Report courtesy of the Scottish Farmer

Living up to his name Bacardi Legend achieved a new breed record of 15,000gns for Roy and Adam Crockett

Bacardi Legend – R & A Crockett

Growing demand for low maintenance, easy calving suckler cattle, ensured a cracking trade for pedigree and commercial Salers cattle at the breed’s society sale at Castle Douglas, where a new breed record of 15,000gns was achieved.

Add to that increased averages, often with more sold, in most of sections and breeders had plenty to celebrate come the end of the day.

“It has been a great sale,” said Robin Anderson, auctioneer at Wallets Marts, Castle Douglas.

“Breeders have worked hard to bring some of the best pedigree and cross-bred Salers cattle here for years and the breed is certainly now firmly established as a breeder of easy calving, quality suckler females.”

It was a point echoed by breed chairman Terence Pye, who owns the Rigel herd from North Yorkshire.

“We’re absolutely delighted the way the sale has gone, especially when Scotland has suffered some horrendous wet weather and there are real issues with forage supplies,” said Mr Pye.

“We had a great sale at Welshpool and we had just as good a sale here with plenty of people looking to buy Salers bulls and heifers. The breed is growing faster now than it ever has done, but then farmers now realise Salers and the cross-bred Salers are such easy-calving females, requiring little work and feeding.”

He added: “The breed is now the eighth largest beef breed in the country and is growing fast, and that’s all based on the performance of the females.”

Although renowned for their maternal characteristics, it was the male champion that sold for a new breed record of 15,000gns to superceed the previous best of 12,000gns paid twice at Stirling in February.

This new high came for Roy and Adam Crockett’s male champion at the pre-sale show and champion winner from the Great Yorkshire Show, Bacardi Legend. Going all the way here for the father and son team who run just 15 pedigree Salers alongside a further 65 commercials at Deanfoot, Denholm, Hawick, was an 18-month-old son of the French import, Gulliver – a bull that bred a former reserve champion at the Great Yorkshire for the team.

The dam, Bacardi Icandy, a Seawell Fortune daughter, produced Legend at two years of age and calved her second a year later. Brother and sister duo, John and Hazel Martin of the Swinlees herd forked out the cash for their mixed pedigree and commercial unit from Dalry, Ayrshire.

While the Bacardi bull topped the sale it was Colin McClymont’s Cuil herd from Palnure, Newton Stewart, which undoubtedly enjoyed the best of the trading selling the next top priced bull at 7800gns, and the second equal top priced females at 3000gns twice.

In addition, Mr McClymont who also won the award for the best pen of cross-bred heifers, saw his commercial trade rise £208 per head on the year, when he sold 54 yearling heifers to a top of £1850 to average £1606.

Dearest here at 7800gns was Cuil King, a two-year-old son of Cumbrian Jonnie – a bull bought at Stirling, where he stood pre-sale champion, from the late Brian Walling, which has since bred sons to 8000gns at United Auctions – out of Cuil Tina, a daughter of Chapelpark Target. King sold north to Aberdeenshire for pedigree and commercial work at Milton of Cullerlie, Echt, purchased by Ian McIntyre.

Leading Mr McClymont’s heifer trade at 3000gns twice were the first two daughters of Knottown Nector – a son of the French bull, Variegeouis, bought privately in Southern Ireland. The first, Cuil Karen, is out of Cuil Emma by Cleuchhead Xerox – a bull bought here for 8000gns. She sold to Welsh pedigree breeder, Harry Pritchard, Llwyngwyn, Gwynedd, who the previous night was awarded the Cuil Trophy for the best ambassador of the breed throughout 2017.

Minutes later, Michael Dumbreck, Skelton on Ure, Ripton, bought Cuil Klot for the same money. She is bred from Cuil Dot, a daughter of the French sire Blazer. The two, two-year-old heifers both sold in calf to the French bull, Jordan.

