26 February 1999

Highland bulls in demand but female trade cautious

AN EXCELLENT demand for senior bulls – which lifted their average by £703 – was some recompense for Highland cattle breeders at the societys spring show and sale at Oban where trade for females was hesitant.

Despite a top-drawer entry of 50-plus three and four-year-old females, buyers were cautious. Bidders in the market to secure some of the days best females were spoilt for choice but the lack of competition meant they were buying at discounted prices.

Breed society secretary Hamish Wilson said: "Some of the very best Highland females made very satisfactory prices while others of almost equal quality made much less. Only a hairs breadth in quality made all the difference."

The four best cows averaged £1076, up £374 but even the best two-year-olds and yearling heifers were hard to cash.

The champion and best two-year-old bull was the red Fergus of Tordarroch from John Cooper, Invernessshire. This show winner by Dalriada of Ballyheather made 3800gns to P Stubbs, Salt, Staffs.

The reserve champion, the white Laochan 2nd of Leys from M A Williamson, Inverness, had also fared well in his 1998 show ring appearances. He made 2000gns to Mr D and Miss Brooks, Isle of Lismore, Argyll.

The brindle two-year-old bull Cathach of Killochries from Mr and Mrs I Grahams fold in Renfrewshire heads south to Ramsbury Estates in Wilts at 2500gns. And the white bull Lachlan Joseph of Tain from A and S Torrance, Rossshire made 2000gns to R D Schuster, Argyll.

Callum of Tordarroch, a yellow son of Dalriada of Ballyheather, led the senior prices at 2600gns and joins Argyll Estates, Argyll.

Top female call was 3000gns from J G and R Bleazard, Moniaive, Dumfries for the red heifer Lady 3rd of Ousdale which stood reserve champion for owners Welbeck Scottish Farms, Caithness.

Top female ticket went to the yellow two-year heifer Eilidh 4th of Dunvegan from John MacLeod, Isle of Skye. She was taken at 2000gns by Leics buyer John Price who also paid 2200gns for another Dunvegan heifer.

Four-year heifers peaked at 2500gns when Herts breeder David Owen took Una Ruadh 2nd of Craigowmill from the Brown familys fold at Kinross. (Caledonian Marts and Oban Livestock Centre). &#42