Sandwick herd 6,200gns top price coup at CCM Skipton Beef Shorthorn Club highlight A top call of 6,200gns was achieved at the North of England Beef Shorthorn Club’s 11th annual sale-only at Skipton Auction Mart for a September, 2018, heifer from Andrew and Caroline Ivinson’s Sandwick pedigree herd at Townhead, Ousby, in the Eden Valley. (Wed, Nov 11)


Armistice Day became one to remember for the Cumbrian couple, who have been represented at the annual North Yorkshire highlight since its inception and were achieving their highest-ever sale price for a female with Sandwick Flossy Mocha, a dark roan daughter of the Scottish-bred Glenisla Excalibur son, Glenisla Jack Frost, used successfully for the past four years, whose own sons have sold to 9,000gns, with semen still available.

A first daughter of the home-bred Sandwick Flossy Koffee (by Engineer of Upsall), a good, milky dam from one of the herd’s better breeding lines, the Ivinsons saw their top price performer, who was seen served mid-September by Highlee Nelson, sell to relatively new breeders from Norfolk, Duncan and Mary MacGregor. They trade as MacGregor Farming Partnership and run the Red Hazel pedigree herd in Great Witchingham, near Norwich. It was established in 2016 and currently has 12 breeding cows.  

The MacGregors were represented by farm manager Leigh Nobes, who said he had travelled up to Skipton purposely in the hope of acquiring the Sandwick frontrunner after spotting her in the online catalogue. “We are buying heifers and trying to purchase good genetics for the foundation of the herd. Fingers crossed our new acquisition is in calf,” he said.

She is certainly bound for rich and special pastures. The MacGregors’ 1,000-acre farm is completely organic and last year received a conservation award from Norfolk FWAG, the county’s farming and wildlife advisory group. The farm makes extensive use of flower-rich margins to feed pollinators and birds. Three new ponds encourage amphibious and aquatic life, while cultivated strips have been left unsown on field edges, allowing rare arable weeds, which require annual disturbance of the soil, to emerge.

Mr and Mrs Ivinson, who have been keeping Beef Shorthorns since 2002 and are now calving 45 annually, also sold a second maiden heifer at 2,900gns, while taking second top call of the day at 5,800gns, again the vendor’s highest-ever sale price for a female, was Caitrina Ward, who runs the Kimrina herd at Low Brock Rigg Farm, Glaisdale, inland from Whitby in the North York Moors National Park. She, too, has supported the annual Skipton breed fixture since its inception after first establishing her herd, which now comprises 20 breeding cows, a dozen years ago.

Her Kimrina Nadia is a January, 2019, red and white daughter of the Irish-bred Craigfaddock Khan (by Fearn Wyvis), who won a calf show in his native Ireland and was acquired for 7,500gns two years ago. The first born of the home-bred Beautry Gryffindor daughter, Kimrina Keshy, who has herself picked up tickets on the local show circuit, became the highest price open heifer when claimed by A&C Farms in Langham, Oakham.

The same vendor completed a good day when also selling a second maiden heifer at 2,600gns, along with two January, 2019, Craigfaddock Khan sons in the bull section at 2,000gns

Another familiar face at the Skipton sale is The Rt Hon Gerald Turton with his renowned Upsall herd, based at The Grange, near Thirsk, which this year arrived with a 12-strong consignment in the hands of George McCulloch, all successfully sold.

Doing best at 3,900gns was the dark roan Nonpareil X1357 of Upsall, one of August, 2018, twins to the Belmore Patriach son, Grenadier of Upsall, who did well for Britain’s oldest Beef Shorthorn herd before being sold on. Out of Nonpareil X973, a good, milky line, she was sold in-calf to a son of Crooked Post Dover, with semen imported from Canada. Due early February, she travelled north of the border to Lanark with Dawn Lindsay. Two further Upsall in-calf heifers made 2,800gns and 1,900gns, the consignment averaging £2,030.

Local husband and wife breeders, Stuart and Gail Currie, who run the Beautry herd in Rathmell, near Settle, and stood show champions the previous two years, sold a brace of maiden heifers at 3,400gns and 2,000gns. The former, Beautry Tessa Nikola, a June, 2019, dark roan daughter of the home-bred Poyntington Himself son, Beautry Lothario, the first prize bull in the 2018 herd competition, out of Tessa X683 of Upsall, a 4,000gns purchase when standing reserve champion at the 2011 Skipton breed fixture, also headed north with K Darnbrook, of Newcastleton in the Scottish Borders.

From Calderdale, Mark and Tracy Severn, who run the Highlee herd in Barkisland, chipped in with a 3,000gns maiden heifer, Highlee Magic Nymph, a May, 2019, daughter of Millerston Jester, out of a home-bred Ferdinand of Upsall-sired dam. It was the first animal to be offered for sale from this family line and found a local buyer in New York Farms, of Silsden. James Hopper, of the Kellythorpe herd in Harpham, East Yorkshire, also caught the eye with an in-calf heifer at 1,800gns.

The sale of 24 head of pedigree Beef Shorthorns was well attended by prospective buyers, both on site and online, with a number of entries successfully selling to online bidders. Averages saw a solid increase on the year, in-calf heifers levelling at £2,910 (2019 £1,604) and maiden heifers £2,408 (£2,287).