Perth Spring Sale

Blackford Northern Light

A Strong demand for Simmental bulls produced a cracking average for the breed at Perth on Tuesday 17th February 2004, with two bulls leading the ratings at 15,000gns apiece

Demand from the crossing sector and the influence of the Crofters Commission buyers helped put a sound bottom on the trade, with the 141 bulls averaging out at £3575.58 — a fall of £61.42 on the year, but for almost 20 more sold. And, such was the breadth of the trade, there was an excellent clearance rate, with only a handful failing to sell through the ring.

First to hit the 15,000gns ceiling was Billy MacPherson, Blackford, Croy, Inverness, who was matching his herd's best price which was gained last October, with his reserve senior and reserve overall champion, Blackford Northern Light. He is by the same sire as his October sale star, Curlieu Knight and he is the first bull calf out of the Rosten Barney daughter, Blackford Flame.

Blackford Northern Light

Buying his second bull from Blackford was Henry Widdicombe, Ashprington Court, Ashprington, Totnes, Devon, who liked the back breeding in his pedigree. He'll now be the main stock sire on Mr Widdicombe's 70-cow Starline herd.

Mr Widdicombe got a whack of his money back when he sold two bulls for 5000gns each. First off for him was Starline Nostradamus, a son of Starline Klassik, which was bought by Prentice, Brockholes, Duns. Then former Scottish NFU president, Sandy Mole, paid the same to get Starline Nigel, a Blackford Hawk son, which heads down to Greenburn Farm, at Reston.

Blackford had two other bulls valued at 5500gns each. First, Blackford Neon, a son of Rosten Barney, was taken to that mark by Glenapp Estates, Ballantrae, while his herd mate Blackford Nijinsky, which made the reserve intermediate spot in the show line-up, made the same money to Hamish McLean, Woodside of Culloden, Westhill, Inverness. This one is another son of Barney — a sire which cost just 4200gns and has produced more than 30 bulls which have averaged more than £5500.

Blackford Nijinsky

The other bull at 15,000gns was consigned by Northern Ireland breeder and clergyman, Harry Moore, Ballinderry Rectory, Coagh, Cookstown, Co Tyrone. This was the reserve junior champion, Omorga Prince, a son of Sterling Flint out of Cleenagh Daffodil, a cow which bred Omorga Nasser which made 10,000gns at last February's sale. The final bid came from Roy Weatherup, Hassenden Cottage, Denholm, Hawick, buying him for his Roma herd.

Omorga Prince

Third top was the intermediate section leader, Scotland Newcourt, from Peter Hill, Scotland Farm, West Leake, Loughborough, Leicester. By the home-bred sire, Scotland Hooray Henry, this was the first bull calf out of Scotland Denise, which is from one of the show cow families in the 30-cow herd. Brian Ryder, Newton, Annanwater, Moffat, made a bid of 9000gns to get him for his pedigree herd.

Scotland Newcourt

Brian Allan's show champion, Glenturk Nomad, marked a great second return to Perth for the Newton Stewart-based breeder who lost all his stock in the foot-and-mouth cull. For restocking he bought a large part of the Balmanno herd, including this one's sire and dam. The father was Milnafua Keystone, while the dam was Balmanno Elegant. He was taken to the 7500gns mark by the Borlase family, for their Sacombe herd, near Hereford. Jimmy and Ian Green, Corskie, Garmouth, Fochabers, featured on both sides of the roup roll, buying two bulls for 7000gns apiece and selling at up to 5500gns.

Glenturk Nomad

First on the debit side was Strathisla Nuggat, from Strathisla Farms, Wester Cardean, Meigle. This Blackford Lionheart will be joined on the float home by Ballinalare Farm Nightrider, consigned by Joe Wilson, Newry, Co Down. He's a son of Innerwick Krackerjack and is a heifer's calf out of Ballinalare Farm Linda 3 and this was the herd's best price to date.

Strathisla Nuggat

Ballinaliare Farm Nightrider

On the income side, the Greens' 130-cow herd produced the 5500gns Corskie Nave, a son of Burghbridge Lane. This one was bought by Pitgaveny Farms, Elgin.

Finlay McGowan, Incheoch, Alyth, also got into the top bracket, selling Dirnanean Nicki for 6000gns to Ben Challum Estate, Woodburn, Crieff. His full brother, Dirnanean Liberator, has been retained as a stock bull at home — the sire is Arkmill Franklyn, which has bred more than 30 Dirnanean bulls to average more than £4500.

Sons of John Young's show bull, Dovefields Gallant, were well bid for, with the Skerrington Mains team, from Kilmarnock, getting 5800gns and 5000gns for Skerrington Notable and Skerrington Niagara, respectively.

Mrs C Hardy, Sandling Park, Hythe, Kent, took the dearest of those two, which has an EBV of SM39, while the 5000gns bull, with an EBV of SM42, was bought by RM Storry, East Badallan, Fauldhouse, Bathgate.

Another well-known breeder with a great string of bulls was Hector Macaskill, Woodhall, Innerwick, Dunbar, with sales at 5700gns, 5500gns, 5200gns and 5000gns.

His top bid came for Woodhall Nigel, a son of Woodhall Javan which was bought by Ormiston Farm Trust, Ormiston, Hawick. Paying 5500gns to get another son of Javan, Woodhall Navaho, was Stewart Farms, Balglass, Lennoxtown, Glasgow. Organic farmer John Hamilton, Aikengall, Dunbar, took a shine to yet another by the same bull, Woodhall Nash, paying 5200gns to get him while Javan's record was kept up by yet another son, Woodhall Nando, making 5000gns to D Leslie, Redhill, Mosstowie, Elgin.

