A Limousin firework display lit up Carlisle on Saturday 17th February
2007 at the breed’s annual Spring Sale as a high quality show
of bulls smashed the pedigree record books. Queenshead Altea, a Greensons
Gigolo son from Pat and John Varley, Myrtle Grove Farm, Queensbury,
Bradford, West Yorkshire led the way when selling for export to Southern
Irish breeder Tom Bailey, Culcommon, Batterstown, Co. Meath for 52,000gns.
This is the highest price paid for a Limousin bull for export and
is the third highest price paid for any Limousin bull at auction.
Queenshead Altea - 52,000gns
One of the biggest audiences of people seen at a pedigree sale in
Carlisle added to the electric atmosphere as pedigree breeders and
commercial producers lit the blue touch paper and set the record
books alight. The £5,175.59 paid for 127 bulls sold was a continental
breed and Carlisle centre record average and up over £1100
on the year. In the junior section, 31 bulls sold for an incredible £8775.97,
again an all-breed record average. The sale grossed a mighty £657,299.93,
a Limousin sale record and up by over £138,000 on the year.
With a home nations theme, breeders from Northern Ireland and Wales
set records for the highest priced Limousin bulls sold from those
countries at 29,000gns and 26,000gns respectively. In all, four bulls
sold for over 20,000gns, with nine bulls over five figures and twenty
three over 6,000gns. 127 bulls sold out of the 190 forward at a clearance
rate of 66%. The corresponding 2006 sale figures had also seen the
inclusion of Haltcliffe Vermount at a world record 100,000gns price.
Centre stage for two days was Queenshead Altea breeders and sellers,
Pat and John Varley from Myrtle Grove Farm, Queensbury, Bradford,
West Yorkshire. On Friday, their August 2005 born bull had secured
the Junior and Overall Supreme Championships at the pre-sale show
under the eye of the judge, Jim Mulholland, a breeder and butcher
from Midtown Farm, Great Orton, Carlisle. Remarkably, the Queenshead
herd itself comprises just four breeding cows with Queenshead Altea
being out of the Ronick Iceman sired Ryedale Parfait, the first cow
the Varleys bought when re-stocking after FMD, from Peter and Anne
Lang’s Ryedale herd. This was their first Carlisle Champion
and needless to say, top price to date. In 2004, the Varleys had
purchased the Greensons Gigolo sired heifer Cockleshell Tiffany from
Lincolnshire breeder Peter Pitcher at the International Limousin
Congress Sale held at Borderway. As a consequence of this heifer
they used Gigolo to A.I. Ryedale Parfait, which has proved an inspired
decision. The Queenshead herd is a supplementary activity to the
Varley’s main business of metalwork manufacturing.
A marked new dynamic of the sale was the presence of several leading
breeders from Southern Ireland looking to purchase stock bulls. This
export potential manifested into reality when noted breeder Tom Bailey,
Co. Meath, through his stockman in attendance Pat Greaney, stood
up to the plate and bought the day’s top price at 52,000gns
which was a record price for a Limousin export. The Bailey herd numbers
forty pedigree Limousin cows in all which are run beside flocks of
pedigree Texel and Suffolk sheep. Commenting on his purchase, Mr.
Greaney said: “This was a lovely bull that immediately caught
my eye. He was well balanced throughout and not extreme in any trait.
He had a very good top line and an above average backend. I loved
the fact that his pedigree was so proven and had a fantastic balance
between muscle and milk.” This was the first time Mr. Greaney
had been to a BLCS Bull Sale at Carlisle and whilst visiting ‘on
spec’ he was absolutely delighted to immediately find the type
of bull he was looking for.
In the first instance, Queenshead Altea will head back to the Varleys
prior to entry and semen collection at Cogent in Cheshire. It is
hoped that semen will be available for world wide use once the first
calves are on the ground in the Baileys herd.
Commenting Iain Kerr, BLCS Chief Executive said, "Commercial
producers are investing in cattle that provide high performance,
ease of management and are market relevant. Breeders are totally
focused on providing high quality, premium earning bulls and this
continues to drive the quite spectacular demand we are seeing for
the breed, commercially and pedigree, both at home and abroad. The
records set at this sale are fantastic but it is important to note
the strength in depth throughout the catalogue with real quality
bulls available to suit all markets and budgets.”
A much anticipated bull was Ampertaine Abracadabra from Messrs WJ & J
McKay, 88 Kilrea Road, Upperlands, Maghera, Co. Londonderry. This
son of noted sire Sympa was out of the Stocdales Muscular daughter
Ampertaine Penny, a bloodline that combined both muscle and milk.
