Farmers have been willing to dig deep to secure top bulls at this year’s Stirling bull sales.
Chief executive of the Simmental Society Neil Shand said he was ‘surprised’ by the amount buyers were spending, with averages for the breed up £117 at £5,969 on the year and a top price of 18,000gns.
He said commercial buyers have been pushing breeders for top bulls, bidding up to 12,000gns. “Buyers are clearly investing in good bulls and this is probably because the store price has been pretty good this year,” he adds.
Nine Simmental bulls sold for five figures sums, with buyers looking for a combination of style, conformation and EBV figures, with a 75% clearance rate.
Sale leader was the junior champion Blackford Findhorn 14 from W G Macpherson’s Blackford herd, Inverness. This 2014 born bull is no stranger to the show scene having secured junior champion and reserve interbreed champion at this year’s Royal Highland Show. By Hockenhull Waterloo and out of Silver Wells Bonnie Findhorn he was the pick of Gary Van Der Gucht, Gloucestershire.
Next at 15,000gns was a Northern Irish entry from WD Hazelton of the Ranfurly herd, Dungannon. Ranfurly Formula 1 F7 14 was crowned Northern Ireland Male of the Year 2015 and has a 200 day weight of +34. He is by Carnkern Titan and out of South Park King Kong Weikel 2nd and was the pick of DM Donnelly, Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
Two lots then made 12,000gns. First was Iain Green, Garmouth, Fochabers, with Corkskie First Caper 14, a 2014 son of Bel DHU Capercaillie 11 and out of Corskie Wanda, selling to Robinson Farms, Kings Lynn, Norfolk. He has a Calving ease figure above the breed average at +3.6 and a 200 day weight of +38.
The Blackford herd were back in the money when selling another Waterloo son, this time Blackford Finch 14. Finch is full brother to Bel DHU Capercaillie who sold for the breed record price of 45,000gns. Out of Blackford Wagtail and with a 200 day weight of +38 he sold to Snaigow Farming partnership, Blairgowrie, Perthshire.
A throng of lots sold to 11,000gns. First was Woodhall Freeman 14 from H Macaskill, Dunbar. By Raceview All-Star KK he sold with a 200 day weight of +33 to Mrs M Ward and Sons, Lanarkshire.
Next was Jim and Patricia Goldie, Annan, with Newbiemains Fame and Fortune 14, the reserve junior champion at this year’s Simmental National Show. By the 10,000gns Newbiemains Apache 09 9 he sold to Pitgaveny farms, Elgin, Morayshire.
WS Stronach, Keith, made the five figure sum with Islavale Fagan 14. This Curaheen Bandit son sold with some strong EBV figures including a +44 200 day weight to Bridget Borlase, Hertfordshire.
He also made 10,000gns when selling another Bandit son, Islavale Fraser 14. Out of Islavale Natashe he sold with a 200 day weight of +36 to JI and WN Stout, Orkney.
Last at 11,000gns was Richard McCulloch, Armadale, with Overhill House Fife 14. This Annick Talisker son sold with a 200 day weight of +32 to WJ Millar, Dundee.
Females topped at 4,800gns for the female champion Annick Trixibelle 15th from LD Quarm, Irvine. Mr Shand said female trade was steady, with heifers averaging £2,622.
Trixibelle is by Annick Trixi-Belle 8th out of Annick Claymore 11. She sold to TA and E Henderson, Crieff, Perthshire.