The imported bull Sympa fathered the 14,000gns top price and two other big-money bulls at the British Limousin Cattle Society’s autumn Carlisle fixture last weekend.

Sympa’s rapid emergence on the Limousin scene followed a fortuitous trip to France by Cumbria breeders Mat and Craig Ridley, who were looking to restock their Haltcliffe herd after foot-and-mouth. Spotted as a six-month-old calf suckling his dam, the Ridleys wanted the cow, but his owner wouldn’t sell.

They brought home Sympa instead and his first son hit the market in May 2004 at 43,000gns.

Top call came for Haltcliffe Volvo, who is out of a Brontemoor dam by Marquis.

Volvo stood reserve intermediate champion and was bought for crossing by F Ward of Bishop Auckland.

“His latest crop of calves look tremendous; they’re all a breeder could wish for,” said Craig Ridley.

The Sympa-sired Haltcliffe Vannistelrooy (beef value +37) realised 13,000gns.

He is out of a Ronick dam by Broadmeadows Canon and heads for commercial use in Co Durham with WM Reed.

Wrapping up the Ridleys’ Sympa trio at 12,500gns, Haltcliffe Viper (beef value 33) was taken by Northern Ireland-based Corries Meats.

He’s out of a Heros-sired Cloughhead dam.

The supreme champion Sarkley Volcanic (beef value 29), bred by the Pennie family in Powys, but consigned from Andrew Ewing’s Fairywater herd, reached 13,000gns.

This bull is by Moero and took the reserve male ticket at this year’s Royal Highland Show.

Joint buyers were Grange Quarry and Robert Dodd.

A third 13,000gns deal came for Lanarks breeder R Cruickshank’s Kype Vandamme (beef value 39).

Blending Heros through his sire Cloughhead Lord and Cannon through his dam, Vandamme is in the top 1% on performance figures and stood junior champion.

He joins R M Adam & Son’s Newhouse herd at Forfar.

Averages: 41 Senior bulls 2,735, 34 intermediate bulls 4,002, 36 junior bulls 4,789.

Overall 111 Bulls 3,789. (Harrison & Hetherington)