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Reduction of Balmyle Herd Highlight of Special Sale

Ewan Pate, The Courier, Farm & Country


Pedigree beef females met a solid trade at a special sale at United Auction’s Stirling mart on Saturday. An undoubted highlight was a major reduction of the renowned Balmyle Charolais herd.


Bill Bruce of Balmyle, Meigle, laid the foundations for the herd in 1975 and has since had many successes including the sale of Balmyle Bollinger for 30,000 gns at Perth in 2007. However, the impending retirement of Balmyle stockman Friar Thompson who has been with the herd since it started, has brought about a change in policy.


A small nucleus herd consisting of mostly older females has been retained but 71 lots across the age spectrum were offered for sale on Saturday. Many of the breeding stock and their calves had Dingle Hofmeister either as a sire or grandsire.


The top price was 8,000 gns paid by Danny Sawrii, Allerbeck of Lockerbie for the five-year-old served cow Balmyle Bluebell, by Pedr Thumper, and her six-month-old bull calf by Pennal Dazzller.


Second highest was the 7,000gns bid by John Milligan, Ballathie Estate, Kinclaven, Stanley, for three-year-old served cow Balmyle Dizzy, by Solitude Attaboy, and her eight month-old heifer calf by Bathayock Diplomat. Dizzy is a maternal sister of bulls sold at 6,500 gns and 4,500 gns.


This was followed by three 6,000 gns bids: for three-year-old Balmyle Daisy, by Balymle Statesman, and her seven-month old-heifer calf by Brampton Nacodar to David Fattorini of Skewkirk, York; three-year-old Balmyle Diana, by Sackville Adonis, and her eight-month-old bull calf by Bathayold Diplomat to Leys Farms, Leys Castle, Inverness; and six-year-old cow Balmyle Affection, by Balmyle Statesman and her seven-month-old heifer calf, also by Diplomat to Jack Nicols’s Morinty Farms, Alyth.


Leys Castle also paid 4,200 gns for first-calved heifer Balmyle Damson and her heifer calf, and 4,000 gns for a maiden heifer, Balmyle Fleur. Adrian Ivory paid 5,500 gns to secure five-year-old cow Balmyle Belinda, by Maerdy Othello, and her heifer calf by Pennal Dazzller.


The same price was paid by C.G. Grieg Farms Ltd, Pilochie, Gateside, Fife for nine-year-old cow Balmyle Tiffani, by Balmyle Rivoli, and her six-month-old bull calf, also by Dazzller.


Ulster buyer J.A. Connelly, Brigaddon Charolais, Ballynahinch, CO Down, bought two at 5,000 gns: three-year-old Balmyle Delight, by Solitude Attaboy, and her seven-month-old bull calf by Branpton Nacador; and the top performance 19-month-maiden heifer Balmyle Felicity, by Sackville Claudius.


The same price was bid by Keith Brooke, for four-year-old Balmyle Campari, by Maerdy Othello, and her seven-month-old bull calf by Maerdy Othello.


Other leading buyers at 4,800 gns including Clova Farms, Pitlvie, Carnoustie, for three-year-old Balmyle Diva, by the Maerdy sire and her seven-month-old bull calf by Balthayock Diplomat; and Anne Macpherson, of Blackford Farms, Auldearn, Nairn, for six- year old Balmyle Anna, by Pedr Thumper, and her April born heifer calf by Dazzller.


Another Attaboy daughter, two-year-old heifer Balmyle Eleonar realised 4,500 gns to Jim Muirhead, Firhills, Letham Grange, Arbroath, who also paid 3,800 gns for maiden year-ling heifer Bamyle Floret by Maerdy Barbican.


Top price for Charolais came from a reduction consignment from Welsh vet and breed stalwart Esmore Evans. He made 9,000 gns for five-year-old cow Maerdy Basquet, as ET daughter of the French sire, Major, and her heifer calf by Maerdy Padirac. The buyer was A.I.J.B Forrest, Hillend, Robertson, Biggar.


The first cow in the ring from the Maerdy consignment, Maerdy Unkept, a much-fancied daughter of Maerdy Sinndar, and her eight-month-old heifer calf by Begonia, made 4,000 gns to Eric Mutch, Burnside or Whitefield, Forglen, Banff.


“We had a packed ring-side and an attendance of buyers from all over the UK and Ireland” said David Leggat, executive chairman of United Auctions. “The commercial trade was strong and it was heartening to see females of both breeds (Charolais and Aberdeen Angus) purchased to start new herds.


Averages were as follows:


Balmyle – 32 cows and calves £4,052, 33 in-calf and maiden heifers £2,394

Maerdy – 13 cows and calves £3,283, 14 heifers in-calf £2,220.


Fordel – 28 cows and calves £2,501.25

Newbank – 3 heifers £2,450

Promise Dispersal – 11 cows and calves £1,780.23 and seven heifers £4,582.50, two bulls £2,940

Moncur – one heifer £2,100

Arnydie – three cows and calves £1,067.50

Moffat – two cows and calves £1,811.25