Big spenders switch north
By Jeremy Hunt
SUFFOLK breeders made their annual pilgrimage to Edinburgh last week where some of the biggest spenders once again engaged in intense trading.
Although bidding rose to 20,000gns, there had been 300 lambs in the ring before three of the breeds heavyweights joined forces to pay the days top price of 50,000gns for a ram lamb from breeder John Sinnetts Stockton flock.
The lamb was by Baileys Caesar, bought jointly at Edinburgh last year for 25,000gns and which had stood supreme inter-breed champion the previous week at the Royal Welsh Show.
This was the only progeny of Caesar in the Stockton pen. The lamb is out of a ewe by Cairness The Best and from one of the flocks most successful show and breeding ewe families. Buyers were Bruce and Kenny Mair (Muiresk), Jimmy Douglas (Cairness) and Tom Bailey (Glenho).
Last year Mr Bailey of Co Meath paid the breed record price of 75,000gns for Stockton Almighty. The eight Stockton lambs averaged £7763.
Angus Wilson, who runs the Glenhead flock at Selkirk, judged the show classes on the first day but was well rewarded for his efforts during the sale with a personal best-ever price of 20,000gns.
The bid came from J M Hayward to secure a son of the 10,000gns Cairness Expression for his Flodden flock at Cornhill-on-Tweed. Mr Wilson retains a half share in the lamb. Glenheads eight lambs averaged £4646.
The 13 lambs from Jimmy Douglas Cairness pen averaged £3396 with Sandy Lee (Fordafourie) paying 15,000gns for a lamb by Cairness Streets Ahead and out of a ewe by the 68,00gns Muiresk King of Diamonds.
The Mairs of Muiresk continue to dominate the breed in their understated style and again produced an outstanding pen of lambs which averaged £6606 for 12 deals. Muiresk lambs accounted for the championship, the first prize in the Signet recorded class and the best group of three.
The Muiresk champion is by Cairness The King and out of a ewe by Cragroe Celcius. The King was bought jointly with the Roseden flock at the Holme Suffolk dispersal for 16,000gns. Willie Walker took the champion back to his flock at West Calder, Lothian at 15,000gns.
The Muiresk lamb that was reserve male champion at this years Royal Highland Show and is by Stockton Almighty, also made 15,000gns. Buyers were Duncan Gill (Templand) and Jocky McCallum (Mountrich).
The Mairs Signet class winner – also by Almighty – made 10,000gns to Graham Massie (Blelack), Gordon Wilson (Glenisla) and Wilson Strachan (Balmaud).
The Baileys flock of Co Meath-based Jeff Bailey successfully combined Almighty with some deep Fordafourie female breeding. The result produced a joint 14,000gns call from Harry Emslie (Kinmundy) and the Mairs.
And more of the same breeding worked for Tom Baileys (Co Meath) Glenho flock when 10,000gns was called for an Almighty son out of a Fordafourie Flashdance ewe. Buyer was Jimmy Wilson (Bridgestone).
Glos-based Roger and Michael Weaver sold a son of Cairness Carlsberg at 10,000gns to Jimmy Douglas. Gordon Wilsons Glenisla flock sold lambs at 9000gns and 8000gns. Returning to the Edinburgh ring were the Campbells from Alnwick, Northumberland who scored a best of 6000gns from their Thrunton pen.
AVERAGES: 235 ram lambs £2136. (John Swan and Sons). *
Three top 4000gns at Grange Limousin sale
THREE 4000gns bids – two from the same buyer – marked a successful production sale from Grahame Smiths Grange Limousin herd held on the farm at Daventry, Northants last weekend.
Buriton Estates, Petersfield, Hants were the first at 4000gns to secure the imported cow Houpette. This 1992-bred daughter of Elephant was sold suckling her fifth calf; a bull calf by the highly rated French sire Gabarit.
And they were soon back in action to claim more of the same breeding via the 1995-bred cow Grange Leleque. Shes a Gabarit daughter and was sold with a March-born bull calf at foot by Lutteur. Leleque had been running with Heureux, yet another from Mr Smiths team of French imports.
Gabarit is by the leading French bull As De Pic and it was this line of breeding that drew another 4000gns call from mid-Wales breeder * W Jerman, Llanidloes. He took Grange Okinawa, a 16-month-old bull.
Age did not deter interest in the active six-year-old imported cow Herbette which made 3400gns to J Bowen-Jones, Bilsworth, Northants. She is by Colibri and was sold with a three-week-old bull calf by Heureux.
Yorkshire breeder J Weatherill, Millington, York bought several of the best on offer. He gave 3400gns for Grange Justina, a 1994-bred cow by Ami. She was suckling a heifer calf by Gabarit and was in-calf to him again.
The calved heifer Grange Monamour joined Mr Weatherills list at 2800gns. This Gabarit daughter had an April-born bull calf by the French sire.
A 2500gns call from the same buyer was good enough to secure the heifer Grange Mimosa – an Heureux daughter with a Marquis bull calf at foot. Mr Weatherill also paid 2100gns for a second calf cow suckling a bull calf. *
Young heifers in great demand at Crewe
FAST and furious is how auctioneers at Crewe described the demand for heifers – particularly the younger entry – at the monthly show and sale of the Western Holstein Club.
"Trade started off slowly with cows hard to sell. As the day progressed, there was a great demand for heifers with even second quality sorts realising 150gns more than a month ago," reports Clive Norbury.
The sale saw almost 100 heifers average £774 and drew volume buyers in plenty. Three wagons pulled out of the Crewe saleyard heading for Scottish herds and carrying 33 purchases while a buyer from Wiltshire took 21 head and a regular Staffordshire bidder snapped up 16 heifers.
Alan Brooks, who runs the Fulfordhall herd at Winsford tapped into some choice Canadian breeding with the days highest bid of 1650gns bid for Twelveacres Slocum Cent Joy C who was springing to calve to Hanoverhill Spirit.
This heifer drew many admirers. Shes by Slocum and out of the twice-14,000kg import Beerwort Centennial Joy. Vendors were Crewe Hall Farms, Chester.
And for others looking for something a bit special there was Grosvenor Farms (Chester) Grosvenor Mascot Bonheur 4, a calved heifer out of the 12,600kg successful show cow Grosvenor Starbuck Bonheur. She made 1000gns to E and M Pearce, Whitmore, Staffs.
Sorting through the entry was Mrs Jean Gould. She favoured maturity over potential and gave the top ticket to a third calver by Townson Lindy from Ray Brown and Partners Bidlea herd at Holmes Chapel. It made 850gns.
The winner of the junior heifer class, Lambwell Linflavia 72 from J M Robinson, Ashbourne, Derbys, was pulled in to take the reserve championship. *