A roaring trade for 90 cows, heifers and calves from the renowned Blelack Aberdeen Angus herd and a new breed record price dominated a frenetic day of multi-breed pedigree sales at Stirling.
Graeme and Neil Massie smashed the breed record for females set by themselves two years ago with a price of 35000gns for a seven-year-old cow, Blelack Lady Eraline.
The 7000 acre Balavil sporting estate near Kingussie was the successful bidder for the top price female, and estate manager George Pirie went on to buy another 25 animals before signing a cheque for over £180,000.
Balavil’s owners are Hannah and Eric Heerema, who run Nyetimber, the largest producer of sparkling wine in the UK. Hannah, a granddaughter of the late gaelic singer Calum Kennedy, bought the estate 18 months ago for an undisclosed figure and plans are under way for a £5million refurbishment of the farm buildings as well as building up the new Aberdeen Angus herd to 60-70 animals and establishing new flocks of Cheviot and Blackface sheep.
Blelack owners Neil and Graeme Massie were overwhelmed by the demand for what Graeme described as the “matrons” of their herd. The Massies have retained 50 Aberdeen Angus heifers on their 750 acre Aberdeenshire farm and will sell their Charolais herd later this week. Their entire Beef Shorthorn herd has been sold privately.
Other top or local prices paid for Blelack cattle included 10,000 for Lady Eraline’s seven-month-old male calf Blelack Lord Eston, bought by Norbreck Genetics, Lancashire. R Gardiner, Newton Smiddy, Lyne of Skene bought one for 13500gns; David Stubbs of AJR Fasteners, Milton of Collieston, Ellon bought females at 10,000gns twice, 5500gns, 5000gns and 4000gns; C and E McCombie, Auchincrieve, Rothiemay paid 9000gns; J Steel West Drums Farm, Brechin paid 4500gns; K WW Brown, Craigowmill Farm, Milnathort paid 5000gns.
Blelack averages: 25 cows with calves at foot sold to a top of 10,000gns to average £5926; 38 cows and heifers in calf sold to 35000gns to average £7466; 14 bull calves sold to 10,000gns to average £4598; 13 heifer calves sold to a top of 11000gns to average £6090.
In the main sale Aberdeen-Angus bulls sold to a top of 11,000gns. Averages were up £847 with 26 bulls selling to average £5,391, compared with £4,544 for 32 at last year’s fixture.
Leading the charge was the pre-sale show champion from Northern Ireland breeders Jonathan and Lisa Doyle of Cookstown. Their 19-month-old bull Drumhill Lord Hatfield, by Nightingale Proud Jake and out of Blelack Lady Heather, sold to K. McOscar, of Island Farm, Cookstown.
Next best at 10,000gn was the reserve overall champion from the Gordon Brooke Estate at Upper Huntleywood Farm, Earlston.Linton Gilbertines Masterpiece is a 19-month-old son of the 40,000gn Rawburn Black Hawk and out of Linton Gilbertines Missy. He sold to J. Kelly of 51 Duncrun Road, Co. Londonderry.
Another entry from the Gordon Brooke Estate – Linton Gilbertines Black Bonzo – sold for 5,200gn to Colin McMillan, Tallant, Bowmore. The next best price of 9,000gn was paid for Tonley Podolski from the Wattie family at Mains of Tonley, Alford.
By the 9,000gn Warrenho Emperor, which is owned in partnership with the Blelack herd at Aboyne, Podolski sold to Prendwick Farm, Whittingham, Alnwick, Northumberland.
Other leading prices included 8,200gn for the junior champion from A Clark and Sons at Avisyard Farm, Cumnock. Duncanziemere Jura, by the 2014 Highland Show beef interbreed champion Rawburn Jester Eric, sold to Iain Mathers of Wardes, Kintore.
The Hodge family who run the Wyddial herd at Glenshocie, Stanley, Perth, sold to a top of 8,000gn for Wyddial Black Bruno, by Rawburn Elmer. He sold to J. D. Steele, Goddens, Pitroddie, Perth. Another from the same stable – Wyddial Ebony – sold for 5,200gn to Pitgaveny Farms, Elgin.
Fife breeder Keith Rennie achieved 4,000gn selling the first bull at Stirling from his Fiddlehall herd at Falkland, Cupar. Fiddlehall Eden, which is by S A V Solid Gold and out of Mosston Muir Elle, sold to H. S. Reid, The Laws, by Broughty Ferry, Dundee.
Females sold to a top of 15,000gn for an in-calf heifer from John Elliot’s Rawburn herd at Roxburgh Mains, Kelso. March-2014 born Rawburn Lady Ross is a daughter of Rawburn Black Hawk. She sold in-calf to Rawburn Boss Hogg to Brailes Livestock, Isalyn, Oxfordshire.