15 August 1997

Jersey maiden heifer really is cream of crop

By Jeremy Hunt

A BREED record price for a maiden heifer was paid in Scotland last weekend when bidding reached 3100gns at the Cream of the Crop sale of Jersey cattle.

And the eight maiden heifers on offer at Robert Graham and Sons Boquhan Estate, Stirling achieved a record average of £1811.

The sale – part of the breed societys Great Northern Crusade weekend – saw breeders competing feverishly for top genetics of well-proven combinations of Canadian and American lines.

This breeding policy has been successfully used over several years in Messrs Grahams 220-cow herd and it was one of their entries, Strathallan Brook Sweet Maria, that produced an electric atmosphere around the sale ring.

This Apr 1996-bred heifer is a daughter of Enniskillen Imperial F Mamie VG87 2 yr which stood second junior cow and reserve champion at last years Highland Show. She has five Excellent dams behind her and is by Mollybrook Brass Major, one of the most noted Jersey bulls of recent times.

Mamie was bought by Andrew Timbury for Ken Timburys Wellhead herd at Wendover – but he faced tough competition particularly from young breeders keen to secure trans-Atlantic genetics of this calibre.

Messrs Graham also achieved the evenings second highest price when 2200gns was paid for the Feb 1996 heifer Strathallan G G Black Beauty, sold carrying a Mamie embryo by Duncan Prince Malcolm.

This heifer, by Valleystream G General, is out of a 6300kg Thornlee cow and joins Dean Andersons Mayne herd at Elgin, Aberdeenshire.

Mr Anderson also paid 2000gns for another 14-month-old General heifer which won the junior calf class at the Royal Highland Show this year.

He completed his spending spree with a 1800gns call for a seven-month-old embryo-bred calf out of Hopsacks Elsie VG87. Elsie has averaged 7176kg at 5.54% butterfat and 3.6% protein and earned over £14,000 for the Grahams herd.

Strathallan Imperial Eileen, a served heifer, made 2000gns. By Meadow Lawn J Imperial and in-calf to the Canadian-bred sire Strathallan Tip Top, she was bought by David Dobbin for his Dowfries herd at Tinwald, Dumfries.

High yield potential appealed to Duncan Dawes who runs the Parkplace herd near Banbury. He paid 1700gns for a daughter of the UKs highest yielding Jersey cow – the twice 8000kg Alderston Lights Tanya VG86 – consigned by Gordon Hasties Alderston herd at Haddington, East Lothian.

AVERAGES: Eight served heifers £1254; eight maiden heifers £1811 and one bull calf £1155 (Bruton Knowles)