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    Charolais Bull establishes new Perth 55,000gns sale record

173 lots sold to average £4,645; 85% clearance
Thrunton Voldemort - 55,000gns

Thrunton Voldemort

Solid demand for quality Charolais bulls from commercial suckled calf producers underpinned trade throughout at the breed society’s official sale at Perth on Wednesday 22 February. While a new 55,000gns all breeds centre record was established and a further nine lots made five figure sums, 85% clearance was achieved with a total of 173 bulls coming under the hammer sold to average £4,645, leaving Charolais to once again take the lead at the spring multi-beef breed sales. A further eight lots were bought after the sale.

“The event reflected commercial market place trends which are clearly emerging under the new payment regime,” the British Charolais Cattle Society’s chief executive, David Benson commented. “While other breeds have benefited from the former two BSPS payments, farmers committed to future beef production are now making a commercial judgment in Charolais which is demonstrating that growth is king. Producers may be strapped to make further cost savings within their beef enterprises, however the majority can improve output by rearing Charolais cross calves which can be finished faster and more efficiently and leave a higher margin.”

The day’s leader at 55,000gns was Thrunton Voldemort, an 18 month old within the breed’s top1% with a Beef Value of CH38, and 400 day weight of 757kgs. Just 24 hours earlier he had been placed intermediate champion by judge, Neil Caul, of Tealing, Dundee who described Voldemort as ‘a bull with tremendous style, length and good fleshing ability.’ He was also a member of Thrunton’s champion group of three.

Bred by the Campbell family, Ian and John, and their father Colin of Thrunton, Alnwick, Voldemort offered a superb blend of genetics. He was out of Thrunton Starband, a homebred heifer by the 25,000gns Perth supremo, Mowbraypark Orlando and by Burradon Talisman, a Blelack Prince son, who Neil Caul awarded the championship to when he judged Carlisle in May 2004 before selling to the Campbell’s for the day’s top 15,000gns call. Voldemort is scheduled to work across two herds with a total of 380 pedigree cows after being secured in a two way bid between Charlie Boden, of Mellor Hall, Stockport, Cheshire who initially made up his mind when he saw the bull being paraded in the show ring. “Voldemort was the most complete Charolais bull I have ever seen; he is well fleshed, well balanced and very correct on his legs, in fact he’s next to perfect and I was determined to have him.”

Mr Boden who had to return to work left the decisive bid the following day to Esmor Evans; the 55,000gns was just 1,000gns short of the figure he received for the breed’s record holder, Maerdy Director sold at the centre’s former Perth site back in 1989.
 “I’ve been watching closely the progress of both Talisman and Orlando’s progeny and I have been suitably impressed,” said Mr Evans who was making a return to buying British Charolais genetics for the first time in a decade. “This son was the pick of the Perth entry. He has tremendous fleshing, he is very consistent right throughout the loin muscle from shoulder to hind quarter, and he has a good rump.”

For the Campbells, the day’s success represented a culmination of 30 years of breeding pedigree Charolais cattle, and it realized a life time’s ambition. “We were aware we had an exceptional bull in Voldemort back at home where it was difficult to make an estimated value. However today has been brilliant and certainly made all our efforts worthwhile,” commented Ian who was not only referring to Voldemort eclipsing the family’s previous best in 1990 with Thrunton Ideal making 45,000gns, but also the day’s entire achievements. The Campbells turned out an outstanding string of 13 bulls, including 10 by Talisman, who consistently demonstrated length, scale and quality conformation backed by top performance data. By the close of the four hour stint, the entire Thrunton entry had sold to average 12,800gns.

That figure included the day’s second highest price of 30,000gns for Thrunton Voltage CH35, a September 2004 born first class prize winner out of a homebred cow by the 25,000gns Maerdy Location. He was purchased by Peter and Sheilagh Donger, Foxley, Towcester who were among a number of Charolais breeders determined to take home some Talisman genetics and were earlier on the under bidder for Thrunton Voldemort.

Gareth Jones was the next to invest in Talisman, securing the third class prize winner Thrunton Virginian CH40 at 18,000gns. Another 18 month old out of a homebred female by Mowbraypark Orlando, he went to join the 30 cow Esgob herd based at Cwmtirmynach, Bala. 

The fourth and final Talisman son to make five figures at 10,000gns was Thrunton Vagabond CH33, an October 2004 born entry who was placed second in his class. Out of a homebred cow by the 20,000gns Moncur General, Vagabond remained in Perthshire selling to commercial producer, R Simpson, Crieff.

