Feb 22 2013 By Kaiya Marjoribanks
The UK breed record for Simmentals was smashed at the second week of the Stirling Bull Sales by a whopping 45,000 guineas (gns) price tag – the equivalent of £47,250.
Show champion bull Bel Dhu Capercaillie from the MacPherson family of Billy, Judy and daughter Anne of Blackford Farms, Croy, Inverness was sold to a partnership of Simmental judge Iain Green of Corskie Farms, Fochabers, Morayside and Andrew Anderson of Smallburn Farms, Elgin by auctioneer and UA executive chairman David Leggat. It took around three minutes for the UK record of 22,000gns - set three times previously for Omorga Samson, Dirnanean Typhoon and Dirnanean Bradley - to be more than doubled in a packed sale ring, drawing gasps and applause.
The sales, sponsored by Bank of Scotland, ran over two weeks from February 4-6 and 18-19 at Stirling Agricultural Centre where 1169 pedigree bulls and females were shown and sold before 12,000 buyers, sellers and spectators.
The event kicked off with the Aberdeen Angus and Beef Shorthorn shows followed by sale of the breeds’ females and farming company Highland Wagyu’s offering of 18 pure–bred Japanese cattle embryos. A crowded sale ring on February 5, which included visitors from Germany, Denmark and Italy, saw a record average achieved for Aberdeen Angus (AA) bulls – a £100 increase on last year’s best level to £5182. More than 100 AA bulls went through the ring with five five-figure prices to a top of £18,000gns (£18,900) for Morven Kyle from Neil Massie junior’s Morvern herd in Aberdeen. The Massie family secured four of the top five-figure sales from its Blelack and Morvern herds. AA females also made an impact, selling to 16,000gns (£16,800).
Trade was steady for the 93-strong entry of Shorthorn bulls, which topped 8500gns (£8925) while the welcome return of the Hereford breed, with a big enough entry to enable show classes in 20 years, saw trade peak at 3750gns (£3937.50).
Stirling consignors and buyers made their mark on February 6 in the largest entry of Limousins since the 1960s, which hit 8000gns twice.
Reserve supreme bull Ronick Golfer from Ronald and David Dick herd at Mains of Throsk, Stirling made 7000gns (£7350) while two bulls from Andrew Burnett’s Spittalton herd at Blair Drummond each made 6500gns (£6825) with both going to local buyers. Spittalton Gavin, senior champion at the pre-sale show, went to A&R Paton, Easter Greenhill, Falkirk while Spittalton Glenample sold to IG Ross, Balafark, Fintry.
Charolais trade on Tuesday was “blistering” in some quarters with 174 bulls sold to an average of £6948 and show champion, Elgin Glenlivet from Mr R A Milne of Kennies Hillock, Elgin selling for 28,000gns (£29,400) to three purchasers. Three other Charolais’ reached 26,000gns, 22,000gns and 20,000gns.
Auctioneer David Leggat said: “Despite mixed weather, people have really gone the distance to attend the Sales. Bulls were consigned from Shetland to Devon, a Limousin bull was sold to Holland and another consignor sold two bulls to opposite ends of the country - Caithness and Norfolk. The new format drew huge crowds in the second week with the excitement undoubtedly for the record-breaking Simmental bull. He was a very popular champion from a herd selling with us for 30 years. And it was one of the best shows of Charolais for quality that’s been seen for years.
“The next major pedigree event here is the May Bull Sales on May 6 with some promising entries already lined up.”