Superior shape wins day
By Jeremy Hunt
LANCS Simmental breeder Vicky Wood had given herself a clear remit before she began her debut judging stint at the breed societys spring show and sale at Carlisle, where prices went to 3300gns.
"I wanted bulls of superior shape combined with excellent fleshing qualities. As a breed we have got to get away from the big, rangy types and concentrate on conformation," said Mrs Wood who runs the Popes herd in the Ribble Valley near Preston.
And she found everything she was looking for in her champion, Stephen Evanss Astcote Jack The Lad. "He was the youngest bull entered but had all the qualities the breed needs. He may not be the biggest bull in the world, but height was not an issue in making my final decision."
This 13-month-old son of Hockenhull Simon weighed 748kg on the day was bred from the eight-cow herd run by Mr Evans on the familys arable farm at Towcester, Northants.
"The Simmentals are the only livestock on the farm. The remarkable thing about winning today was that the bulls dam produced the champion at the same sale two years ago," said Mr Evans.
Jack The Lad is out of Agardsley Tonia 2, a Supersonic daughter of the renowned senior cow Agardsley Tonia whose 400-day weight of 701kg is still a female record gain for the breed. The 12-year-old Tonia has recently joined Mr Evanss herd and is still breeding successfully.
The champion made the days top price of 3300gns to Tom Gillespie for use in his South Park herd in Kircudbrightshire.
Once again the influence of Brinkton Brilliant was well to the fore and responsible for the days second highest price of 3000gns paid by W Turner, Dumbarton, for Stoneknow Hamish consigned from the Carlisle-based herd of Mr and Mrs I Lancaster.
And another Brilliant son, Heywood Just the Job, from David Barker, Taunton, realised 2700gns to W * Smith and Sons, Tow Law, Co Durham.
More Agardsley breeding produced Strathisla Joseph from Stra-thisla Farms. He was sired by Agar-dsley Clinton and made 2400gns to Gillesbie Farms, Lockerbie.
Also at 2400gns was Drumsleed Jupiter, a Salisbury Challenger son from Gerald Smith, Aberdeen taken by south Cumbria farmers K R and J D Pumphrey.
The reserve overall championship was won by John Bances 1400gns in-calf heifer Wistow Honor.
Averages: 23 bulls £1794; 10 females £889 and two maiden heifers £645. (Harrison and Hetherington). *
B&Ws put on a strong show
THE inaugural sale of the newly-formed Western Holstein Club at Crewe continued the remarkable run of success by Derbys farmers Pat and Harold Crapper – who only milk six cows.
Arable acres have replaced most of the grass on the couples farm since the dispersal of their Birchcross herd, but Mr Crapper continues to buy in well-bred youngstock and breeds from his small nucleus of cows.
From some of the strongest show classes seen in the Crewe saleyard for some time, and with no shortage of good quality heifers on parade, judge Pamela Garnett favoured the Crappers stylish third calver Thamesdown Futurity Gaffy for the championship.
"Shes a very impressive cow showing great dairy character, sharpness and stature," said Mrs Garnett, who runs the Fullersgate herd with her husband, Tony, near Knutsford, Cheshire.
Gaffy is by Coldsprings Futurity (Beluga Mark) and out of the 12,161kg cow Thamesdown Gaff-eusse, a Tricorne daughter. She was bought as a calf at the Thamesdown dispersal sale and has been a regular show winner for Mr Crapper who has retained her three daughters.
She had been calved four weeks and was giving 36kg on the day. Northern Ireland interest faltered as the price reached its peak of 1300gns following a final bid from J Spiers and Son, Luton, Beds.
A 1040gns call from Elwyn Thomas, Kidwelly, Gwynedd secured Gornal Nannette 107th from D E Davies and Son, Llanymynech, Powys.
Averages: 33 FR cows £757; 98 FR heifers £731; two SR heifers £703. (Wright-Manley). *
Limousin bulls draw large crowd
LIMOUSIN bull buyers were out in force at Portadown to snap-up sires at the Northern Ireland breed club show and sale where prices reached 3600gns.
The capacity crowd produced a tremendous trade levelling 31 bulls of the 34 on offer at £2075.
And it was the chance to secure some new breeding that tempted buyers to pay the most when Charles McAuley and Sons, Co Antrim, presented Carmorn Navan – the first son to be sold by the 1996 National Junior Champ-ion Pelletstown Ken (by the imported bull Genereux). The days leading bid came from Joe Redmond, Loughgall, Co Antrim.
Adrian Richardson, Maguires-bridge, Co Fermanagh, collected the supreme championship with Hillviewfarm Outrage, an impressive son of the great producer Greensons Gigolo and out of a Rake Terence dam. He heads for Co Tyrone with G Coulter at 3500gns.
Gigolos huge influence in mainland herds is now emerging in Northern Ireland. Another son, Albian Oswald from Kenny Veitch, Lisbellaw, realised 2800gns to Fred Woods, Co Tyrone.
The sale saw the first bull to be offered from the Limo project underway at Antrims Greenmount College. Limo Nero, by the French sire Ideal and out of a Crownhead Fivestar dam, took the reserve championship and made 2700gns.
Neil Martins Ronick Next also sold for 2700gns. (Automart). *
Calved heifer takes top bid
STRONG demand for in-calf and maiden heifers was a feature of the final dispersal of Mike Faulkners Fielders herd of Holstein Friesians.
But the top bid of 1400gns, from an undisclosed Scottish buyer, came for a calved heifer by Ked Juror out of a Logic dam that had recorded 13,900kg in her fourth. This cow, now in her sixth lactation, was also offered, and made 850gns to Glos dairy farmers R * and M E Oughton and Sons.
Boulet Charles daughters were among the most sought after and reached 1250gns paid by Boscawen Farm Partnership, Truro, for a heifer out of a 12,000kg Broker dam.
Averages: 92 cows £668; 10 in-calf heifers £752; 15 served heifers £543 and 13 maiden heifers £405. (Gwilym Richards). *
Piemontese prove popular
DUMFRIESSHIRE beef and sheep farmer Willie Hunter and his family have been long-time supporters of the Piemontese. Their herd, which is run alongside pedigree Limousins, produced the two highest prices at the breed societys sale at Carlisle.
The Hunters consignment from their Low Abbey herd included a bull bought by P L Saxby, York, for 1600gns and another at 900gns sold to R and M Burrow, Lancaster. (Harrison and Hetherington). *