Countdown on to keynote Upsall Beef Shorthorn reduction sale at CCM Skipton
The countdown has commenced to a keynote native cattle reduction sale of pedigree Beef Shorthorns from the Upsall herd, near Thirsk, at CCM Skipton Auction Mart in North Yorkshire, on Saturday, August 7.
World-renowned Upsall, Britain’s oldest Beef Shorthorn herd, is due to arrive with a 55-strong headcount, comprising 19 maiden heifers free from the bull from last year’s crop of calves, a trio of two-year-olds run with the bull, 16 cows with calves at foot outfits and a single 15-month-old bull.
The Upsall herd of pedigree Beef Shorthorn cattle was established over 110 years ago and has for over six decades years been in the hands of fourth generation family member, the Rt Hon Gerald Turton, and continues to be managed on the 2,000 acres estate at Upsall Castle Farms by long-time Scottish stockman George McCulloch and his wife Maureen.
Over four generations the Turton family have carefully and successfully bred a cow which is easy calving, thrives on poor grazing in all weathers and which is combined with a quiet temperament. A more recent programme of improvement has been to make the herd naturally polled, with four out of the last seven stock bulls used homozygous for the polling gene and this work remains ongoing.
The long-established cow families at Upsall are recognised by breeders everywhere and, within the last 25 years notably, Loch Awe Lysander (P) and Uppermill Recto (P) have added to this depth of breeding.
Prior to this, the search for outcrosses and original Beef Shorthorn bloodlines has led all over the world and this brought an early introduction to EBV recording prevalent in the large Beef
Shorthorn communities in other countries at the time.
The Australian bull, Mandalong Super Elephant, from the 1970s, crossed well with daughters of another Australian bull, Broughton Park Thunder, and one daughter, Clipper X699, was mother to the influential Firefox of Upsall.
The names of two Firefox sons recur consistently in King David of Upsall, a 2016 long light roan, dual first prize winner at the Great Yorkshire Show, and Mandalong of Upsall, named after his illustrious grand sire and bred from Tessa X957 of Upsall.
Grenadier of Upsall is an eight-year-old son of another Australian bull, Belmore Patriarch, a bull with considerable influence and quality throughout the herd both directly and through this very good son.
A very nice Grenadier daughter bred from Jilt X795 will be offered for sale with her King David daughter, along with the direct Belmore Patriarch daughter, Nonpareil X973 VG85, which sells with her Mandalong heifer calf.
The Broughton Park Thunder blood continues to thrive through the ten-year-old stock bull, Dingo of Upsall, and the progeny of Lucca of Upsall, while more recently the search for high performance EBVs and an outcross led to the use of semen from the prominent Canadian sire,
Crooked Post Drover, with two home-bred sons - Newline and Nelson - the pick of the crop.
During the last ten years Upsall have sold bulls to arguably some of the finest Beef Shorthorn herds in the UK and Ireland. Herd health is of paramount importance at Upsall and the entire herd is Level 1, BVD free and vaccinated, IBR free and has been Neospora Risk Level 1 for four years.
The selected lots are sold only because they are succeeded by daughters or relatives coming into or already in the herd and quality exudes from the start of the sale, with two cows sold with smart Spring-born roan heifer calves at foot - the first VG86 Augusta X904 with her Mandalong calf, and the second Jilt X1128 with her King David daughter.
The sale comprises a solid cross-section of the principal cow families, many of which are classified, while amongst the male calves are a number of potential rising stars. Noteworthy is Clipper X1169, sold with her Mandalong son, as is Secret X1009, with a Nelson of Upsall son which is full brother to a bull to be released in Spring 2022 by Upsall.
Sapphire X1120 sells with a very promising bull calf by King David, while also expected to create considerable interest is a full sister to this bull calf which sells in the yearling heifers. In fact, the consignment of yearling heifers is described as one of the best batches of heifers to come to the market from Upsall, the pedigree of each revealing the considered thought attached to the breeding of each generation.
Also among them is a King David daughter, X693 of Upsall, whose grand dam Urymaid of Upsall stood female supreme and national champion heifer at the 2016 Great Yorkshire Show, while the dam won the North of England Shorthorn Club Calf Show at Thirsk a year later.
Semen straws to be sold separately at the end of the Upsall sale include 16 from the influential Belmore Patriarch.
Jeremy Eaton, Skipton Auction Mart’s general manager and auctioneer, commented: “The Upsall decision to reduce numbers represents an opportunity for established breeders and newcomers to the breed to secure some of the finest bloodlines available. There is little doubt that this draft from Upsall creates an opportunity not to be missed.”
To enable access for buyers who cannot attend the sale, a remote online bidding and viewing facility will also be available, though potential purchasers are asked to contact the mart office well before sale day to set up an account. In addition, pre-sale viewing on the farm can be arranged by calling 01845 537259.
The Turton reduction sale is due to start at 12 noon. It will be followed by a second native cattle reduction sale of pedigree Herefords from the local Halton herd run by husband and wife, David and Iris Boothman, at Home Farm, Halton East. Their consignment is due to comprise 49 head – 11 cows with calves at foot, six heifers with calves, 11 maiden heifers, two in-calf heifers and a brace of bulls.