14 June 2002

State-of-art complex has quality stock

By Jeremy Hunt

HOLSTEIN breeders paid up to 10,000gns when they gathered at a lavish dairy complex in Leics earlier this week for the first production sale from John and Val Barkers Ridgefield herd.

Auctioneer Tom Brooksbank, of Norton and Brooksbank, said: "Mr and Mrs Barker have created a state-of-the-art complex on their farm at Loughborough and offered a great selection of cattle from world renowned cow families."

Essex-based Designer Holsteins gave 10,000gns for Ridgefield Progress Lozan, a 12-month-old heifer closely linked to two of the breeds top sires. Her dam is the VG86 two-year-old Lystel Lozan Malachite and her second dam, by Starbuck, gave 12,300kg as a heifer. Progress Lozan is maternal sister to Lystel Leduc and Comestar Outside.

The top bid came well into the sale after a string of deals over 3000gns, but minutes later the second highest call of 6500gns was lodged for Ridgefield Progress Rachel, another daughter of Duncan Progress.

This August 2001-bred heifer is from Rudolphs family and is out of an Aeroline dam. Buyers were W J Nadin and Co, Buxton, Derbys. Trading moved into top gear for the later stages of the sale, which saw a syndicate, headed by south Cumbrias Mark Towers, give 6200gns for the seven-month-old heifer Ridgefield Progress Lauranick. Her dam, Comestar Lauranick Storm Ex-90, was interbreed champion at the Dairy Farming Event 2000.

A November 2001-bred daughter of a cow rated by the Barkers as one of the "worlds greats" also made 6200gns. Ridgefield Roxy is by Skychief and out of Hanoverhill Chas Roxy. She has the 98t cow A Hanover-Hill Astro Roxie as third dam. Buyers were C Draper and Son, Shrewsbury.

J and M Holgate, from Settle, North Yorks, paid 5300gns for the two-year-old calved heifer Ridgefield Leader Alison VG88, while a 5000gns call from West Midlands buyer M Eaton of Albrighton was good enough to claim the October 2000-bred heifer Ridgefield Cousteau Angela with three generations of 12,000kg cows behind her.

Other notable bids included 4700gns from D and C Jones, Magor, Gwent, for the served-heifer Ridgefield Cousteau Lausine 2nd from the great Laurie Sheik bull breeding family. She was out of a Storm dam.

Inverness bidders C Innes took a six-month Comestar Lee heifer calf out of Castlerhydd Milan Ghost at 4600gns, while Mr Eaton was in again at 4500gns for a high fat and protein daughter of Leduc out of a Rudolph cow and in-calf to Lee.

Averages: 89 heifers £2410 and nine bull calves £851 (Norton and Brooksbank). &#42