Buyers ensure good returns at Stirling's spring bull sales

The Aberdeen Angus breed could not match its record average of last February at yesterday's bull sales in Stirling, but chief executive Ron McHattie was pleased with the 73 per cent clearance rate of 133 bulls selling to average £4,676, £371 down on the year.

He said: "The beef price has been static for a year now while costs have been frightening, so it is encouraging to see so many buyers right to the end of the sale."

Top price of the day was 20,000gns for the supreme champion, Idvies Jarvis Eric, from Alasdair and Graeme Fraser, Idvies Farm, Forfar, to Ian Graham, who is establishing Aberdeen Angus and Shorthorn herds at Balgay Farm, Inchture, Perthshire.

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Later in the sale, Idvies Kollar from the same herd went to Bill Bruce, Mains of Logie, Ellon, for 10,000gns, giving the Fraser family their best trade for a long time.

Next top was 19,000gns for a first prize bull, Blelack Evermore, from Graeme Massie, Blelack, Dinnet, to Northern Ireland breeder Michael Laggan of Co Londonderry. He also sold his reserve senior champion, Blelack Backgammon, for 10,000gns to K and F Watchorn, of Melton Mowbray, and Blelack Prince Carl for the same price to Tom Arnott, Haymount, Kelso. Blelack Warbler also sold at this price to Mr Roddie, Sauchieburn Estate, Stirling.

John Elliot, Roxburgh Mains, Kelso, had a good sale, receiving 15,000gns for Rawburn Justice Eric from fellow breeder Howard Quayle, of the Isle of Man. He was also responsible for bringing out Lakewood Duke Arrazamatazz on behalf of a partnership herd between himself and Mark Whiting. This bull made 13,000gns to commercial producers, G and W Henderson, Culrain Mains, Sutherland. The senior champion, Wedderlie El Nino from John and Marion Tilson's herd at Gordon, Berwickshire, made 12,000gns to Daylesford Organics, a farm owned by JCB in Gloucestershire.

Two bulls sold for 11,000gns apiece. The first was the first prize winner, Duncanziemere Edwin, from Alistair Clark, bought by Robin Orr, Halbeath, Dunfermline. Then the reserve junior champion, Tonley Adriano, from Neil Wattie, Mains of Tonley, Alford, made the same price to Scott Harcus, Quanterness, Orkney.

Shorthorn bulls had a flying trade, creating a record average for the second year in a row of 4,637 for 36 and selling to a top of 12,000gns when Graeme Massie spent some of his Angus cash on Meonhill Highland Centurion from LEP Farms Ltd, Hambledon, Portsmouth.

The overall champion, Alvie Connor from Jamie and Cathryn Williamson, Alvie, Kincraig, made 11,000gns to Richard Newgas, Gambledown Farm, Romsey, while Donald Biggar from Chapelton, Castle Douglas, sold his reserve champion, Chapelton Clansman, for 10,000gns to Peterborough breeder, Harry Horrell, Pode Hole.

At 9,000gns, Major Gibb, Glenisla, sold Glenisla Clansman to Tyrellcote Farm, Hereford, then went on to pay 11,000gns for Glengloy Casanova from David Macleod, Glengloy, Spean Bridge.

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