A massive investment of almost 65,000gns from Cornwall dairy farmers Wills Bros marked a successful Genetic Elite sale for Holstein UK at Beeston Castle last week, where bidding reached 17,000gns.

Wills Bros’ determined bidding fought off contenders for a first-choice heifer pregnancy offered by Richard Lancaster and Riverdane Holsteins of Skipton, North Yorkshire.

Due in October, the pregnancy is by Durham and out of the twice 14,000kg Ocean-View Mandel Zandra and topped the day at 17,000gns.

The calf will be full-sister to the 14,800kg Ocean-View Durham Zandra that sold for C$21,000 at the Agriprize sale in Canada last year.

Wills Bros were back again to pay 12,000gns for Copywood Shottle Sara – an eight-month-old ET-bred calf from Monmouthshire breeder Belinda Fox.

Sara is out of the famed 16,904kg Copywood Integrity Sara Red – the multiple show winner that sold for 30,000gns when this fixture was staged at Lancaster in 2002 – and has a PIN +52 and PLI +65.

Wills Bros made their mark early in the day with a big bid for one of the most fancied lots when they gave 10,500gns for Smiddiehill Holsteins’ (Wolverhampton) Smiddiehill Drum Elegance (below).

This July 2005-bred heifer is another by Durham and out of the 14,397kg Krull Skychief Easter.

She is from the same family that produced the 32,000gns Riverdane Silky Elegance sold at the Black-and-White sale last year.

Breaking the Wills Bros hold on the trade at 7200gns was Lancashire breeder Andrew Swale, who claimed the eight month-old heifer Holmland August Rachel Red for his Phoenix herd at Blackburn.

She is by Pursuit September Storm and out of Indianhead Durham Roxan.

A single entry from D Robinson & Sons of Cockermouth, Cumbria, was good enough to bring Wills Bros into the bidding again at 6500gns.

Messrs Robinson’s Kellywell Dentview Robin was another Durham daughter who stirred the crowd.

She is bred from 10 generations of VG and Ex dams and is out of Brigeen Convincer Rhonda that gave 17,250kg in her second lactation.

Staffordshire breeder Horace Pugh, trading as Caritas Holsteins, paid 5000gns for Smiddiehill September Erle.

This eight-month-old’s dam, Smiddiehill Ked Erle, gave 13,677kg with her fifth calf.

Bound for Holland after a successful bid of 4500gns was Ecstasy September August – another by Pursuit September Storm.

Claimed by Dutch firm A L H Genetics, this 12-month-old heifer is out of Ecstasy Faber Raquel Red who was red-and-white reserve champion at last year’s Royal Show and has been contracted for 40 embryos to Europe.

Cumbria breeders S & A Morley consigned Petteril Talent Ghost, who now heads for the Wilson family’s Tregibby herd at Cardigan at 4500gns.

Deeply bred from the Ghosts of the Ridgefield, Castlerhydd and Lemington herds, her dam is maternal sister to the 27,000gns Riverdane Terrason Ghost.

Averages: five maiden heifers £2562, two in-calf heifers £1732 and 46 yearlings and cows £3187. (Wright Manley)

jh@jeremyhuntassociates.com