Abracadabra arrived at Carlisle with the full package of visual presence
and performance. At the 2006 Royal Ulster Show he won the Junior
Male Limousin and was part of the Champion Pairs. Later he was also
judged as the Best Young Bull in the N.I. Herd Competition. With
tremendous figures for muscle and a massive Beef Value of LM+48 this
was a bull that caught the attention. Having won his junior section
class in the pre-sale show, Abracadabra was eventually placed Reserve
Junior Male Champion. Sold immediately after the Overall Champion,
Ampertaine Abracadabra made 29,000gns, a record for a N.Irish Limousin
bull when he was purchased by the syndicate of three breeders, P
Smyth, 27 Greenhill Road, Coleraine, J Rafferty, 27 Scaffog Avenue,
Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh and AJ Ewing, Drumbretton, Annan, Dumfriesshire.
Mr. Smyth noted that the bull would be used on Carmorn Voney, the
2006 Royal Ulster Champion and that the syndicate planned to collect
semen from the bull at AI Services in Northern Ireland.
The third last bull in the ring was Cowin Anton from WD Dyfan & Carol
James, Blaencowin Bryn Iwan, Cynwyl Elfed, Caerfyrddin, Sir Gaerfyrddin.
Barely fifteen months old, this stylish and muscly calf had won the
last class in the show’s junior section. Sired by Milbrook
Tanko, who is out of the noted Cannon daughter Monique, Cowin Anton’s
dam is Banon Redbreast which features the James’ favoured Preselihill
bloodline. After some fierce bidding this bull was sold for 26,000gns
and went to the entirely commercial operation of noted commercial
calf producers, R&M Scott, Thirlwall castle, Greenhead, Cumbria.
The Scotts run 400 Limousin suckler cows, all of which are put to
the Limousin bull, and are prolific calf sellers at the spring and
autumn sales in Carlisle. Keeping the record theme going, this was
the highest priced Limousin bull sold by a Welsh breeder at auction
and it is believed to be the highest price paid by an exclusively
commercial producer for a Limousin bull.
JK Goldie, Townfoot, Mouswald, Dumfries, sold the September 2005
born Goldies Apollo for 20,000gns to the Elmtree herd of Mr RA Walker,
Elm Tree, Great Asby, Appleby, Cumbria. Again a first prize winner
from the junior section, this embryo calf is by the Ideal 23 son
Goldies Terence and is out of Ronick Isabelle. Isabelle herself is
out of Ronick Esther, the mother of the noted Ronick Hawk, and is
the dam of Goldies Unionflag who sold for 12,000gns at Carlisle.
Leading the bulls from the senior section at 18,000gns was appropriately,
the show’s senior champion, Norman Aphrodite from ES & E
Norman, Little Orton Farm, Little Orton, Carlisle. This classy bull
was sired by the Jockey son Heathmount Trojan a bull that was Overall
Champion at the Royal Ulster Show in 2003 and who won the North West
Bull Derby in 2006. Aphrodite is out of Stacey Olivia, a dam from
the Stacey herd that the Normans purchased when restocking after
FMD. In 2006, the Norman herd was placed second in the Extra Large
Herd section of the region’s herd competition. Purchasing Norman
Aphrodite was local breeder D&V Hill, Whitewall, Great Asby,
Appleby, Cumbria for their Raysonhall herd.
Described as the best bull he has sold to date was Normande Arapaho
from N&E Crucikshank, Cowford Farm, Cleghorn, Lanark who also
made 18,000gns. This powerful bull with weight and scale is sired
by the Ionesco son Ravageur who himself is a previous Junior Champion
at the Royal Highland in 2002. A July 2005 born bull, Arapaho was
yet another first prize winner from the junior section. He is out
of Normande Nerys a daughter of Normande Judge who is noted for breeding
big cows with milk. Normande Arapaho carried a fantastic Beef Value
of LM+39 and this all-round package attracted joint purchasers in
the shape of breeders JK Goldie, Townfoot, Mouswald, Dumfries and
Castlewigg Farming Co Ltd, Whithorn, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire.
