14 May 1999

Buyers favour experience

BUYERS broke with tradition at the British Limousin Cattle Societys spring show and sale at Carlisle where the strongest trade usually comes for the younger bulls.

Many bidders at last weeks fixture were just as keen to secure the senior and intermediate sires in the hope of an increased work rate from their new purchases.

A top price of 9100gns and 12 transactions at 5000gns and above reflected the stiff competition for the best bulls irrespective of age. This was despite the widely held opinion that junior bulls were a classier bunch.

The 64 senior bulls averaged £2760 – up £357 on the year – compared with the 59 intermediate bulls at £2835 – down £37. But the 43 junior bulls at £2534 were down by £257.

And Lake District beef farmer and Limousin breeder George Hutton confirmed the pattern of demand. "The older bulls were more sought after. You cant put as many cows to a young bull and I think some buyers were influenced by that."

He collected the days top price for the powerful December 1997-bred (intermediate) Cloughhead Nifty. He is out of a Heros dam and his sire is Cloughhead Jurassic – the result of a mating between the Limousin sire Broadmeadows Cannon and a cow selected in France by Mr Hutton.

Nifty stood third in his class under judge Ian Nattress who runs the Greenwell herd in Co Durham. The bulls huge hindquarters and fleshing quality drew a stream of bids from many top herds, but mid-Wales farmers &#42 and E Powell were undaunted by the competition.

"Hes the best shaped Limousin bull Ive seen in years. Hes almost a Belgian Blue – but hes red," joked Howell Powell. The bull will be used on pedigree Limousin cows and commercial Belgian Blue and Limousincrosses.

Showman Richard "Bart" Bartle brought out Salop breeder Don Williamss string of bulls which included Wilodge Nowtakenout, an 8500gns purchase for Nairn buyers Ewan McArthur and W J MacGillivray. A really showy sort with shape to spare, he is by Wilson Jupiter (Cannon grandson) and out of a Peasley cow bred out of the great Druk Rowena.

Breed society chairman John Logan took the reserve senior male title with the big-framed Homebyres Newbiggin, a Ronick Dumby son. In the top 1% of the breeds BLUP rating, he made 6800gns to Manby Farms, Grimsby.

Stirling-based Wendy and Ian Callions Lodge Natterbox, a clean-gutted, modern son of Ronick Luke, made 6600gns to Powys buyers C L and J E Jerman. Goldies Osprey, one of the best bulls seen for some time at Carlisle from Jim Goldie, took the junior championship and made 6500gns to A G Kirton and Sons, Bewdley, Worcs.

The supreme title went to Dyfed breeders Ed Griffiths and Co with the 17-month-old Mynach Nissan. He weighed 750kg and is by Mynach Igor. He made 3800gns to Cumbrian suckled calf producers R and M Scott, Thirlwall Castle.

Grahams Nicola, a maiden heifer by Balfunning Ivanhoe from Robert Graham, Stirling, took the reserve female award and topped the female trade at 3600gns to join the Evans Fenrose herd. The 31 females averaged £1345. (Harrison and Hetherington). &#42