6 September 2002

Wilde Blues deliver goods at Carlisle

By Jeremy Hunt

MICHELE Wilde once again delivered the goods to the Carlisle crowd when she staged the first production sale of females from her Ridge Dean Belgian Blue herd and walked away with over £115,000.

Once told that the breed was "no place for a woman", Ms Wilde has consistently proved the sceptics wrong during the 17 years that shes been breeding Belgian Blues at her farm near Leighton Buzzard, Beds.

Last weeks selection of females represented many of the successful bloodlines that have earned her some hefty cheques for bulls in the past. And the female catalogue proved too good for top breeders to miss and they headed the averages, with 18 maiden and yearling heifers levelling at £3307.

And it was one of these that topped the sale at 8000gns when Lancs breeder Alan Barnes set about replenishing his Cowden herd lost in last years foot and mouth outbreak.

Mr Barnes, renowned for his determined bidding in both sheep and cattle rings, stuck to his guns, beating off strong opposition to claim Ridge Dean Tania. This black-and-white maiden heifer is full sister to Ridge Dean Totty, this years winner of the junior heifer class at the Royal Highland Show.

Tania is by Serieux de Fooz and out of the top show cow Ridge Dean Jessie, who is a daughter of the successful sire Park Daimler.

Mr Barnes bought two more of the most fancied heifers. Ridge Dean Tictac, a yearling blue-roan heifer by Visconti de St Fontaine and a grand-daughter of the herds famous show cow Ridge Dean Kosher. Her dam, the Classique de St Lambert-sired Ridge Dean Rascal, was a member of this years show team and has calved naturally as a heifer. Tictac has a beef value of 16 and realised 5000gns.

Outstanding shape combined with four generations of natural calving produced a tempting package when Ridge Dean Saver came into the ring. Again Mr Barnes was in contention and secured this Seduisant de Fooz heifer at 4000gns. She is out of the Visconti-sired Ridge Dean Popsicle.

Coming on to the market with her major win at Ingliston this season, Ridge Dean Totty realised 7500gns to B K Ryder, Moffat, Dumfriesshire. Another Serieux x Jessie daughter, she has a beef value of 23.

More of the herds tried and tested lines tempted the Penrith-based buying partnership of D T Crowden and W G Irving and Sons. They split the cheque for 6000gns to claim the maiden heifer Ridge Dean Tansy – a light blue-and-white daughter of Serieux x Jessie.

Bound for the Isle of Tyree with A MacInness at 5500gns was Ridge Dean Tango, this years reserve junior female title at the Royal Welsh. Shes by Visconti and out of a Daimler dam.

Other leading bids came for a served heifer by Job Van de Wolvendreef and in-calf to Ridge Dean Mahogany. She made 3100gns to J S Stephenson, Skipton, North Yorks.

Averages: 15 cows served and/or suckling £1942; three in-calf heifers £2905; one FOT suckling recipient dam £5250; five cross-breds £800 and 16 frozen embryos £437 (Harrison & Hetherington). &#42