British Blue breeders reaped the benefits of continued improvement in beef prices at the weekend, with new records set at the breed’s first official sale of the year at Chelford.

Leading the way with a new centre record of 12,500gns was Frank Page, Northampton, with Elkington Cowboy. Sired by noted primestock producer Tamhorn Ringmaster and out of Park Samantha, a Greystone Indelible daughter. Buying this one was Paul Gentry on behalf of the Gascoignes Group, Newark, Notts.

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Second top was am 8200gns call for the best from Graham Coates’ Greystone herd, Greystone Carbon. This all black son of Greystone Warrior, himself a son of Valide, is out of Greystonee Topic, an Adagio daughter and stood second in his class in the pre-sale show. He later sold to Keith Barrow, Over Stowey, Somerset, for his commercial enterprise.

At 7800gns Brian Grifffiths, Newtown, Powys, sold the pre-sale show champion, Penygelly David. This one is by Annanwater Vince, an Affute son and out of homebred dam Penygelly Una, an As de Trefle daughter. After a bidding war among a number of breeders January 2008-born David was eventually knocked down to J E Trafford, Keswick, Cumbria.

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Closely behind this Messrs Woosnam and Mathias, Llandinam, Powys, sold their July 2007-born entry Forest Charlie Chaplin at 7500gns. He is by Bringlee Waldo and out of Hazelwood Unis and sold to D R Milburn, Brampton, Cumbria.

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Leading breeder Michelle Wilde, Leighton Buzzard, Befordshire, then sold her best of the day at 7000gns. This was Dafydd D’Ochain sired Ridge Dean Cherokee who was snapped up by Mike Scott, Besthorpe, Nottinghamshire.

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Best bid among the females on offer was a 6000gns sale for the reserve female champion from the pre-sale show, Graymar Diamond from Graham Jones, Hadnall, Shrewsbury. By Sjaka and out of Cefn Rhos Anabella she sold to J L Innes, Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

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And, keen to buy top bloodlines, Mr Innes was back in the bidding again at 5000gns to secure the female champion, Croftends Beau from Messrs Bellas. Beau is by Dafydd D’Ochain and out of Southern Irish-bred dam Lismannan Sally.

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Among the commercials on offer the top price was a £2050 sale for the best from Brian Griffiths. This one was the first prize steer from the pre-sale show and sold to B J Pritchard, Herefordshire.

Next best was a £1940 transaction for the pre-sale show champion from Frank Page, Northamptonshire. By Tamhorn Ringmaster this nine month old heifer sold to the show judge John Madeley.