Cumbrian-based show cattle exhibitor Neil Slack led the buyers at the Caledonian Marts’ premier calf show and sale at Stirling on Friday night.

His £5000 bid was greeted with a round of applause and brought life to a sale that had up to that point lacked its usual sparkle.  Mr Slack, of Appleby, acquired Golden Promise, a five-month-old 280kg Charolais cross heifer, by Carradale Ardrenalin and out of a Limousin cross cow.IMG_4981 - semple 5000.jpgShe was consigned by Duncan Semple, of Dippen, Carradale, Argyll, and had on her only previous outing stood champion at Kintyre show.

Mr Semple’s previous best trade was £4000 in 1995. Golden Promise’s dam had up to Friday bred to £1200 for Mr Semple, who has 100 sucklers and a small pedigree Charolais operation that bears the Carradale prefix.

Mr Slack was determined to get the beast and faced opposition on the telephone from Andrew Bishop, of Eldersfield, Gloucestershire. He expects to take Golden Promise back out at AgriLIVE Smithfield and the Royal Highland Winter Fair.

He said: “She just caught my eye. If she doesn’t go on to win anything else she will make a great cow.”

The autumn-born champion, a nine-month-old 415kg Charolais cross heifer, from David Henderson, of Auchenrivoch, Kilsyth, Glasgow, was the first of two to sell at £3200.IMG_4916 -henderson 3200.jpgThis daughter of Glenlivet Rambler was out of a three-quarter Limousin cow and was on her first outing. Acquiring her was veteran showman Ewen MacPherson, of Mill Farmhouse, Barcaldine, Oban.

An April-born British Blue cross heifer from John and Craig Robertson, Newton of Logierait, Ballinluig, Pitlochry, Perthshire, made £3200 too. By Bringlee Volkawagon and out of a Limousin cross cow, she was reserve supreme and spring-born runner-up. Judge Donald Morrison, of Burnside, Kinlochbervie, Sutherland, backed up his decision as he was the purchaser.IMG_4939- robertson 3200.jpgFollowing at £2800 was the Limousin cross heifer that beat the Robertsons at Perth –  Barbie, an 11-month-old 420kg Limousin cross heifer by Ardlebank Titan and out of a three-quarter Limousin cross, from Monzie Farms, Crieff, and brought out by farm manager Wilson Peters. She was also cross champion at Fife, Alyth and Kirriemuir as well as a first prize winner at Braco.IMG_4976 - monzie 2800.jpgJointly buying her were Stirling-based freelance stockman Craig Malone and Stewart Bett, who looks after the Ronick herd of pedigree Limousins.

George MacArthur and sons, David and Neil, of Mid Fleenas, Nairn, led a group at £2000 with their show supreme, the third successive year they had won the prize. Leading the show for them was a five-month-old 270kg Limousin cross bullock, by Dyke Triumph and out of a British Blue cow that has previously bred several prizewinners for the family.IMG_4920-macarthur 2000 chamo.jpgThe bullock was reserve in the cross cattle sections at both Grantown and Nairn shows over the summer. He too was bought by Mr Morrison.

Also selling for £2000 were two Limousin heifers from D Hendry, of Back O’Muir, Bannockburn, and Archie and John MacGregor, of Allanfauld, Kilsyth, to W Thomson and to J Dowie, respectively.

Averages; 25 bullocks averaged £1066.80 21 heifers £1560.48 (Caledonian Marts).