The Ad-Astra Holstein syndicate – formed in 2001 from the Canwell, Elmcroft, Honesberie and Wagtail herds – staged its first sale at Beeston Castle this week, but it was a maiden heifer from two guest consignors that topped the bidding at 5000gns.

Stanhope Talent Rae, an April 2005-bred Talent daughter, was offered by Canadian breeders Gord Rendle and Ridley Wikkerink from their herd on Vancouver Island.

Bred out of a 13,500kg Skychief dam classified Ex93, she goes back to Hanoverhill TT Roxette that made $37,000 in the 1989 Hanoverhill sale.

Talent Rae goes to the Sterndale herd of Bill Nadin at Buxton, Derbys.

The Ad-Astra syndicate was formed following the closure of cattle imports from North America but, although ringsiders agreed this was one of the best selections of Holstein cattle ever seen at this centre, trade was surprisingly patchy.

Bidding started well with the second lot in the ring making 3800gns for an entry from John Griffin’s Canwell herd at Sutton Coldfield, Warks.

The January calved heifer Canwell Jordan Nora is by Roylane Jordan and out of Canwell Cousteau Norma and boasts a sire stack that includes Charles, Raider and Mattador.

She was bought by an undisclosed Scottish bidder.

Solihull breeder Ian Forrester’s Elmcroft consignment sold to 3700gns when Messrs Rea & Son from Hereford added Elmcroft Lyster Betsy to their Clenches herd.

This 10-month-old heifer is out of an Igniter dam tracing back to the Huddlesford and Bowerlea Betsy families.

Long Partners, who consigned cattle from their Wagtail herd at Shipston-on-Stour, paid 3500gns for the maiden heifer Stanhope Wedgwood Gibson Ellie.

She is out of the Lincoln cow Acme Lincoln Ellie that produced 74t of milk.

The sale was expected to see stiff competition among breeders for the first live calves to be offered in the UK by Regancrest Dundee.

But the best was 3500gns for Nigel Hollick’s eight-month-old heifer Honesberie Dundee Ellie – maternal sister to the above lot.

She goes to SFR Farming, Tarporley, Cheshire.

Best for guest local consignors Mark and Sue Nutsford was 3000gns for the calved heifer Riverdane Morty Rose taken by Lancs buyer A Grimshaw, while another calved heifer from the same herd – Riverdane Stormatic Roxy – made 2500gns to J E Lomax & Son, Staffs.

Also at 3000gns was Bassingthorpe Lyster Pamela from Lincs vendor Anne Harrison.

This March-calved heifer is the first calf from a 10,100kg daughter of Gelpro and has Shalama Starbuck Pamela Ex92 as third dam.

Buyers were Berkhampstead-based J C & D Hunter with Paul Gent.

Averages: 33 milkers 1679, eight recently served heifers 1233 and 68 maiden heifers 1439.

(Wright Manley with David Jones and Harrison & Hetherington)

jh@jeremyhuntassociates.com