26 March 1999

Top Crowhill Limousins make average of £4480

PEDIGREE Limousin breeders were in great heart at Carlisle last week when a cow suckling her second calf sold for 14,000gns to top the dispersal of Yorkshireman Dick Etheringtons Crowhill herd.

Although there were only 12 animals on offer – including the stock bull – they averaged £4480.

Mr Etherington, who had been breeding Limousins for 15 years, had tapped into some of the most famous French herds for his foundation stock. Skilful blending of this breeding along with the infusion of carefully selected UK-bred sires has been the bedrock of his success.

Faced with such a small offering of high calibre stock, buyers wasted no time in moving into top gear and within minutes 14,000gns had been reached for the imported cow Intruse.

Bought in France as a weaned calf, she is the only daughter of Vainqueur 838 in the UK. There have been 30 Vainqueur sons through the breeds premiere French testing station at Lanaud. She was sold suckling a heifer calf, Crowhill Orgambye, by Marquis. According to Mr Etheringtons calculations, within two generations of Orgambyes pedigree the family has produced 86 Lanaud bulls.

The 14,000gns call came from Gary Swindlehurst, farm manager for Proctors Farm, Slaidburn, Clitheroe, Lancs.

"She was the only one we wanted. Shes superbly bred and has an outstanding heifer calf. The pair gives us some valuable new bloodlines," said Mr Swindlehurst.

The Proctors herd was established about three years ago and numbers 15 cows. The plan is to mate her to Neutron, the herds new stock bull bought for 14,000gns last autumn in partnership with Johhny Thompson, Penrith.

Much of the Crowhill herds achievements have been through the influence of the great brood cow Fleur and last November one of her daughters, Crowhill Moyenne, made 10,500gns at Carlisle. Another daughter, the 1993-bred Idee, was on offer at the dispersal and realised 5000gns. By Ulex and in-calf to Haltcliffe Aristocrat, she combines the best of the Bournazel breeding and was claimed by J F Dennis, Marlborough, Wilts.

Local breeder J P Mulholland invested 4000gns in the 1996-bred Crowhill Mannube, a full-sister to Moyenne offering a valuable combination of breeding being out of Fleur and by Cannon. She was sold in-calf to the stock bull Crowhill Muzard.

Five years ago Mr Etherington paid 9000gns for the bull Redrock Inspiration and it was his 1996-bred daughter Crowhill Monnierre that also sold for 4000gns. She is out of Fleur and was sold suckling an August-born heifer calf by Gigolo. Buyer was R G Dodd, Lockerbie.

The French imported bull Daim, which has had such an impact in the Nattresss Greenwell herd in Co Durham, has been used successfully at Crowhill and is the sire of stock bull Crowhill Muzard. The three-year-old Muzard, also out of the great Fleur, made 3900gns to W Cag, Thurso, Caithness, who had earlier given 3800gns for a full sister suckling a bull calf by Ulex.

Other leading bids included 3800gns from Staffs breeders E T White and Son to take the Cannon-sired heifer Crowhill Monnelle with a heifer calf at foot while Buckinghamshire breeder Doug Mash paid 3600gns for the show-potential yearling heifer Crowhill Ouzzienne by Crownhead Busby. (Harrison and Hetherington) &#42