Among the remaining Talisman toppers were Thrunton Vandyke CH29, a 17 month old and out of a Maerdy Location sired dam at 7,500gns to TJ Davies, Llanfynydd, Carmarthen. The first class prize winner, Thrunton Volcanic CH28 (June 2004) who was out of a Blelack Jaguar sired dam made 7,000gns to Measquoy Farms, Harray, Orkney. Two lots changed hands at 6,500gns each: Thrunton Vigorous CH36 (July 2004) with Orlando as his maternal grand dam to AH Fisher, Portpatrick, Stranraer; and the 17 month old Thrunton Vancouver CH24, whose dam goes back to Moncur General to S Sinclair, Latheron, Caithness. Finally, their stable mate Thrunton Versouvious CH27, a 17 month old by Mowbraypark Orlando and out of a homebred cow by Maerdy Location was placed first in his class and made 7,000gns to Jim Neil, Boreland of Balmaghie, Castle Douglas.   

Some of the event’s leading bids came towards the end of the day including 26,000gns for the much admired class winner, Balbithan Vespasian CH48, a15 month old youngster making a highly worthwhile 500 mile one way trip from Dorset before being secured in a joint bid by David Walter, Perth and breed society president, Neil Massie and his son, Graeme, Dinnet, Aboyne who between them run a total of 200 pedigree cows. “Vespasian is accompanied by tremendous data, a Beef Value of CH48 and muscle depth of 9.5mm; he has excellent conformation, and great style,” commented Mr Massie. Bred by Mr and Mrs Andrew White, of Worth Matravers, Swanage, he was the first calf to be offered by their 10,000gns Inverlochy Topsire and out of a homebred heifer going back to Balthayock Nougat. For the White’s herdsperson, Jane Haw, the success was a major triumph; after Vespasian’s success on last year’s show circuit including champion at the English National Charolais Show, he commanded Balbithan’s highest price since the 32 cow herd was established in 1990.

The Massie team recouped their spend with a couple of Thrunton Socrates sons; first to go was  Blelack Vladimir CH27 (August 2004) making 7,000gns to WDB Maltas, Moffat, Dumfries, while the September 2004 born Blelack Ventriloquist CH31 commanded a 6,500gns bid from John Steven, Monikie, Dundee.

Father and son team, Drew and Bob Adam, Newhouse of Glamis, Glamis were once again in the tickets when their 14 month old Newhouse Voodoo CH41 carried off the reserve supreme and reserve junior championships and went on to attract 16,000gns. This entry was their first in the ring by Mowbraypark Torpedo, and went a long way towards recovering his 24,000gns price tag paid in Perth two years ago where he was reserve senior champion. His maternal grand dam was the 28,000gns Brampton Nacodar. Voodoo sold to Northern Ireland agent, Libby Clarke, Lurgan, County Armagh.

Heading the trade for Northern Ireland Charolais breeders at 15,000gns was Ratoary Vieira CH34, a 15 month old from Sean McGovern, of Clogher, County Tyrone. Vieira who qualified for the Elite Beef Quality Initiative returned back over the water with Sam Milliken, Coleraine, County Derry. A Doonally new son, and out of one Ratoary’s foundation heifers secured from Gregory Donnelly’s, Beechdale herd, Vieira remained unbeaten on the 2005 show circuit which culminated in securing the junior championship in both the Dectomax finals and at the National Charolais Show, Fintona.

The day’s next highest call of 11,000gns went to the event’s supreme and junior champion, Edenhurst Versailles CH32, an October 2004 born entry from Peter Vasey’s 55 cow herd based at Wetheral, Carlisle. “Versailles was the most natural bull in the event,” commented judge, Neil Caul. “He has tremendous loin, and depth of thigh, a full flank and good legs.” For Peter Vasey and his wife, Vanessa the award realized a major ambition after establishing the herd 20 years ago. “To me the Perth championship is the highest accolade in pedigree Charolais breeding, and we didn’t expect it quite so soon after taking the overall reserve title in Perth just four months ago,” he commented. The award was made even sweeter by the fact Edenhurst Versailles was among the herd’s 55 cows and followers which were swum to safety by the Vasey’s family and friends when their Cumbria unit was severely flooded 12 months ago.

Versailles was sired by Oldstone Egbert whose eight Edenhurst sons have sold so far to average 7,000gns, and his maternal grand dam bred Edenhurst Shogun who is currently standing at stud with Genus ABS and his latest sales include a shipment to Mexico. He was knocked down to Jack Anderson, Fortrose, Rosshire to join his 10 cow pedigree herd running alongside 150 sucklers. “This is a great bull, he has length, a tremendous back end and good locomotion,” said Mr Anderson.

