Caledonian Marts’ premier calf sale at Stirling may well have lacked the fireworks of previous years, but trade on Friday evening was at least consistent.
The heifer averages suffered from what many thought was an entry that lacked its usual stunners.
Top price at £4000 was a much-fancied second prizewinner from Roddy Thomson, of Westpark, Aberfeldy, Perthshire. This 11-month-old Charolais cross heifer, called Quicksilver, was by Hendy Viagra, a Doonvalley New son, and out of a British Blue cross cow, one of 200 that Mr Thomson runs.
She had last month been second to the female champion at Perth Show and then took the reserve at the smaller Atholl and Breadalbane event in Highland Perthshire.
Buyers were the partnership of Scott Watson, of Carnoustie, Angus, and John David Work and son, Neil, of Mains of Dumbreck, Udny, Aberdeenshire.
Quicksilver will be joining their show team and his likely to re-emerge at the Royal Highland Winter Fair. The partnership won Smithfield in 2000 with Danny Boy.
Supreme for the second successive year were Messrs MacArthur, of Mid Fleenas, Nairn. The leader from George and sons, David and Neil, was the Bees Knees, a March-born Limousin cross bullock, by Dyke Triumph and out of a British Blue cross cow. It was the show’s spring-born champion.
He was last month champion in the commercial lines at Nairn Show, which annually attracts a huge commercial entry and often far bigger than the Royal Highland.
Judge Alister Vance, of Bridgehouse, Whithorn, said the Bees Knees was as good as it got. “He had real class and style and beautiful character. He had lovely clean lines. He had a very modern look, but still retained breed character,” said Mr Vance, who paid £1800 for his winner.
Ronaldo, a yearling Limousin cross bullock, from Wilson Peters, of Cuilt Farmhouse, Monzie, Crieff, was reserve supreme and autumn-born championship.
He was champion at Alyth in Perthshire and won several first prizes over the show season. Ronaldo was by Normande Adventure and out of Rhianna, the show cow bred by Ian Wilson, of J. and J. Wilson, of Wester Cairnglass, Gollanfield, Inverness, and which lifted numerous championships for Mr Peters in 2007. Ronaldo sold for £2300 to Innes Farms, of Helenamore, New Aberdour Aberdeenshire.
Innes, run by father and Norman and Scott Innes, was among the most consistent buyers on the night. Many of the heifers they acquired are destined to be bred from, while the bullocks are likely to be shown at the Royal Highland Winter Fair and Smithfield.
Among their higher-priced purchases at £2000 was the Aberdeen-Angus champion, Gentle Ben, a 13-month-old bullock, by Flodden Warden and out of a Limousin cross, from Ross Farms, of Wester Middleton, Gorebridge, with the 13-month-old bullock, Gentle Ben, by Flodden Warden and out of a Limousin cross. He stood reserve reserve in the commercial lines with its mother at Dalkeith and Haddingtom shows in the Lothians.
David Henderson, of Auchenrivoch, Kilsyth, won thee reserve autumn championship with an 11-month-old Charolais cross bullock, by Carradale Neptune and out of Limousin cross cow which has in the past bred calves up to £4200 at the Caley sale.
This one sold for £2100 to Drew Hyslop, of Bridge of Allan, who also paid the same price for another Charolais cross from Mr Henderson that was the Charolais champion – an 11-month-old cross, by Carradale Neptune and out of a Limousin cross cow.
Taking the reserve in the spring-born section was Wellie Rings, a Charolais cross bullock from David Gray, of Glenhead, Kilsyth. This April-born beast was by an Allanfauld-bred bull sired Gretnahouse Noel and out of a Limousin cross cow. He was on his first show outing. Innes Farms were again the buyer at £1300.
The 24 heifers sold to average £3.96 a kg and £1,361.67 a head, a fall on the £4.49 and £1,516.90 recorded last year.
The 28 bullocks sold to average £3.33 a kg and £1,252.69 a head. That was up on the £3.01 and £1,124.64 of 2008.
Overall there were 59 offered. The 50 sold to average £3.62 a kg and £1,305 a head.