4 December 1998

Fine festive winner – but show is no cracker

HEFTY investment in top-flight Charolais females over recent years paid dividends for Mortimers Farms when they scooped the championship and sold for the top price of 5000gns at the British Charolais Cattle Societys Christmas Cracker sale.

Despite the festive atmosphere around the Carlisle ring as local breeder Stephen Peile judged the entry, it was clear that quality was falling far short of the standards normally on parade at this premier event.

Many of the breeds top herds had failed to support the fixture with their hand picked "prima donnas". The result was a disappointing tail-end to the show classes.

"There was plenty of quality at the top end but the overall standard was not as high as we have seen here in previous years," said Mr Peile.

But the champion, Mortimers Mermaid, earned his praise. "A top-quality heifer, well grown, loads of breed character and very correct all through. A real prospect for the future."

Mermaid, from her owners herd at Eastleigh, Hants, is by the Cockerington Baron son Mortimers Festival. Her dam, Wellhouse Felicity, by Fairthwaite Ploughman, was bought at this sale five years ago for 9000gns.

Felicity, served in June to Kelton Bombadier, made 5000gns to Albert Clements, Stowmarket. The Clements family, well known for their Simmentals, continue to snap up some choice Charolais females for their expanding herd.

Another good sort by Brampton Chopper stood out in her class and finished up taking the reserve championship for Northern Ireland breeder K Brady. Derrygiff Nancie is out of Callum Sauterne and made 2800gns to J A and F C Erskine, Co Armargh.

North Yorks breeders Mike and Margaret Atkinsons Mowbraypark Nona made 2700gns to G &#42 and K M Blackcock, Carlisle. This daughter of 14,000gns Perth purchase Killadeas Jack is out of the Maerdy Voter-sired Iveston Edna.

Averages: 10 females £1989 (Harrison and Hetherington) &#42