A chilly Chelford sees the sale of livestock’s hottest
prospects as the Champion crossbred makes 3,000gns.
Sub-zero temperatures and snow falls did nothing to deter showmen
and cattle breeders from all corners of the UK travelling to the
Cheshire Centre’s 43rd National Show and Sale of Pedigree
and Crossbred Belgian Blue cattle on Saturday 4th March 2006.
Henlli Van Dame - 4400gns
After a degree of uncertainty in the beef sector over the past
couple of years, the overwhelming feeling is that a cautious confidence
is slowly returning.
An unbelievable trade ensued for the entry of some 134 Belgian
Blue Crossbred cattle, and was held right up to the day’s
penultimate lot when the Crossbred Champion realised £3,000.
Consigned by Powys breeders A J & J A Powell of the Grovelands
herd, this exceptional yearling heifer caught many eyes at the
previous evening’s show, none more so than the Judge, respected
stockman John Madeley of Ross-on-Wye, who had no hesitation in
picking his Champion our of four extremely busy classes.
At sale time, frenetic bidding from several noted showmen eventually
came down to a two horse race between ringside and a telephone
bidder. Howard Price of Felindre, Swansea had waited all day for
the heifer and he wasn’t going home without her.
The ring was packed at the start of the sale and remained full
throughout a long day, as trade remained lively all day and few
animals left the ring unsold.
Leading the Pedigree Bull section was Croftends Winston, a May
2004-born son of As de Trefle du Vanova, out of the Irmin-sired
Clonberton Petrinia. This very stylish black and white bull from
Appleby-in-Westmorland breeders Andrew and Jonathan Bellas had
stood first in his class at the previous evening’s show.
At sale time, Somerset producer Keith Barrow, a regular supplier
of quality crossbred cattle from his suckler herd to this sale,
beat off fierce competition from breed enthusiasts and fellow suckler
producers to take him home at 4,800 guineas.
The Pedigree Judge, Peter Taylor, had awarded the Supreme Championship
to Henlli van Dame, a powerful blue and white son of the renowned
Philipper, out of the great show cow Ovatie van de Wolvendreef.
Having also won the Supreme Championship at the September Show
his vendor, and breeder, Geraint Willams from Anglesey had taken
him home unsold, but this time saw lively bidding from the off,
before he returned to Anglesey with David Owen, Trefor, Holyhead,
for 4,400 guineas.
Last year’s Society Premier Breeder, Michele Wilde from
Buckinghamshire, saw her class-winning bull Ridge Dean Wesley,
a February 2004-born son of Brutal de St Fontaine out of the Park
Daimler-sired Ridge Dean MG Midget, make 4,100 guineas to P L Morris,
Aylesbury. Local breeders Keith and Janet Belfield put forward
an excellent pen of strong bulls, their leading price being 3,500
guineas for the powerful May 2003-born Affute du Ry Ossogne son
Boothlow Valliant, taken by Buxton-based suckler breeder Steven
Powerful bulls, fit to work immediately, met strong demand throughout,
with enthusiasm evident from a wide range of both dairy and suckler
producers from throughout the UK, all no doubt anticipating increased
demand for quality Belgian Blue Cross cattle once the export market
is fully reopened.
The Society has reported a huge increase in membership registrations
in recent years, and a large number of newer members were prominent
in the bidding for Pedigree Females, trade for which reflected
the huge confidence in the breed’s ability to meet the anticipated
demands of the forthcoming improved beef market.
It was the younger heifers, and breed stars of the future, which
caught the eye, and leading the trade at 4,100 guineas was the
outstanding June 2005-born heifer Lukeroyal Azure from Northern
Ireland breeders Mel and Diane Lucas. When this blue and white
roan Bringlee Talbot daughter, out of a show-winning Philipper-sired
cow, entered the ring there was a palpable buzz, and fast bidding
resulted in her being knocked down to Cragg Vale, Halifax breeder
John and Janet Green’s long, and snowy, trip from near Aberdeen
proved worthwhile when their February 2005-born Oxcroft Astra,
an ET daughter of the show-winning Oxcroft Lionheart out of the
Octane-sired Oxcroft Nymph, made 3,200 guineas to Mike Scott, Newark.
Fellow Scottish-based breeders Messrs Ryder, from Moffat, also
showed a smart pen of young heifers, their leading bid of 3,000
guineas coming for Annanwater Wallflower, a September 2004-born
daughter of Danseur d’Embise out of the President-sired Springfield
Tinga, in turn a daughter of the great Ovatie. Having stood first
in the Junior Heifer class, she went home with J C Walker and Son,
The Female Championship had been awarded to one of a small number
of Pedigree Cows with calves at foot, shown by Shropshire breeder
Bringlee Orange, a January 1997-born daughter of Bringlee Freeman
out of the Clown du Tilleul-sired Fenton Inca, was sold with her
September-born bull calf by Cajoleur de Rettigny at foot, and made
3,600 guineas to J H & S M Mason, Clapham, Lancaster.
Chelford reaffirmed its position as the leading Auction Centre
in England and Wales for show potential Belgian Blue Crossbreds
with vendors braving the winter conditions, travelling from as
far afield as Devon, Somerset and South Wales, to sell at this
prestigious event, now in its 22nd year.
A packed ringside of prospective purchasers, not just showmen
but premium quality beef finishers, ensured 100% clearance at rates
generally more than vendors’ expectations.
Whilst the top call of £3,000 was paid for the Supreme Champion
Crossbred, it was preceded by no less than 12 cattle over £1,000.
A nine month old steer from the Dinmore Manor Estate of Paul Dawes
took the second highest price at £1,900, closely followed
by a bid of £1,700 for the Reserve Champion, another nine
month old steer, this time from the Penygelly herd of B L & J
E Griffiths, Newtown, Powys. The purchaser was Mr I G Townson of
Clitheroe, Lancashire. Messrs Davies Brothers from Llangadog, Carmarthenshire
have been selling at this sale since its inception and were rewarded
with no less than four of their 20-strong consignment past the
magical four figure mark.
Auctioneer Jonathan Farrall commented “Increased confidence
in the beef sector, due in no small part to successful Christmas
Primestock Sales and an encouraging return by many finishers to
liveweight sales, has widened the gap between the quality price
ranges. Premium quality store cattle are still in reasonably short
supply but the demand has increased as finishers try to provide
the consumer with a top class product”.
82 Pedigree Bulls £2,300.00
34 Pedigree Females £1,833.94
4 Pedigree Cows with Calves £2,052.50
53 Crossbred Steers £ 701.32
68 Crossbred Heifers £ 741.47
11 Pedigree Embryos £ 251 .05
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