11 December 1998

Limousin rises point to first signs of recovery

By Jeremy Hunt

DEMAND for pedigree Lim-ousin cattle has stayed strong through the darkest days of the beef crisis – but a big rise in values of unhaltered females offered at Carlisle last week could be the start of a wider upturn in cattle prices.

This was the first sale of unhaltered females for the British Limousin Cattle Society since it was announced that the beef export ban will be lifted.

Apart from two top prices of 2000gns, rises came in all section averages as beef breeders looked ahead for the first time in over two years to a market place unfettered by marketing restrictions.

It was the 22 maiden heifers that showed the biggest rise, levelling at £887 – up £373. And the 23 cows served and/or suckling averaged £993 (up £73) with 26 heifers served and/or suckling at £887 (up £55).

A locally-bred cow that started off life in the herd of Johnny Thompson at Melmerby, Penrith but was offered by G Phillips and Son from their Mardoneen herd at Carlisle was the first to make the 2000gns-mark.

Hartside Fleur, an impressive fifth calver by the Hartsides noted sire Radar, was out of a cow by Bewick Lord Kim. She was sold to A C and B M Morgan, Pontardul-ais, Swansea, suckling a July-born heifer calf, Mardoneen Opium, by Tanhill Rumpus and was served in August by Kilham Nero.

Wales continues to demonstrate its commitment to the Limousin and it was a maiden heifer by the legendary Broad-meadows Cannon from North Wales breeders A &#42 and G W Roberts, Betws-y-Coed, Gwynedd, that shared the top price.

Their Hafodlas Non is out of a Rake Terence-sired dam and stayed locally heading for Mrs M E Browns Windyhill herd at Aspatria.

More Welsh cash was on offer for the fourth calver Scorboro Hebe, a daughter of Matt and Craig Ridleys big-money bull Haltcliffe Aristocrat that was exported to South Africa. Hebe, consigned by J C G Bloom and Son, Driffield, East Yorks, and claimed by Mrs D B Davies, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, has a Beef value of 32 and was served in June by Normande Judge.

Another cow from the same herd, Scorboro Irene, took the fancy of David Baillie, Carnwath, Lanark-shire. He gave 1600gns for this Normande Fortress five-year-old.

A keen buying contingent from Northern Ireland was busy throughout the sale. Most active in the top level of the trade was J Gilliland, Co Antrim. He paid 1350gns for Mrs S J Fosters Newsham Ibetha from her locally-based herd. This Tanhill Uranus daughter was bred by George Westgarth, Richmond, North Yorks and was sold suckling a three-week-old heifer calf by the Cannon son Ronick Hawk.

Mr Gilliland also paid 1300gns for Eves Elsa from local vendors J W and D N Eve. Elsa, by Grahams Volcanic, was sold with her sixth calf at foot – a May-born bull by Ronick Gains.

Dromore, Co Down bidder J N Martin was among the Northern Ireland buyers and favoured a young cow by Strathallan Diplomat from G Phillips and Son. This 1994-born cow, Limegrove Jewel, was bred by M Armstrong Brampton, Cumbria and was offered with a six-month-old bull calf at foot by Tanhill Rumpus. She realised 1450gns. (Harrison and Hetherington) &#42