The sale of Belgian Blue cattle at Chelford on Saturday 3rd March
2007, the 45th National Show & Sale held at the Centre by The British
Belgian Blue Cattle Society, was one of the most exciting seen in
the 25 years of the Society’s existence in the UK.
Arcanna Alfie sold for 8,600 guineas
The packed ringside at the Friday evening’s Show
was just a taster of the huge crowds to be gathered around the
pens and sale ring on Saturday morning, the largest gathering of
breeders and customers seen at a pedigree livestock event at Chelford
in many, many years. The sale quickly assumed a multi-national
dimension, the first bull in the ring being sold to the Isle of
Man, the highest priced animal going to the Orkneys, and cattle
leaving the sale destined for Southern and Northern Ireland; Spain;
Italy; Holland; as well as to all parts of Scotland, Wales and,
of course, England. Virtually every entry into the ring attracted
lively bidding throughout the sale, with Auctioneers Gwyn Williams
and Jonathan Farrall, who shared the selling on behalf of Marshalls,
working hard to pick up the huge number of bidders from a sale
ring which remained packed from start to finish.
The day’s top price of 8600 guineas was paid for the May
2005 born, Arcanna Alfie, a powerful well muscled black and white
bull by the renowned AI sire, Twyning Ash Troy, out of a homebred
cow, Arcanna Vida. One of the first bulls to be offered for sale
by Messrs. Deverall, he attracted considerable interest in the
show ring, winning his age group class, on the previous evening
and was taken home to the Isle of Orkney by David Eunson.
Messrs Deverall were presented with the Clive Godden Trophy, for
the best homebred pedigree from the Central Region.
Herefordshire breeder, Nigel Pritchard, a regular consigner to
the Chelford sales, achieved 7300 guineas for his leading bull,
Norton Allnight Raver, by the Visconti sired Almeley Percy and
out of Bannister Naïve. This bull, also black and white, had
also attracted considerable interest and headed for County Antrim,
Northern Ireland with Andrew Alexander.
Regular Chelford customers, Ian and Andrew Wilson, from Hollington,
Staffordshire, have only started their Belgian Blue herd in recent
years and the first bull to be sold from their New Close herd,
New Close Amos, born in July, 2005 and sired by the Royal Show
winning Three Ways Superstar, demonstrated considerable power and
muscling. He made 6100 guineas to Messrs. Sims, Critchlow, Derbyshire.
Breed stalwart, Ted Haste from Shebbear, Devon, took first place
in the intermediate bull class with Black Moor Ally, another superb,
powerful, black and white bull, from a naturally calving line,
and saw him make 5600 guineas to Matt Townsend of Colne, Lancashire.
Ally was sired by Park Turbo out of the Hazelwood Freshman sired
cow, Black Moor Posh.
At 5500, Messrs. Hartley from Nelson, Lancashire, saw the leading
bull from their Pendle herd, the March 2005 born, Pendle Archibald,
sired by Blue Stone Union Jack, go home to Malton, North Yorkshire,
with Messrs. Beal, whilst Peter Bodily, who has been involved in
the breed for many years, saw his bull, Quinbury Adverturer, one
of the first bulls to be sold under his own prefix make 5000 guineas
to The Little Farming Company, Sandringham, Norfolk. This powerful
almost black bull, was sired by Ridge Dean Razz out of Ridge Dean
Tashia, who’s sire was Ridge Dean Mahogany.
The Supreme Champion, and Champion Male, at this show was Springfield
Asher, a January 2005 born bull by Dafydd D’Ochain, out of
the Inexes sired Springfield Pepsi, put forward by Alan and Deirdre
Wilkinson from Out Rawcliffe, Lancashire. Show Judge, Alan Cleland,
who stepped in at the last minute for the incapacitated Jim Sloan,
chose this bull as his Champion for its power and style and, at
sale time, saw it make 4000 guineas to Messrs. Garside, Slaithwaite,
The Chelford Blue Sales have long had a reputation for attracting
a huge number of customers for pedigree Blue females and this year
was again no exception.
