Rhian and myself are on route to Stirling Bull Sales as I type. Keep posted for all the show and sales action from the ringside, including videos of top priced lots and round-ups with auctioneer David Leggat. Also follow the news on twitter by following @fwtakingstock
Jeremy Hunt has also put a show preview together with some of the lots to watch out for.
Those looking for traditional breed sires will have plenty to choose from with 232 Aberdeen Angus entered alongside 93 Beef Shorthorn and a smattering of Herefords. For those of continental persuasion there’s an entry of 180 Limousin bulls but no matter where you look there are figures and more figures to bedazzle the modern bull buyer.
Of the Limousin entry 88% are offered with full performance data for potential buyers to scrutinise – and 70% of these bulls have Beef Values in the top 25%. Study the catalogue and it’s a bull from Bruce Goldie’s string that’s takes the biscuit on performance figures. Goldies Black Gunpowder is by Haltcliffe Doctor and is a black, naturally polled bull out of Goldies Visa who is full sister to the dam of Goldies Forever who bred the 30,000gns black Limousin record holder.
Black Gunpowder has impressive EBVs across his complete performance. His Calving Ease is 3.6% and he has a Maternal Calving Ease EBV above breed average and also a Maternal Value above breed average.
Staying with Limousins the bull with the highest Maternal Value in the catalogue is Tweeddale Gethin, a Newclose Cyclone son from Berwick-on-Tweed breeder Jonathon Watson. This bull offers another great combination of EBVs; he’s easy calving (above breed average), has a Muscle Depth EBV in the top 10% and an overall Beef Value in the top 1%. Gethin is out of a Picaro sired dam and is full brother to Tweeddale Godfather that was sold to Genus.
Get deep into the Limousin entry and it’s clear there’s a good mix of sires offering maternal and terminal sire traits. Jonathan Watson has two other bulls – Tweeddale Gerald and Tweeddale Geraint – in the top five bulls from the entry ranked on Beef Value and both are also in the top five ranked on Maternal Value.
There are many examples of this good mix of maternal and terminal sire traits throughout next week’s entry. The Aberdeen Angus lines have Wedderlie, Fordel, Eastfield and The Moss all providing good numbers of bulls for buyers to select from but the Massies from Blelack have the most with a catalogued entry of 15 head. There’s a wealth of outstanding performance figures across the Aberdeen Angus entry which combines high-octane genetics with gold-seam bloodlines – in all creating ample opportunity to select sires for both maternal and terminal sire duties.
And there’s no shortage of bulls with good show wins. Among them is Bryan Ronan’s Jerusalem Lord Haydn L189, a son of Jerusalem Dartagnan. Lord Haydn was male champion at the Winter National, reserve junior male champion at the Royal Highland and reserve male champion plus reserve junior champion at the Great Yorkshire.
Logie herd owners Messrs Bruce and Partners offer the first crop of calves by their 2010 Stirling purchase Blelack Lord Hidalgo that cost them 25,000gns. The Massies have recently lost the great bull Evolution but sons of this high index bull will be worth a close look. The April 2011-bred bull Blelack Bleujay is among them – he has a Terminal Sire Index of +42.
And if Aberdeen Angus females are on the shopping list don’t miss John Elliot’s Rawburn Mist Princess F556 This seven-year-old matron by Ankonian Elixir is suckling a heifer calf and is due again in March to Rawburn Edge. Her breeding combines three of the breed’s most influential bulls in the UK in modern times.
Beef Shorthorn bulls continue to make their presence felt at Stirling with strong maternal traits in plenty for those looking for bulls to produce suckler females… Charles Lowther’s bulls from his increasingly influential herd in Cumbria maintain an on going commitment to Canadian genetics. A bull to look out for is Lowther Enduro 2nd – a son of L S Animal – “thick fleshing and flashy colours”.
Buyers hot on figures should not overlook Playfair Farm’s bull Tofts Wellington. He’s by Tofts Premier and out of Tofts Wineberry – the herd’s top performance cow.