Another Ulster-bred bull to do well was RJ Boyd's Slievenacgh Nathan, from Portglenone, Co Antrim. He was bid to 5200gns by Culfargie Estates, Balbeggie, Perth, who get for the money a son of Curlieu Legacy, out of Curlieu Elsa's Faith.

Slievenagh Nathan

Roger Birch, from Old Station Yard, Weston, Stafford, got the sale off to the best possible start, getting 5000gns for the first bull into the ring, New Trend Dynasty, a four-year-old bull which was imported from Canada and which has won a heap of rosettes for his Pasturefields herd in the county show circuit. His top accolades were being the male champion at the Royal Welsh and reserve male at the Royal. This son of IPU Redwood was purchased by McKenzie Brothers, Westfield, Thurso.

That was quickly followed by Alford-based Whitehouse Farms' Mayfield Nero, making the same to JB Aitken, Preston, Linlithgow. This is a son of Mayfield Jupiter out of Mayfield Maureen.

Another from the North-east to hit that mark was Tillymaud Farms' Tillymaud Nominator, from Udny. A son of Blackford Lancer, he was taken by A King, Wolfstar, Ormiston, East Lothian.

A price tag of 5000gns was also acheived by Bob Hudson and his daughter Gill, from Glebe Farm, Barton-in-Fabis, Notts. This was for the junior champion, Glebehill Nobleman, a son of Gretnahouse Supersonic which was out of Fressingfield Blende 11, a cow which was bought at Norman Smith's dispersal sale and now viewed as one of the best cows in the herd. Dougie Barr, buying for Sir Dennis Mountain's Delfur Farms, Rothes, was the final bidder.

Glebehill Nobleman

The final bull at 5000gns was Cecil McIlwaine's Corrick North West, from Newtonstewart, Co Tyrone. Full of home breeding, he is by Corrick Kentucky Kid and out of Corrick Katie. Wilson and Geradine Strachan, Mill of Balmaud, King Edward, Turriff, put the final bid in.

Heifers from Paul Clements Darshams herd from Suffolk ruled supreme at the Simmental show and sale, securing the majority of top awards and the lead prices.

In all, the draft sale from the herd's 60-cow Simmental unit, which also runs alongside pedigree herds of Charolais, Limousin and Aberdeen-Angus, sold to a top of 5100gns for the pre-sale reserve champion, to average £2565 for 14.

Sale leader, at 5100gns, was Darsham Madeline, a rising three-year-old in-calf heifer by the Agardsley Clinton son, Darsham King Kong, one of the current stockbulls that has produced a good number of show females. Show winners are also behind the female side of the equation with the dam, Darsham Hannadante 3, being a full sister to the highly successful show cow, Hannadante 3. Madeline sold due to Darsham Napoleon, to Ayrshire-based breeder, Lauchlan Quarm, Annick Lodge, Irvine.

Darsham Madeline

The Darsham herd also produced the champion in the shape of Darsham Nigella, a two-year-old by the 10,000gns stockbull, Sterling Flint out of Billa Barra Gabriela, a Revelex Wesley-sired female bought privately as a heifer. Final bidder at 4600gns was W Abraham, Braeside, Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Darsham Nigella

Penrith breeders, J and T Holliday, Townfoot, bought the next three highest priced Darsham females at 3000gns, 2900gns and 2800gns. The first, Darsham Popular, a 10-month-old heifer by Corrick Kentucky Kid, is out of Billa Barra Fancy. Kentucky Kid was also behind the 2900gns sale, Darsham Narcissus, a two-year-old, while the 2800gns heifer, Darsham Natty, is by Sterling Flint.

In the collective sale, a top price of 4400gns was achieved for J Peters' Treetops Galaxy, a Rosten Barney show heifer out of Camus Galaxy. Placed first in her class at the pre-sale show, this rising two-year-old was knocked down to JT and G Smith, Brown Howe, Stape, Pickering, North Yorks.

The same stable also produced a 3000gns sale in the shape of Swallowhill Nightingale, a similarly aged heifer by Balmanno Hitman purchased by JA Tallentire, High Griseburn, Great Asby, Appleby. The dam is Brinkton Sandra-Amber.

By the end of the day, the 16 heifers at the collective sale averaged £1712.81 while the draft from R Hodson Walker's Caldwell herd peaked at 2100gns to average £1216.83 for nine.

Judging results Overall Champion Male Lot 770 Glenturk Nomad - B G & L Allan Reserve Male Champion Lot 764 Blackford Northern Light - W G MacPherson Intermediate Male Champion Lot 869 Scotland Newcourt - P Hill Intermediate Reserve Male Champion Lot 806 Blackford Nijinsky - W G MacPherson Junior Male Champion Lot 913 Glebehill Nobleman - Messrs. R W & G Hudson Reserve Male Junior Champion Lot 939 Omorga Prince - H J W Moore

R H Carter Trophy for the best group of 3 animals bred by exhibitor was awarded to W G Macpherson for 784 Blackford Neon, 806 Blackford Nijinsky & 764 Blackford Northern Light

Female Champion Lot 733 Darsham Nigella - A R Clements & Partners Reserve Female Champion Lot 732 Darsham Madeline - A R Clements & Partners