Andrew & Jonathan Bellas, from Appleby in Cumbria, regularly
put forward something special for the Chelford sales and this year
it was an outstanding January 2006 born heifer calf, Croftends
Bonnie, who attracted all the attention in both show and sale rings.
By Dafydd D’ochain, and out of the Phillipper sired Lismannan
Sally, this superb black heifer was placed first in the Junior
Heifer class on Friday evening and there was a palpable buzz around
the ring when she came forward at sale time. Bidding rose rapidly
to 8500 guineas, at which point she was knocked down to a delighted
Anita Padfield, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
First in the Intermediate Heifer class was Richard Aston’s
Astrics Ash, an April 2005 born heifer by Baron Du Bois and out
of the Ridge Dean Mahogany sired cow Astrics Vanilla. Displaying
tremendous style, she made 5000 guineas to Messrs. Driver & Son,
Bradford, West Yorkshire. Also heading to Yorkshire, this time
with Alan Wheelwright of Cragg Vale, Halifax, was Annanwater Valerie,
a December 2003 born heifer, brought forward by David & Kevin
Watret, from Annan, Dumfries. She was sired by the famous Affute
du Ry Ossogne, warranted in-calf to Gitan Du P’Tit Mayeur,
and went on to make 4800 guineas.
Having had such an excellent trade with his bulls, Nigel Pritchard
was again celebrating when his February 2005 born, in-calf heifer,
Norton Almeley, by Park U Panda, made 3100 guineas, to The Little
Farming Company, Sandringham.
The Female Champion, Oxcroft Upsy Daisy from Messrs. John & Janet
Green from Ellon, Aberdeen, made 2300 guineas, travelling back
to the north of Scotland with Messrs. Innes, Huntly, Aberdeenshire.
Upsy Daisy was sired by Caprice de St Fontaine, out of Broomfield
When we moved on to the CROSSBRED cattle, and given the present
demand for quality store cattle outstripping supply by a considerable
margin, it was no surprise to see the packed ringside experienced
throughout the pedigrees remaining for the duration of the sale
of 160 quality Blue crosses.
Although the headline grabbing four figure prices were absent
from this years sale, purchasers travelled from throughout the
UK, Republic and Northern Ireland, as well as purchasers taking
advantage of the large entry of premium quality for the export
market. The resulting trade was nothing short of “on fire”,
with averages up by £100 on both steers and heifers and the
vast majority of cattle realising prices way in excess of vendor’s
The judge at the previous evenings show, Stephen Graham of Brampton
Carlisle, had the unenviable task of placing the large classes
brought forward to the show ring. He eventually chose his champion,
a smart 9-month-old black steer from staunch Chelford supporters,
Messrs Ryder of the Annanwater herd, the steer selling to Messrs
D&K Watret, Dumfries for £1800.
Winning the heifer class and Reserve Champion crossbred was a
very pretty heifer from the Dinmore Manor Estate of Paul Dawes.
The heifer had clearly drawn more than one admiring glance as she
held the buyers right until the end of the sale making £1750
she makes her new home with the Little Farming Co Ltd on the Sandringham
Top price in the crossbreds and thoroughly deserving a mention
was John Cope who made his maiden voyage to Chelford from Wiveliscombe,
Somerset. The journey home was much more pleasant; John’s
Belgian Blue x Bazadaise heifer led the day’s prices at £1950
selling to Mr TH Talbot of Stafford.
57 Pedigree Bull - £3526.09 (+£1,226)
31 Pedigree Females - £2607.50 (+£773)
63 Crossbred Steers - £830.17 (+£129)
60 Crossbred Heifers - £847.24 (+ £106)
7 Crossbred Cows with calves - £1995.00
23 Pedigree Embryos - £310.80
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