The Highland Cattle Society’s annual autumn show and sale made a welcome return to Oban, with a record breaking price of 10,000gns for a yearling heifer and a new high of 6700gns paid a female calf.

Breeders also witnessed increased averages compared to the last sale in 2019, particularly for younger females as yearlings traded £1393.17 dearer on the year, while heifer calves increased by £1248.06.

Setting the pace at 10,000gns was the pre-sale champion from the McConachie family’s Culfoich fold. Securing a personal best for past president, Gordon McConachie, and his family, who run 20 females near Grantown-on-Spey, was Carlin 6 of Culfoich, which judge Jim McKechnie, Gartocharn, chose as champion the previous day.

This April, 2020-born heifer, shown by daughter Rachael, is by the 3600gns Jacob 2 of Benmore, which stood male champion at the Royal Highland Show in 2019, and previously bred two yearling female champions at Oban for the family.

Bred out of Laria 1 of Culfoich, which won the junior championship at the Royal Highland Show in 2010, this rising yearling heifer sold to Germany with Falko Steinberg, who purchased his first Highlander at Oban in 1988 and now runs 17 breeding females.

Selling for 9000gns was Karen and Michael Macgregors Sobhrach 2 of Eilean Mor

Selling for 9000gns was Karen and Michael Macgregor's Sobhrach 2 of Eilean Mor

Next best, at 9000gns, was the second animal through the ring from Karen and Michael Macgregor’s 11-cow Eilean Mor fold at Port An Aiseig, Glenborrodale.

Achieving a personal best for the couple selling to Balrownie Farms, Brechin, was the three-year-old heifer champion Sobhrach 2 of Eilean Mor, due to calve in March to Harris of Balemartine.

Backed with successful breeding lines behind her, she is sired by Ceannard 16 of Cnoc, out of a previous Sobhrach of Eilean Mor, and is a full sister to the reserve female champion in 2019 which sold for 8000gns.

Banrigh 10 of Hyndford, made 7000gns for Alan Prentice

Banrigh 10 of Hyndford, made 7000gns for Alan Prentice

Lanarkshire breeder, Alan Prentice, of the Hyndford fold, Ravenstruther, sold his dearest female to date when his three-year-old heifer, Banrigh 10 of Hyndford, made 7000gns. This heifer is by Alasdair 4 of Douglas, a bull which has done well for Alan on the show circuit, and is bred out of Banrigh 4 of Hyndford. In-calf to Torquil 2 of Ubhaidh, she was purchased by Ewen Macmillan, Lurg, Fintry.

It was a particularly memorable day for The Applecross Trust team from Strathcarron, when they topped the heifer calves at 6700gns, after returning to the sale ring for the first time in 35 years.

February-born Ila Dhubh 2 of Applecross heifer calf made 6700gns for the Applecross Trust

February-born Ila Dhubh 2 of Applecross heifer calf made 6700gns for the Applecross Trust

Brought out by stockpersons, Michael Summers and Floortje VanSchuppen, was the black February-born Ila Dhubh 2 of Applecross, by Angie Beag of Miungarigh, out of Ila 7 of Applecross. She was knocked down to Andrew Ewing, Dumbretton, Annan, who was buying on behalf of a client.

John Cooper’s Culloden fold, at Tordarroch Estates, near Inverness, produced the next top price of 3600gns for March-born heifer calf, Heather 17 of Tordarroch. She is by Macrae Charles of Maol, out of Heather 3 of Tordarroch, and sold to Emma Macri-Waller.

At 3500gns, the Armstrong family’s Balemartine fold on the Isle of Tiree, sold the reserve overall champion, Bonnie Ruadh 1 of Balemartine. This April, 2020-born heifer is by Uisage Beatha of Dunach, out of Virgina Buide 2 of Cnoc, and was purchased by M Middleton.

Last to hit 3000gns was Neoinean Ruadh 6 of Leys, from Leys Castle, Inverness. Brought out by farm manager, Hugh Saggers, and stockman, Dale Scott, this January, 2020-born heifer, is by Sir Lawrence 11 of Springfield, out of Neoinean Ruadh 4 of Leys, and sold to Willie MacLean, Inverglen, Barcaldine, Oban.

Karen and Michael Macgregor also took 2300gns for the yearling heifer, Ros Dath Airgid 2 of Eilean Mor, to Andrew Ewing, Dumbretton. She is by the same sire as the 9000gns sale.

The pre-sale show attracted a large crowd, and saw sisters Sophie and Tara Adams, from Aberdeenshire, top the young handlers. Sophie led the 15 to 18-year-olds and went on to take the overall, while Tara won the under 14 years and stood reserve.

averages: Three, three-year-old heifers, £6300; six two-year-old heifers, £1872.50; 13 yearling heifers, £2511.92; 11 heifer calves, £2166.81.

LEADING awards

Three-year-old heifer –1 and champion three-year-old, Sobhrach 2 of Eilean Mor, 9000gns; 2 and reserve champion three-year-old, Bileag Bhaite 3 of Craigowmill, unsold; 3, Morag 72 of Woodneuk, 2000gns.

Two-year-old heifer – 1 and champion two-year-old, Princess Dubh 11 of Craigowmill, 2000gns; 2 and reserve champion two-year-old, Prosaig Dubh of Shenavallie; 3, Iolar 3 of Woodneuk, unsold.

Yearling heifer – 1, Neoinean Raudh 6 of Leys, 3000gns; 2, Roxanne 2 of Culloden, 2000gns; 3, Bachy Mor 41 of Woodneuk, 1600gns.

Yearling heifer – 1, yearling heifer champion and overall champion, Carlin 6 of Culfoich, 10,000gns; 2 and reserve overall champion, Bonnie Ruadh 1 of Balemartine, 3500gns; 3, Sorcha 5 of Woodneuk, 1400gns.

Heifer calf – 1 and champion heifer calf, Cassie Buidhe 8 of Cladich, 1300gns; 2, Furan Magaidh 3 of Cladich, 1600gns; 3, Lady Jane Stuart 3 of Cladich, 1600gns.

Heifer calf – 1 and reserve heifer calf, Fionnghal 3 of Culloden, 1500gns; 2, Princess Abbie Campbell of Cladich, 1200gns; 3, Roxanne 3 of Culloden, 1000gns.

Yearling bull – 1 and champion, Prionnsa Gilleasbaig of Craiglusker Farm Fold, 1100gns.

Bull calf – 300291 of Tordarroch, 520gns.

Auctioneers: United Auctions