23 October 1998

Limousin bull sales start with a positive surge

LIMOUSIN bulls topped at 14,000gns and averaged £2747 at the Breed Societys main autumn fixture at Carlisle, marking a positive start to the autumn beef bull sale season.

Purveyors of gloom will point to the £240 drop in the average and the 130 unsold bulls. But the 49 junior bulls, although down by £750 on the year, still managed £2894 and the 59 senior bulls, levelling at £2813 were £80 up.

Suckler men looking for bulls were questioning the size of the entry. It took eight hours for Kincardineshire judge Jim Gammie to sort through the 27 show classes on the first day. Buyers admitted that cash shortages meant purchasing a bull this year demanded some very careful deliberations.

"This year I have to be sure before spending any cash and that means watching all the bulls on parade. But there are just too many here," said one ringsider after spending five hours at the show-ring.

It took rarity value combined with the very best in Limousin conformation and style to drive prices to 14,000gns. The bid came for Neutron, a February 1997-bred bull from the Dyfri herd of D G and M J Edwards of Llandovery.

Weighing 659kg at 400 days – 124kg above breed average – Neutron is the first son of Jockey to be sold in the UK. Jockey was imported from France after the Edwards family were impressed with him at last years Paris Show. Neutron joined the import consignment with his dam. Both granddams of Neutron are Reproductrice Recommandee – the highest breeding classification in France.

His pedigree has three lines to Lingot, the sire of Cumbria breeder and breed society president Johnny Thompsons successful bull Radar, so it was not surprising that Mr Thompson joined forces with Procters Farms, Clitheroe, Lancs, to secure the bull.

The Fedneyhouse prefix was a new one to the Carlisle ring but it made a big impact with Fedneyhouse Nelson. This stylish son of top sire Broadmeadows Cannon was consigned by Northern Ireland breeder Thomas Adams and took the reserve junior championship. With a Beef Value of 35 – placing him in the top 1% of BLUP rated bulls – he was heaven-sent for BLUP aficionado Richard Oates who paid 13,000gns for him for his Lumbylaw herd.

A good string of bulls from local breeders Matt and Craig Ridley produced a best bid of 9000gns for the first prize winner Haltcliff Novel, bred from two lines to Cannon. Buyer was D Hill, Penrith, but the Ridleys retain half the semen rights.

Greensons Gigolo, so successful for Welsh Breeder Brian Jones, is now widening his influence. Used on a Cannon cow in the Eden herd of Andy Holliday, Penrith, he produced Eden Nomad which made 8600gns to Nether Hall Farm, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria.

The reserve junior bull champion at this years Royal Show, Wintles Nero from F T Bedell and Son, Bishops Castle, Shropshire, won his class here and impressed the judge enough to encourage him to pay 8200gns for this Roughley Capricorn son with an impressive Beef Value of 44.

Nether Hall Farm were in again to take Johnny Thompsons Hartside Nutkin, by Hartside Hensingham, at 7000gns.

AVERAGES: 59 senior bulls £2813; 83 intermediate bulls £2647 and 49 junior bulls £2894. (Harrison and Hetherington) &#42