Aberdeen Angus bull sales overcome slow start

Despite a slow start, Aberdeen Angus bulls saw their average rise £544 on the year at yesterday's Stirling bull sales, with a top bid of 24,000gns.
Breeders were more selective about what they put forward for saleBreeders were more selective about what they put forward for sale
Breeders were more selective about what they put forward for sale

With 93 of the 132 bulls forward at the sale exchanging hands through the ring, the clearance rate of 70 per cent was also up on that at last February’s sale.

The Aberdeen Angus breed society’s chief executive, Johnny Mackey, was pleased with the trade, stating that it had been underpinned by sound demand from the commercial sector.

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With fewer bulls forward, he said breeders had been more selective in what they had put into the sale and this had helped to counter those who had been using the current economic squeeze to talk the market down.

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“Many cattle breeders around the country are sitting down and taking a long hard look at their businesses. For many this has shown that there is a place for the native breeds – and of course what today confirms is that, for many, that means the Angus,” he said.

Top price of the day at 24,000gns went to the intermediate and overall champion from Aberdeenshire breeder, Neill Wattie, Mains of Tonley. The 22-month-old bull, Tonley Evor, was a son of Blelack Evor and went to the pedigree herd of Fife cattle breeder and businessman, Rae Grieve, Carlhurlie, Lundin Links.

Another five bulls also made it into the five-figure bracket, all standing at 10,000gns.

Neil Massie, Blelack, Aberdeenshire, made this figure with his junior champion, Blelack Mr Braveheart, an 18-month-old bull by Warrenho Emperor which sold to Northern Irish breeder, Kevin McOsker.

Tom Arnott, Haymount, Kelso, made 10,000gns twice. The 21-month-old Haymount Eversmith selling for this price to Alex Sanger, Prettycur, Montrose while the 20-month-old Geresso sold at the same price to Hugh Hodge, Glenshochie, Perth.

Alasdair Houston’s Dumfries-based Gretnahouse herd also peaked at 10,000gns with Gretnahouse Blackpot, which sold to J Gilmour, Penstone, Macmerry.

The Trustees of the late Gordon Brooke, Upper Huntlywood, Earlstone, hit the same figure with Linton Gilbertines Black Prince which sold to Messrs Johnstone, Stromness.

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The news, however, wasn’t as good in the Beef Shorthorn ring, where 34 bulls seld to an average of £4,348, down £718 on the year.

Top price for the breed of 9,500gns went to a 22-month-old bull from Gerald Turton, Upsall Grange, North Yorks, which went to Antrim Estates for Glenarm Shorthorn, Ballymena.

Blairgowrie Breeders J & J Gibb sold to 8,500gns for Glenisla Hooch which went to Paul Coutts, Carlisle, while Tracey Severn, Birchgreen Farm, Halifax, sold to a top of 8,000gns to S Currie’s Beautry, Rathmell.