Scottish partnership shines at Skipton Beef Shorthorn highlight Scottish Shorthorn breeders Thomson, Roddick & Laurie, who run the Shawhill herd in Eaglesfield, Lockerbie, secured a championship and reserve championship double with a pair of outstanding heifers at the seventh annual show and sale of pedigree Beef Shorthorn cattle staged on behalf of the North of England Beef Shorthorn Club at Skipton Auction Mart. (Wed, Nov 9) The title winner also headed the selling prices at 5,900gns, a new centre record price for a Beef Shorthorn.

The Newlands-based partnership, represented on the day by John Thomson, his son Matthew and head herdsman John Dick, took top billing with their first prize junior heifer and female champion, the 20-month-old roan maiden heifer, Shawhill Lovely Jade, who stood third in class at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.

Recipient of the I’Anson Bros Perpetual Trophy, presented by the company’s Rebecca Jarvis, the supreme champion is by the 8,500gns Burnside Elite, an Irish bull acquired in 2013 who is now in his third season on the Shawhill herd and has produced some first-rate calves.

The victor, the third calf of the bought-in LS Zeus daughter, Outrawcliffe Emilly, sold to Scottish breeder Scott Taylor, who keeps a small Shorthorn herd in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire.

Thomson, Roddick & Laurie also clinched the reserve championship with their first prize senior heifer and reserve female champion, Shawhill Tulip Heather, a 2014 fully home-bred roan daughter of their own Shawhill Frosty and granddaughter of Vortrekker of Upsall.

Carrying a service to the all-Canadian bull, Winalot Rodney X, she too fell at 3,800gns to Mr Taylor, who made four purchases in total to boost his herd.

“The buyer will hopefully get an interesting calf off her,” said John Thomson, who established the Shawhill herd with his partners some seven years ago when purchasing foundation cattle from The Hon Gerald Turton's Upsall Centenary Sale, with further purchases of heifers from Alvie, Lowther, Sandwick, Fieldhouse, Albion, Cairnsmore and Glenarrif.

The Shawhill herd, whose five Skipton-sold heifers averaged 3,000gns, now comprises some 40 cows and followers and was further supplemented with new bloodlines earlier this year following the acquisition of a small herd of Beef Shorthorn cows with calves at foot from the Faradale pedigree herd sale in the Isle of Man.

Second top price of the day at 5,000gns fell to another classy heifer from the Sandwick herd of Cumbrian breeders, Andrew and Caroline Ivinson, of Townhead, Ousby. Their April, 2015, light roan heifer, Sandwick Floss Jitterbug, is a daughter of Stonehills White Warrior, bred from the EX90 Sandwick Classical.

She joined Welsh breeders Irwel and Jane Evans, who run the Llwynhywel Beef Shorthorn herd in Llanillar, Aberystwyth. They established their small herd some 12 month ago and are now looking to develop it with new acquisitions. The couple also breed Welsh Cobs.

The Ivinsons also sold a second pedigree heifer, the May, 2015, Sandwick Jane Austin Rose, by Stoneyroyd Gallagher, at 2,300gns to Perth’s DS McFadzean.

The Skipton showcase has been a happy hunting ground for Britain’s oldest Beef Shorthorn herd, established in 1909 and now run by The Hon Gerald Turton at The Grange, Upsall, near Thirsk, which has regularly sent out champions, reserve champions and top price entries at the venue.

The Upsall herd this year consigned a total of 22 lots in the sale, topping at 4,000gns with a well-utilised cow, Tessa X302 of Upsall, fast approaching 13 years of age, with her tenth calf at foot – a heifer, Tessa X1149 of Upsall.

The dam, who is in calf yet again and was described as a fine example of the longevity of the breed by Mr Turton, is herself one of four daughters of Uppermill Recto, who also bred the 2012 Skipton champion and top price seller. All his daughters have been classified EX90 or more.

The latest outfit joined Tom O’Fee, of Cleater in Cumbria, who, while maintaining a lifelong interest in farming, was buying his first-ever Beef Shorthorns, though followed up soon after with another 2,800 Upsall buy in the May, 2015, Tessa X1110 of Upsall, by Glengloy Frigate, out of a daughter of the £6,000 Discovery of Upsall. Having now turned 80, Mr O’Fee will be handing over responsibility to his daughter Myra, a former swimmer for Great Britain, and her family.

Another Upsall mother and daughter outfit made 3,700gns – this for the 2012-born Comet of Upsall daughter, Clipper X864 of Upsall, and her heifer calf, the January-born Clipper X1125 of Upsall, out of Grenadier of Upsall. This one sold to RJ Baudains, of Nunnington, York. A further two cows with calves from the same home sold at 2,200gns and 1,700gns.

