28 May 1999

Bargain bull sires pair of top Blondes

EAGER bidding took entries from breeder William Laird to the top of the Blonde dAquitaine Breeders Society evening sale at Carlisle at 5400gns this week.

And as well as collecting the top price he sold another bull at 4000gns, both bred in the familys herd of nine cows at Kirkcaldy, Fife.

On a flying trade the 25 bulls sold averaged £3613. And even five entries that did not pass the breed societys inspection panel, but were offered at the end of the sale averaged £1984.

The Lairds have been breeding Blondes for eight years and are benefiting from the shrewd purchase of Hillhead Lewis, described as "a bit of a bargain", at Carlisle some years ago.

"Hes producing outstanding width in his progeny, but hes easy calving and we confidently use him on all our dairy heifers," said Mr Laird.

Lewis, who stood reserve champion at last years Royal Highland Show, was the sire of both the Lairds bulls. Top call came for Lochhead Olly – a February 1998-bred bull weighing 730kg – which impressed buyers with his conformation and hindquarter shape.

Olly was claimed by Faringdon, Oxon breeder John Lewis for his Druk herd.

Herdmate Lochhead Orbit, bred out of a Hayton dam, made 4000gns to R J Barrett and Co, Bromyard, Herefordshire.

London-based pedigree cattle breeder Eric Stubbs was making his second trip to Carlisle within the week and repeated his supreme championship taken days earlier with a Charolais bull by snatching the top Blonde award.

His champion was the youngest bull in the sale yard, but the 12-month-old Totteridge Otto was also among the tallest. This great prospect – double-bred to the Stubbs noted import Abricot – made 4500gns to W Anderson and Son, Hawick.

Judge Mr Eric Mutch, Banff, Aberdeenshire, is a stalwart supporter of the breed and topped the big Thainstone store cattle sale last month with a 350kg Blonde-cross steer at 154p a kilo. "The champion is a great youngster, full of stretch and excellent locomotion and not over-fed," commented Mr Mutch.

Averages: 25 bulls £3613; five rejected bulls £1984, 19 females £907. (Harrison & Hetherington). &#42