22 October 1999

12,000gns for Limousin bull at Borderway

By Jeremy Hunt

AFTER 20 years of breeding Limousin cattle, Scottish farmer Ron Cruickshank hit the jackpot at Borderway Mart last weekend. His bull, Kype Orkney, sold for 12,000gns handsomely recouping the 8500gns paid for its sire in the same ring two years ago.

And while breeders and suckled calf producers were still prepared to sign big cheques for powerful, well-shaped and free-moving bulls, less impressive sorts met a cooler reception at the British Limousin Cattle Societys autumn fixture.

The swing away from autumn calving and a general shortage of cash even had its effect on some of the better middle-band bulls, with many failing to sell. A total of 119 bulls sold from the 250 forward. But the overall average of £3009 was up £262 on the year. Only 30 of the junior bulls sold but they levelled at £3766 – up £871.

Kype Orkney was one of the first three sons of Cloughhead Lord to be offered to breeders. Out of a Rake Terence cow and weighing 862kg on the day – 200kg above breed average – hes from Mr Cruickshanks herd of 60 pedigree cows at Strathaven, Lanarkshire.

"Hes a big bull with plenty of size without losing any shape or muscling," commented Mr Cruickshank whose two other Lord sons made 4000gns and 2100gns.

Despite no figures, Orkney was bought by BLUP devotee Richard Oates for his Lumbylaw herd at Jedburgh. "He was the best bull in the market and there are accurate proofs on five-eighths of his breeding via Heros, Terence and Cannon," said Mr Oates.

Potential issue

Size and capacity – without sacrificing conformation – could become an issue within the breed. Ringside comment from some commercial suckled calf producers suggested that the Limousin has become "almost too modern."

A well-known Scottish breeder commented:"The emphasis on tight-gutted bulls has taken away some of the rib capacity. We must not get carried away with this trend or the weight-gain of commercial Limousin-sired cattle will suffer." It was another big-money day for Shropshire father and daughter team of Don and Christine Williams who achieved a personal best of 11,000gns for the 17-month-old Wilodge Octobre. An impressive son of the imported sire Manoir, he joins Les Wilsons herd in Nottinghamshire.

Good BLUP figures – Beef Value +28 – combined with visual appeal spurred-on buyers to pay 8000gns for Penrith breeder Johnny Thompsons Hartside Owl, a February 1998-bred son of Hartside Hensingham. Buyer was A Ward, Bishop Auckland.

Son of Lancelot

There were 11 bulls over 5000gns with one of the leading calls coming for the last but one lot when one of the first sons of the French sire Lancelot reached 7100gns for Penrith-based Doug Edgar. His Shire Oakley, a class winner under local judge Henry Ridley, goes to the Robertson brothers, well known suckler producers from Alnwick, Northumberland.

Local vendors Craig and Matt Ridley (Haltcliffe) sold to 7000gns for a bull double-bred to the great Broadmeadows Cannon while sons of Waindale Jackpot from Yorks breeders Messrs Bamforth were worth a second look. They reached 6800gns.

Jim Goldie had a good string and took the intermediate title with an entry by the French sire Lascard. Goldies Oswald, also by Lascard, went lame and was withdrawn but a deal was struck with Messrs Ridley who take a half-share at 10,000gns.

Progeny of Greensons Gigolo were not among the highest priced bulls this time but a son, Woodhouse Oslo from Stoke-on-Trent breeders Geoff and Pam Blood, stood champion. He had a Beef Value of +24 and heads for the north-east at 3400gns with G R Hindmarsh and Sons.

He was described by the judge as: "a great thump of a bull with tremendous fleshing." Mr Ridley pulled in Derek Woolhouses (Driffield, East Yorks) Rachels Oman to take the reserve title. He realised 5500gns to Lake District suckled calf producer Martin Richardson.

Averages: 30 senior bulls £2586; 59 intermediate bulls £2894 and 30 junior bulls £3766. (Harrison and Hetherington). &#42