The Upsall consignment returned an impressive maiden heifer average of 2,261gns, which included Secret Maid X1055 of Upsall, a white 2015 daughter of Belmore Patriach F102, the sire of two of Upsall’s current stock bulls.

Bred from the EX 90 Secret Maid X625 of Upsall, a daughter of the herd’s embryo export from Canada, she sold to AC Farms, of Langham in Rutland, for 3,200gns, and was one of their three Upsall acquisitions.

AC Farms also paid the same price for the Frigate of Upsall daughter, the two-year-old Nonpareil X1019 of Upsall, who has been scanned in-calf to Grenadier, and 3,000gns for Clipper X1065 of Upsall, a white 2015 daughter of Fortress of Upsall.

Two more 2015 Upsall heifers also sold well. First up at 3,100gns was the 18-month-old roan, Marigold X1017 of Upsall, by Loch Awe Lysander, a show champion when bought jointly with the Bilsdale herd in 1998. She found a new home in Nottinghamshire with Retford’s T Cheetham. To complete a good day, further Upsall heifers sold at 2,500gns three times and 2,400gns.
Paul Braithwaite’s Albion herd, based at Great Ayton, on the northern slopes of the Cleveland hills, was responsible for the second prize senior heifer, Albion Jilt Helena, a March, 2014, daughter of Tarrant Arnie. Due to calve mid-February to the Glenisla Doctor Who son, Knowehead Hercules, Helena sold for 2,500gns to a Scottish buyer, Carluke’s I Tennant.

Selling away at 2,300gns was the second prize junior heifer, Burnfoot Victoria Imogen, from H&N Sloan, who farm in the Scottish Borders at Oxton, north of Lauder. Their April, 2015, daughter of Galla Flashman became a further acquisition by RJ Baudains.
Local breeder Stuart Currie, who runs the Beautry herd in Rathmell, also picked up a third prize rosette in the senior heifer show class with his April,2014, Beautry Hebe, by his former stock bull Beautry Excalibur, champion male at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show in the hands of Sussex-based Rumsden Farm. Out a home-bred dam related to a twice Royal Show female champion, Hebe remained in the locality when selling fir 1,800gns to Settle’s John Wilson.

Outside the prize winners, the Stonehills herd of Geoff and Chris Riby, from Fraisthorpe, Bridlington, did well at 3,000gns with their 2011-born cow, Stonehills Viking Gem, by Hallsford Viking Warrior. She sold with her six-month-old Uppermill Jefferson-sired heifer calf at foot to S Mair, of Turriff in Aberdeenshire. The Ribys also sold a second cow and calf outfit for 2,000gns.

Champion among the handful of pedigree bulls on parade was a 2015-born entry from Steve and Gilly Johnson’s Gilven herd in Huby, York,  which received The Wm Morrison Perpetual Trophy from Colne’s Jim Holden, livestock buyer for the supermarket chain, for whom he sources prime lambs at Skipton. The male victor returned home.

Of the 78-strong turnout, all but four lots on offer found new homes, maintaining solid demand at the annual breed highlight.

Beef Shorthorn heifers in-calf or with calves averaged £2,303, well up on the previous year’s £1,575, while heifers also showed an improvement when averaging £2,091, compared to 2015’s £1,930. In-calf heifers averaged £2,051, while the one bull sold made 1,380gns.

Show judge was Annette Marshall, from St Andrews, whose parents, John and Jill Redpath, run a pedigree Shorthorn herd in Alyth, north-east of Blairgowrie, while sponsors were the NFU’s Skipton branch, Bradford-based Wm Morrison, which continues to offer a 25p/kg premium on Beef Shorthorns through its Traditional Beef Scheme, and I’Anson Bros.

South Devons step up too
As usual, the Beef Shorthorn Society highlight was staged alongside the fifth annual show and sale of cattle on behalf of the South Devon Herd Book Society, when the show was again dominated in some style by long-standing husband and wife breeders, Paul and Pam Harrison, who won all but one of the prizes on offer in the three classes.

At the latest renewal, the Harrisons, who run the Brafferton herd in Tollerton, York, claimed both champion and reserve, the former with their first prize January, 2015, bull, Brafferton Hadrian 25, who has been winning prizes all year long, including the Great Yorkshire Show junior male championship, the latter with an in-calf January, 2014, heifer, Brafferton Stella 53.

While both returned home, the Harrisons did sell three maiden heifers that landed a clean sweep of their show class prizes. The red rosette winner, the fully home-bred Brafferton Buttercup 73, by Brafferton Winston 1, headed the day’s prices at 1,850gns when joining Shropshire buyer C Read, of Winnington, Market Drayton

The second and third prize winners, both from the Stella family and both sired by Brafferton Warrior 5, made 1,350gns  and 1,150gns  respectively, producing a section average of £1,522.

Show judge was John Hadley, who runs the Knightcote pedigree herd in Chesterton, Warwickshire.