Heifers from Mr McClymont’s production sale also sold well with in-calf heifers at 2700gns and 2600gns twice. The former, Cuil Kimberley, by Whitebog Ensign and again due to Jordan, was knocked down to pedigree Simmental breeders, Gerald and Morag Smith, Drumsleed, Fordoun.

Neil Ralston, farm manager of Edgerston Trading’s 80-cow Kaimburn herd from Jedburgh, also came up with the goods for his first year selling here too, with a 7200gns sale for Kaimburn Laser.

Mr Ralston, who was ‘convinced’ of the easycare and ease of calving merits of Salers by fellow breeders and now sees the cattle outperform the farm’s commercial sheep enterprise in terms of margins, saw his bull sell to society member Robbie Milne, Inverurie.

Laser which stood second in his class at the Great Yorkshire and at the pre-sale show is by the privately purchased Seawell Highlander and out of Oaklands Gaelic, which was also bought privately.

Matching the 7200gns sale, Northern Ireland breeders, John Elliott, Drumlegagh, Newtownstewart, sold Drumlegagh Kurt, to Alex and Jonathan Wright, who own the Traboyack pedigree herd which run alongside 120 Salers cross cows at Pinmore Mains, Girvan. Senior champion at the Pedigree Calf Fair Beef Expo, in Northern Ireland last year, this two-year-old is by the French sire Fanfan and bred from the Ashbury Jaguar daughter, Drumlegagh Eve.

Bulls from Alister McKenzie and son Alister who run the Whitebog herd from Fortrose, again proved popular with sales at 7000gns and 5600gns. The dearest, Whitebog Karbolic, a 28-month-old, which stood senior male and reserve champion at the pre-sale show, is by Whitebog Sandy – a Lascar son used on loan that bred the 10,000gns Whitebog Kipper sold at Stirling in February – while the dam was the Seawell Diplomat daughter, Whitebog Gwen. He sold back up north with H MacDonald, Mains of Dalvey, Advie.

Later, Whitebog Leopard, brought out by free-lance stockman, Jimmy Laing, made 5600gns selling to Norman Lawrence Blackpots, Auchnagatt, Aberdeenshire. He is a direct son of the 3600gns Seawell Diplomat, a bull that has bred numerous high four-figure priced bulls to include a 12,000gns seller at Stirling in February.

Back amongst the females, Ian and Tom Walling’s pre-sale champion, Cumbrian Charmaine 831 from Over Whitlaw, Selkirk, secured the lead heifer price of 3300gns when selling to Niall & Katy Blair, Glen Isla. Their rising two-year-old, is by Lataster Hector, a bull bought in Southern Ireland and the sire of a former 10,000gns bull sold here from the herd. Bred from a previous home-bred Charmaine, by the French sire, Vaillant, she sold in calved to the homozygous polled bull, Cumbrian Roger.

Lot No 13 proved anything but unlucky for breed chairman, Terrence Pye, from Middleton on Leven, Yarm, when Rigel Delphine Poll was awarded the junior female championship and went on to top the bulling heifer section at 2700gns selling over the telephone to D Kirrane, Carrentubber, Tubbercurry, Co Sligo. This was a 16-month-old daughter of Rigel Munro, a bull retained for breeding, out of the Rigel Picasso-sired Rigel Delta Poll.

Leading the commercial in-calf section at £1850 were two pens from local breeders, RA Austin, Boreland of Girthon, Gatehouse of Fleet and R and L Howat, Kinnaird, Dairsie, Fife. The first pen of two, was knocked down to J and IH McFadzean, Glenvernoch, Newton Stewart, with the latter, a pen of three, selling to Ian and Dot Goldie, Greenfield, Cummertrees, Dumfries.

Averages: Pedigree – 15 bulls, £5810.00 (+£1047.31 for two more sold); 17 in-calf heifers, £2501.47 (-£151.53 for two more); four bulling heifers, £2221.25 (+£376.25 for three fewer). Commercial – 21 in-calf heifers, £1733.33; 165 bulling and yearling heifers, £1372.85 (+£104.39 for 29 more).

Auctioneers: Wallets Marts