Minutes later, the Vaseys offered another Egbert son, this time Edenhurst Victory CH38 at 10,000gns to join ED Marshall’s Cote House herd based at Scropton, Derbyshire.

The Goldies, Jim, Kay, Hamish and Bruce, of Mouswold, Dumfries offered their highest entry, Goldies Vintage CH24 for the day’s second 10,000gns call, this time from J and W Kellas, Dufftown, Keith. Vintage was a November 2004 born Blelack Rustic son and out of a Kinclune dam by Killadeas Legend. The family’s next best at 6,500gns was the 19 month old first class winner, Goldies Valuable CH31 who was full brother to their February 2005 champion and 34,000gns Goldies Uppermost. His sire was the 16,000gns Perth champion, Maerdy Naser who went back to the renowned Maerdy Grimaldi, and he was out of Blelack Lucy, a Thrunton Damien daughter. Valuable was knocked down to G and M Porter, Bridgend, Isle of Islay.

John and Raymond Irvine, of Ballindalloch, Banffshire once again turned out a string of bulls by their celebrated herd sire Inverlochy Resolve, the award winning 2004 Charolais Bull of the Year whose first crop of seven entries sold 12 months ago to average 12,000gns. On Wednesday, his highest at 8,000gns was Inverlochy Verne CH37, an 18 month old out of a homebred cow going back to Elgin Napolean. He sold to Simon and Susanne Frost, Youlgrave, Derbyshire to run with their 121 cow suckler herd.

Another Northern Ireland breeder in the money was Harold Stubbs of Crummy, Lisnaskea with his Derryharney Victor, a 17 month old by the 14,000gns Allanfaud Superscot and out of a homebred dam who is full sister to the 18,000gns Derryharney Outstanding. The buyers were WJ Fraser and Sons, Glenlivet, Ballindalloch.

Sharing the same 7,500gns price tag was Woodpark Victory CH26, bred and entered by fellow NI breeder, Will Short, Omagh, County Tyronne. This July 2004 born bull who headed his class was by Hara Kiri and out of a homebred dam from his 35 cow herd.

At 7,000gns, Alasdair Houston, Gretna Green offered Gretnahouse Virtue CH30, a Mortimers Robroy son and out of a Cargriff bred dam to CG Greig, Gateside, Fife.

Sandy Innes, Auldearn, Nairn claimed the reserve senior championship with his 20 month old Moyness Vaubon CH25 making 6,500gns to Ian Maclean, St Mary’ Hoo, Rochester. A Moyness Saltire son, he was out of a homebred cow going back to Goldies Geronimo.

The reserve intermediate title went to Brailes Vulcan CH30, a 17 month old Cader Regal son out of a Seawell Offshore sired homebred dam from Rachel Wyllie, Lower Brailes, Banbury. He was brought out by Will Owen, Criccieth who has recently purchased the major part of both the Brailes and Penfold herds to boost his 10 cow Deunawd herd. Vulcan sold for 6,500gns to J Grant and Son, Tomintoul, Ballindalloch, Banffshire.

The final 6,500gns call was made by Aberdeenshire producers, SB Keir and Son, Alford for Ravensworth Vagoni CH35 from Will Oates, Ouston Farms, Chester-le-Street. This May 2004 born Ravenworth Prester son was out of a Manor bred cow going back to Ploughfield lines.

A firm trade for Charolais females from a packed ringside of both established breeders and newcomers, led bidding to peak at 3,800gns where yet again the Campbell family led the trade. Thrunton Tansy, a four year old by Maerdy Nero was sold with her May born heifer by the 20,000gns Moncur General and scanned in calf to the 11,000gns Solwayfirth Union. The pair sold to WN Douglas, Yarrow, Selkirk.

The supreme female title went to Thrunton Unite, a three year old by Mortimers Politician and out of a Blelack Jaguar sired homebred cow. Scanned in calf to Union she went to Norman Innes, Findhorn, Forres along with the 2,000gns Thrunton Union, a rising three year old heifer, by Politician, out of a Brampton Tenpin bred cow also scanned Union to the same buyer.

Averages: 173 bulls £4,645

LINK Perth Charolais bulls meet a flying trade
Aberdeen-Angus in demand at Border Blacks sale
Cumbrians feature among Border Charolais Club Pfizer suckler awards

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