melody family. Denizes Melody 52, is a 16-month-old heifer by Denizes Hamish, a bull retained for breeding that bred the 20,000gns Denizes Monty at Stirling, in October 2022. This second prize winner was knocked down to Sam Steggles, Honinham, Norfolk.

The Burns family who run pedigree Aberdeen Angus, Highlanders, and Simmentals, at Tippetcraig, Bonnybridge, bought the champion weaned calf, Islavale Peaches, an eight-month-old heifer, for 9000gns. Consigned by Stewart Stronach and family, Berryleys, Keith, she is from the first crop of calves by the Ex93-classified retained stock bull, Islavale Lucifer.

For the full report and pictures see next week's Scottish Farmer (9th December 2023) and also in our digital edition here when you subscribe to a digital subscription (web pack)

Auctioneers: Harrison and Hetherington