By Jeremy Hunt

THREE BULLS from the Hillhead herd of the Rodgers family in Northern Ireland dominated the trade at the British Blonde d”Aquitaine Society”s show and sale at Carlisle taking the top three prices.

 The bulls are by the new French sire Palace, which was bought as a yearling while on test in France.

“His figures were good, but that wasn”t the reason we bought him. He bowled us over with his length, big hindquarters and tremendous breadth down his back,” said Co Down breeder Geoffrey Rodgers.

 But it was the bull”s ability to breed progeny of consistent quality that has really impressed the Rodgers family – and bidders at the Carlisle ringside.

 “It”s not easy finding a Blonde bull that breeds consistently but Palace is passing on his conformation qualities throughout the herd,” added Mr Rodgers.

Hillhead Upper topped the sale at 4800gns to pedigree breeder B Allsop of Melton Mowbray. The July 2003-bred Upper is out of a cow by Ashtonlodge Aaron. He weighed 867kg on the day and took the supreme title.

All three Hillhead bulls went to pedigree breeders and included Hillhead Umpire. This April 2003-bred entry is out of a Romer Major dam and goes to Cheshire breeder C Shenton of Handforth at 3600gns.

 These lines proved successful when another Major cow produced the class winner Hillhead Umbojumbo. He collected the reserve overall title at the Royal Ulster Show last year on his only outing. Buyers at 3500gns were W and M Linton and Son of Carluke, Lanarkshire.

 More French breeding was in demand when Glasgow breeder J T Owen sold Easterton U-Pulder at 3500gns. He is by Renoir and out of an Ideal dam and took the reserve male ticket. Buyers were J and J Mauchlen, Kelso.

Best for Bristol breeder David Knight was Doncombe Ubrique – another smart son of his successful sire Druk Lance. He made 3200gns to Scriveton Manor Farm, Bakewell.

Two females realised 2000gns. Shropshire breeder Roy Kinnish sold the Haydens Platinum-sired maiden heifer Kinnaston UK to D and M Rogers and Son, Powys, while G Bowden and Son sold a maiden heifer from their Millend herd to B and A Barrett, York.

 Averages: 22 bulls 2271 and 10 maiden heifers 1312 (Harrison & Hetherington).

 jh@jeremyhuntassociates.com