North East Charolais breeders return triumphant from Stirling Bull Sales

Northumberland farmers Chris Curry, Alan Lawson and the Campbell family enjoy success at world famous event

Burradon Insomniac, who sold for 16,000gns at the Stirling Bull Sales
Burradon Insomniac, who sold for 16,000gns at the Stirling Bull Sales

North East Charolais breeders have returned to the region from the breed’s official spring sale at Stirling with a string of successes under their belts.

Bulls met a flying trade throughout the day, driven by the commercial sector. with bids peaking at 18,000gns, 15 lots being traded at five figure sums and 136 lots selling to average £6,821 and gross just over £1m. A further 10 bulls sold outside the ring later, bringing overall clearance to 81%.

The day’s second highest bid of 16,000gns went to the 20-month-old Burradon Insomniac TI +51, SRI +52, by 12,000gns Gwenog Banjo from Chris Curry, Thropton, Morpeth to John and James Jeffrey, Kersknowe, Kelso.

Minutes later, Mr Curry offered Burradon Impresario TI +68, SRI +68, a 20 month old Puntabrava Frederico son for 8,000gns to J. and M. MacDonald of Dunbeath, Caithness.

Mr Curry, who farms 35 Charolais cattle, 200 commercial breeding ewes, 1,600 breeding ducks and 150 acres of arable land, said: “It was a good sale all round and I was happy with the prices fetched.

“Gwenog Bango has bred really well, with calves selling for as much as 26,000gns.”

Later in the day, Mr Curry invested a portion of his takings on teaming up with fellow Northumberland breeders, the Campbell family of Thrunton, Alnwick, to pay 14,000gns in a two-way split for the junior champion, Blelack Imperialist TI +46 SRI +49, a 17-month-old by the homebred Blelack Forbes from father and son team, Neil and Graeme Massie of Dinnet, Aboyne.

The Campbells more than recouped their spend with two entries by the 26,000gns Balmyle Dickler selling for 9,000gns each.

First to go was the 20-month-old Thrunton Invader TI +59, SRI +53 to T. Howden and Sons, Balerno, Midlothian whilst Thrunton Illustrious TI +49, SRI +38 went home with H. Wilson, Turnberry, Girvan.

Next best at 8,500gns was Thrunton Irelander TI +61, SRI +47, a 17-month-old by Dickler to W.J. Lewis and Son of Merthyr Cynog, Brecon

Two entries went to 12,000gns each, the first being Alsnow Imperial TI +39, SRI +45, a 21-month-old Puntabrava Federico son from Alan Lawson and Son of Hallington, Northumberland, who changed hands with RB Millar of Tealing, Dundee.

Mr Lawson, who sold two bulls in total, said: “We thought it was a great sale for the breed with buyers wanting to buy charolais bulls to produce quality calves -they can sell at a premium.”

The second 12,000gns bid was made by Jock Wilson and Sons of Glenkindie, Alford for Goldies Ivan TI +49, SRI +50 from Hamish Goldie, Ruthwell, Dumfries.

A 19-month-old by the 12,000gns Blelack Edition, he was out of a homebred dam going back to Dingle Hofmeister.

A day earlier, Ivan had been tapped out by judge, Michael Massie, as the intermediate and overall supreme champion.

“He was a big, long stylish bull with a lot of breed character,” he said.

British Charolais Society chairman, Steve Nesbitt, said: “Market demand has retained modern British Charolais’ position as the terminal sire of choice for the suckler sector.

“Whilst our Council is encouraging breeders to select for ease of calving without sacrificing growth, producers are aware of their decisions to breed bulls that fit their unit’s strategy. They are leaving Charolais cross suckled calves which are consistently commanding premiums that will contribute towards bridging the income gap in the new CAP Reform era.”

Sale leader at 18,000gns was Clyth Indestructable TI +51, SRI +52, an 18-month-old by Goldies Eddy and out of a homebred heifer going back to Dingle Hofmeister. Bred and exhibited by Ron Mackay, Lybster, Caithness, this first class prize winner was knocked down sold to join Billy Turner’s Brampton herd at Skelton-on-Ure, Ripon.

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