Bailea Andre, from MT Jones, Bailea Farm, Heol Senni, Sennybridge,
Brecon was another impressive son by French sire Salomon. A real
carcase type Limousin, this May 2005 born bull is by the Nestor sired
Salomon and is out of the thirteen year old Bailea Izbicki, a daughter
of Greensons Gigolo. Bailea Izbicki is the dam of Bailea Olympia,
a bull purchased by the Ronick herd for 14,000gns in May 2000 at
Carlisle. In the pre-sale show Bailea Andre took first prize in his
class before placing Overall reserve in the senior section. This
bull headed over the water when selling at 16,000gns to the Heathmount
pedigree herd of McKinney Brothers, 91 Craigadick Road, Maghera,
Co. Londonderry, N.I. Later in the day another Salomon son, Bailea
Almighty made 8000gns when selling to TR&EA Millburn, Wall End
Farm, Greenhead, Carlisle. A July 2005 born calf, Almighty is out
of the Imposant dam Bailea Meryl.
Selling at 13,500gns was Hafodlas Auron from AH&GW Roberts,
Hafod Las, Ysbyty Ifan, Betws-Y-Coed, Gwynedd. This big July 2005
born bull is sired by the Jacot son Saphir who is a half brother
to the noted Requin and is out of the Cannon sired Rombalds Jewel.
In 2006, Saphir won the Best Stock Bull and Progeny section of the
NW Mids and North Wales Limousin herd competition. Purchaser was
the Killerton pedigree herd at Columjohn Farms Ltd, Columjohn, Rewe,
Exeter. A super day’s trading for the Hafodlas herd was confirmed
when Hafodlas Abram later sold for 8,800gns to W McLaren, Muirhouses,
Kirriemuir, Angus. Another calf sired by Saphir, Abram is out of
the homebred Hafodlas Petal.
A Sympa son, Haltcliffe Anzac, from the herd of Messrs Ridley, Haltcliffe,
Hesket New Market, Wigton was the final bull to make over five figures
when selling at 11,000gns. Fully French bred, this June 2005 born
bull is by Sympa and is out of the Nenuphar sired Romance. A full
brother to Haltcliffe Upperity, the Reserve Female Champion at the
ILC Show in 2004, Haltcliffe Anzac was sold with an excellent Beef
Value of LM+37. This bull also went to the South West of England
when selling to the Loosebeare herd of EW Quick & Sons, Loosebeare
Manor, Zeal Monachorum, Crediton, Devon. A few lots later and the
Ridleys were back to sell Haltcliffe Argonaut for 9000gns. This June
2005 born calf is sired by Penyrheol Sam, the Ronick Hawk son who
sired the world record priced bull Haltcliffe Vermount. Argonaut,
out of the Sympa sired Haltcliffe Unsung, was purchased by AE Jones,
Gulligillion Farm, Llanedi, Pontardalois, Swansea.
George Hutton, Setmabanning, Threlkeld, Keswick, Cumbria enjoyed
another prolific day which peaked at the 9,500gns he received from
Glenlyon Estates, Keepers Cottage, Fortingall, Aberfeldy, Perthshire
for Cloughhead Albert. This June 2005 born bull is by the French
sire Saiga and is out of the Petunia sired Cloughhead Susanna. Susanna’s
dam Cloughhead Jolly is the full sister to the noted Cloughhead Lord.
Brontemoor Ambrose, a twenty month old bull from Steven M Priestley,
Hill Top Farm, Denholme, Bradford made 9000gns when selling to CG
Simpson & Sons, Square House Farm, Quebec, Co. Durham. By the
Greenwell Major sired Haltcliffe Olympus, Ambrose is out of the 1998
born Brontemoor Odyssey, a daughter of Mereside Bevan.
Homebyres Albert, a June 2005 born bull, secured another 9000gns
price for Messrs John Logan, Humebyres, Kelso, Roxburghshire. Again
by the prolific sire Sympa, this bull is out of Homebyres Melody.
Selling with a high Beef Value of LM+39, Albert was snapped up by
J Hunter & Sons, The Steel Farm, Bellingham, Hexham, Northumberland.
R Neill & Partners, the recently crowned Beef farmer of the
Year for 2006, from Upper Nisbet Farm, Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, was
also in buying action when he secured Scotchtown Anvil from L&R
Allison, 288 Seacoast Road, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland
for 9000gns. Scotchtown Anvil is by the noted Ronick Gains son Shire
Milton and is out of the homebred cow Scotchtown Ursula. This October
2005 born bull had excellent figures for muscle, growth and milk
and was sold with another high Beef Value of LM+39.
44 Senior Bulls £3,689.65
52 Intermediate Bulls £4,307.02
31 Junior Bulls £8,775.97
127 Bulls £5,175.59 (plus £1,146.13)
Sexed Limousin Semen - A World First!
Cattle Society Sales Exceed £4.5 Million In 2006
Bailea Limousin Heifer Sells For 21,000gns