The pedigree guineas might be doing all the buying north of the border at Stirling this week but there was no shortage of hard cash around in Cumbria on Monday when store cattle were on fire at the annual Luke Fair at Kirkby Stephen.

Bullocks were costing buyers £195 a piece more than they did last year – based on this week’s average of £967 – and even heifers levelling at £841 had jacked up their 2010 price by £131. Bags of cash and bags of confidence? It certainly looks like it. The 1070 head on offer at Kirkby Stephen was reckoned to have been one of the best shows of strong stores seen at this autumn fixture for some time – and at these prices it must be music to the ears of anyone with breeding bulls to sell in the coming weeks.