Difficult journey proves worth it in end for Pat
By Jeremy Hunt
A BULL that nearly didnt make it across the Irish Sea, after its ferry crossing was cancelled at the last minute, carried off an impressive double championship during a bonanza of Blonde dAquitaine cattle at Borderway Mart.
Ashtonlodge Pat, a powerful 18-month-old bull from Co Down, Northern Ireland breeder John McVeigh, put on a great show despite having been "on the move" for almost four days before arriving in the Carlisle saleyard.
Pat, who weighed 860kg when he finally made it to the markets weigh scales, is by the show winning sire Ashtonlodge Jet which took several major titles on the circuit in 1997. Jet is double-bred to Tonnerre, a bull made available to UK Blonde breeders via the French Midatest scheme.
"I had no doubts about mating a son and daughter of Tonnerre. Hes been hugely undervalued as a sire. His promotional pictures in the UK never did him justice," said Mr McVeigh.
Pat was awarded the male championship in the breed societys Blonde 2000 show classes, judged by auctioneer David Thomlinson, and then went on to stand supreme in the autumn show under John Peacock of Castle Douglas.
He realised the days second highest price of 3400gns and heads back to Co Down with J McCabe of Downpatrick.
There was tremendous width and muscling on offer in the high quality senior bull class of the autumn show. Standing third was the eye-catching Hackleton Professor – a tall and stretchy Tonnerre grandson through his sire Harpon – from Hackleton Farms, Northants. Hes out of the show winning cow Ganaway Fifi and topped the trade at 3700gns to A Gourlay and Co, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire.
Devon breeder Graham Barbers bull Megray Prudential, which stood supreme champion at this years Devon County Show, looked a likely contender for the autumn shows top honours but a temporary eye problem kept him under wraps until the sale. This Hadley Legend son made 3100gns to Ed and Joanne Crozier for their Beech herd at Carlisle.
Taking the reserve supreme autumn show ticket was L Laird and Sons of Fife with Lochhead Perfection, a second prize winner at the Royal Highland. He goes to Roxburghshire with J Wauchope at 3000gns.
Female trade was led by Anne Diffeys 1995-bred cow Aveton Luminesse. She was sold suckling a May-born bull calf by Edendale Jigsaw and made 1700gns to A Martin, Ballymena. The autumn shows female champion was J W Frames maiden heifer Gala Oyster. Buyers at 1000gns were W and W Stewart, Stranraer.
The Blonde 2000 event – the culmination of 24 regional qualifying shows – saw the Harpon-sired maiden heifer Hayton Portia from A J and C D Scott, Glasgow collect the £2000 cheque for the overall championship. Reserve overall and earning the £1000 prize was a heifer from the Hallmark herd of Alan Hall, Darlington, Co Durham.
Averages: 20 bulls £1903; five cows £1085; two served heifers £708; 13 maiden heifers £814. (Harrison and Hetherington) *
Weighing in at 860kg Ashtonlodge Pat was set to make a big impact on the Carlisle ringside.