A look back at the year that was 2010

As it’s nearing the end of the year I though I’d share the review of this year’s trade which will appear in next week’s FW.

It’s certainly been a year to remember with plenty of money spent in both the pedigree and commercial rings across the UK. I hope you have a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year and look forward to seeing many of you out and about at sales in 2011.


In the autumn’s pedigree sales it was the hill breeds which stole the limelight with the top price of the year a £90,000 bid for a Blackface from Iain Hunter’s Dalchirla flock which sold at Dalmally in October. This one was by a home-bred son of a £28,000 Midlock and out of a ewe by Dalchirla Kingsmill.

He was knocked down to a consortium of three breeders, namely Alasdair Macarthur, of Nunnerie, Elvanfoot and Allan Wight, of Midlock, Crawford, both Biggar and Mary McCall Smith, of Connachan, Crieff.

Blackface also sold at £65,000 in Lanark when Hugh Blackwood and son, Alan, of Auldhouseburn, Cumnock, notched up their best-ever performance. Their leader, a ram lamb by The Roofer and out of a ewe by McTavish, was split four ways. The Blackwoods kept a half, while the remaining half was shared by John Campbell, of Glenrath, Peebles; Billy Renwick, of the Blackhouse, Yarrow, Selkirk, and Andy Woodburn, of Netherwood, Muirkirk, Ayrshire.

Swaledales were another of the hill breeds enjoying a flying trade on the back of improved Mule prices and sold to a top of £52,000 at Hawes. This was paid for a shearling from Mark Ewbank, Middlemoor, for Intake Bonanza 1. Second best for the breed was £45,000 sale for one from Eric Coates, Butt Rigg Limelight.

In the terminal sire breeds the best prices were enjoyed by the Texels with trade hitting 65,000gns at Lanark. This was paid for Forkins Rocksolid from the Forkins flock of Alistair Gault, County Antrim. Rocksolid is by Tamnamoney Ned and out of a ewe by Clynnog Joe Tex. This one was bought by Trinidad Investments UK.


In the commercial sector it was the Mule ewe lambs which enjoyed the pick of the trade, with averages at many sales across the country settling in the mid £90s on the back of the strong lamb and cull ewe trade throughout the year and a general shortage of breeding sheep which resulted.


Unlike the sheep sector it was the early part of the year which held the highlights for pedigree beef breeders, with a number of highs reached in January and February.

For the native breeds there were a number of highlights this year, not least a record for a UK Aberdeen-Angus which was set at 75,000gns when John Lascelles sold Balmachie Black Bear in a private sale to USA breeders Kelly and Jacqui Grissom of 8G Livestock.

The bull, Balmachie Black Bear from John Lascelles, is a Rawburn Lord Ross son out of Blelack Blackbird, a Blelack Lord Hornblower daughter. He has a terminal sire index of +24 and a self replacing index of +21. UK Semen rights were retained by Mr Lascelles.

Elsewhere in the native breeds new breed records were set in the Lincoln Red, Beef Shorthorn and Belted Galloway breeds, with the Lincoln Reds breaking five figures for the first time when March 2008-born Walmer Legend from Messrs Needler’s Walmer herd sold in Newark for 10,000gns to Michael Read for his Hemingby herd. This one is a son of Beverley Henchman and out of Walmer Lobelia.


Setting the new Beef Shorthorn benchmark at £16,000 was Chapelton Covenanter, a son of Chapelton Typhoon out Chapelton Duchess 690. This makes him a full brother to 13,000gns bull Chapelton Braveheart which sold at Stirling in February. March 2009-born Covenanter was bought by Syd and Mary Chaplin for their Meonhill herd. And the new mark in the Belted Galloways was set at 7500gns when Lullenden Aztec Warrior from H Hamilton’s Whitehope Herd of Innerleithen, Peebleshire, sold to Tim Oliver, Great Whittington.

Dominating the prices in the Continental breeds once again was the Limousin breed, with a high of 72,000gns achieved at Carlisle in February for Haltcliffe DJ from the Ridley family, Cumbria. This is a son of Cloughhead Umpire and out of French cow Radio, a Nenuphar daughter. Selling with a beef value of +33, he joined the Netherhall and Procters herds in a two way split.

The breed also set a new record in 2010 with the best UK price yet for a black Limousin, a 26,000gns call for Emslie Black Empire from Harry Emslie and Lynwen Evans. This son of the previous record holder Bailea Black BMW who was bought for 25,000gns, is out of Shannas Polly, a Ronick Jalopy daughter. He sold to Albert Howie, Knock, Aberdeenshire.

The breed also saw some impressive female prices in 2010 too, with the Pyebrook dispersal for the Matthews family leading the way with a 29,000gns sale for French cow Unicite. This is an Omer daughter out of Institutri, a Favori daughter. Having been flushed three times previously she sold to the Ironstone herd of Messrs Smith, Bloxham, Banbury.

Best of the rest in the Continentals were the Charolais with their trade topping at 26,000gns at Stirling in February for Goldies Detour from Hamish Goldie, with this price equalled in May at Carlisle for Anside Excalibur from Martin Irvine. Detour is a son of Goldies Banker out of Goldies Violin, a daughter of Thrunton Trademark. This one was snapped up after a bidding war by Charlie Boden for his Sportsmans herd, Cheshire.

Anside Excalibur, meanwhile, is by the 30,000gns sire Balmyle Bollinger and is out of Darshams Vienna, a Moyness Rendevous daughter. He has a TSI of +28 and an SRI of +37 and sold to Gareth Jones’ Esgob herd at Cwmtirmynach, Bala.

The autumn sales of all classes of beef cattle were markedly back on the 2009 trade, with store cattle buyers nervous of high winter feed and forage costs and consequently breeding cattle buyers less willing to pay high prices for either bulls or breeding females. Many store sales saw cattle prices back by £50 a head, while breeding heifer and cow trade was heavily back at many markets.


While the dairy sector hasn’t been enjoying the greatest year in terms of milk price and rising input costs, that hasn’t held back trade for the top of the UK’s genetics, with one sale from the first half of the year dominating the roll call of top prices.


When the Wills family announced their intention to hold a production sale from their Willsbro herd in Cornwall, it was always going to be a noteworthy event and so it proved with a new UK dairy record set at 90,000gns.

Making this price was Willsbro Emilyann, an Ensenada Taboo Planet daughter out of Wabash-Way Emilyann. This one sold to the Ponderosa herd, Spain.

Others at the same sale then sold at 45,000gns and 30,000gns, with the 45,000gns sale achieved for Willsbro Sara Million, a Riverdane PS Sara daughter by England-Ammon Millions.

She was bought by a syndicate led by David Adam, Piltdown. The 30,000gns sale was made for a full sister to the 90,000gns heifer, Willsbro Emilyamber. She was bought by Maurice Jones, Calcourt Farms.


Commercial dairy cattle prices have been steadier throughout 2010 with a number of auctioneers reporting a slow down in trade in the autumn as the failure for milk prices to reflect increasing input costs has reduced the spending power of many buyers.


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