Young Holstein bulls representing all the very best genetics that have brought so much success over the years to Mick and Jean Gould’s Woodmarsh herd, accounted for the two highest bids of 7500gns and 5800gns at the Wexham Cup sale at Beeston Castle.

The Shropshire-based herd – which has an average yield just short of 13,000 litres – sold six bulls to average £4445 on a day that produced a flying trade and levelled the 53 bulls sold at just over £2500. Top call of 7500gns secured Woodmarsh Mastermind who comes from the herd’s hugely successful Melody family. Mastermind is by Sicy Knowledge and out of the 8th lactation 17,000kg (305 days) Mtoto Melody 7th and was bought by Betholt Ltd. Stafford.

The champion bull on inspection, Woodmarsh Salvo, is also by Knowledge and out of Woodmarsh Outside Sallie 10th. He made 5800gns to E and J Yarwood & Sons at Medhurst Green, Congleton.

The Wexham Cup, where a bull’s inspection points are added to points gained for pedigree, index and dam’s production, was won by Holmland Varon ET, a son of Long-Langs Oman Oman from Steve Bell of Penrith and Paul Findley of Wrexham. Buyer was F Jackson and Son, Oswestry at 3200gns. There were 13 bulls over 3000gns.

The trade clearly demonstrated the growing trend for natural service as a back-up to A1. Commented Mick Gould: “Trade was very strong and it’s largely being driven by the swing back to running bulls in dairy herds alongside using AI. As herds get bigger it’s often easier to serve groups of heifers with a bull.”

The ringside was packed to capacity for the sale – the biggest turnout seen at this fixture for many years. Trade quickly gathered momentum with bidding at times being “fast and furious” according to auctioneer Clive Norbury. There were 13 bulls selling for 3000gns or more and many intending purchasers going home empty handed.

Richard and Ruth Pilkington of Aintree Holsteins Ltd. at Hope near Wrexham also had a good day claiming two of the leading bids. Their top seller – the third highest price of the day – was Aintree Notch, a son of Schillview Oman Gerard born last November and bred from four generations of VG/Ex dams from their renowned Nugget family. He sold for 4500gns to W and J Davies of Aubergine, Denbighshire.

They also sold Aintree Ninja, a son of Macomb Oman Bogart – also from the Nugget family – for 4000gns to R H Lewis and Son of Crickheath, Oswestry.

Matt Fisher of Eamont Bridge, Penrith entered just the one bull for the sale and achieved one of the top prices selling his Newtonmoss Edward – by Shottle from the Elegance family – for 3800gns. Buyers were R and J Roberts, Whitford, Holywell, Flintshire.

Averages: 53 Bulls £2516.52. (Wright Manley)