Luing breeders found a ready demand at their 48th Premier Sale held at Wallets Marts, Castle Douglas on Friday 8th February. A near record entry of 251-head saw trade for every class of stock exceed all expectations. In calf heifers sold well with 19 selling to average £1,931 (down £5 for 30 fewer sold); bulling heifers held up very well with 179 trading for £1,192 (down £132 for ten more sold) with 28 bulls concluding the sale to average £4,695 (down £2,179 for nine more sold).
A very level offering of bulls sold well with 28 of the 31 forward selling to average £4,695 – down £2,179 on the year for nine more sold. The top price of 10,000gns was paid jointly by J J and R Cameron of Monzie, Blair Atholl and R W Moffat of Wooplaw, Galashiels for Commonside Nick from debut consignor W W Dunlop and Son of Commonside, Hawick.
Nick, a red polled bull with stats from the pre-sale inspection of 810kg, 55″ at the shoulder and a scrotal circumference of 40cm, is an April-2011 born son of Commonside Kintyre and out of a Craigdarroch dam. Kirsty Dunlop of W W Dunlop and Son had earlier paid 8,200gns, the fourth highest price of the sale, for Luing Norton, a roan polled son of Luing Joker, from Cadzow Brothers.
The second-top price in the bull section of 9,500gns was paid out by A L and A C McCall for the last bull in the sale, Benhar Nevis, from Robert McNee Ltd.; a June-2011 born red polled son of Benhar Kite. This bull was one of four from the Benhar stable which had the second-top average of £5,433.
The honour of the top average in the bull section of £8,925 went to debut consignors Messrs R and H McNee of Over Finlarg, near Dundee. Their two bulls, Finlarg Nero and Finlarg Nimrod, made 8,000gns and 9,000gns respectively – the third and fifth top prices. The bulls, both red polled and both sired by Benhar Klassik, resulted in some fervent bidding with Nero being snapped up by Neil Anderson on behalf of Professor Penny’s Harehead herd at Cranshaws, Duns and Nimrod being knocked down to W Graham and Son from Craigdarroch, Sanquhar.
Other notable prices in the bull section included 7,200gns laid out by Robert McNee for Attonburn Nijinsky from C and M Symons of Attonburn, Yetholm who sold two bulls to average £5,355. The Harehead herd of Professor Penny matched that average of £5,355 for three sold including tops of 7,200gns and 6,000gns. W Graham and Son of Craigdarroch, Sanquhar sold two bulls to average £4,935 including a top of 5,200gns which was also the price hit by E J and A M Fox from Wooler who sold four to average £3,858.
At the pre-sale show in the morning the judge, Robin Wells from Co Armagh picked a pair of in-calf heifers from Robert McNee’s Benhar herd that went on to sell for 2,400gns each to Harry Fox, Akeld Steads House, Wooler. This top contributed to the highest average of the in-calf section of £2,146 for nine sold by the Benhar herd. Outwith the prize winners, in-calf heifers sold to 2,100gns from the Annelshope herd of Robert Carr for a pair of red Dirnanean Harrison sired daughters to J. Jardine of Fairgirth, Dalbeittie. This contributed to an average for Annelshope of £1,855 for six sold.
Pedigree Luing bulling heifers were bid to 2,000gns with 179 selling for an average of £1,192 – down £132 on the year with ten more sold. The top price was paid by Philiphaugh Estates, Selkirk for a pair of heifers from W.Graham & Son’s Craigdarroch herd. This pair of red heifers were sired by Craigdarroch Hakka and Harehead Jake and contributed to the top average in the bulling heifer section of £1,916 for four.
The prize winning heifers from D&A Barr’s Milkieston herd were purchased for 1,700gns each by the judge Robin Wells. By Harehead Kirk, the pair contributed to a good average for Milkieston of £1,410. Heifers sold well throughout with other notable averages including Cadzow Brothers Ltd. selling 22 for an average of £1,603; Harehead selling nine to average £1,580 – including the second place pair selling for 1,800gns to judge Robin Wells; Upper Chatto levelled at £1,537 for seven; Culmaily sold six for an average of £1,470; Nunnerie sold 16 to average £1,198; debut consignor Paddy Crerar from Lammermuir, Stenton sold four to average £1,168 with J. Fawcett & Co. from Merkland levelling at £1,007 for 22.
Commenting on the trade, new Society Chairman Andrew McNee said: “Today’s sale has gone well with both classes of heifers trading strongly despite adverse weather obviously having held some cattle back. With a 98% clearance rate of females and more bulls changing hands than ever in Castle Douglas, buyers have clearly indicated that Luings remain very desirable. We will continue to focus on breeding cattle that produce marketable stock under adverse conditions.”