Saturday, May 13th, 2023: the day that renowned British Blue breeder, Kevin Watret, secured a new breed record price and matched another, writes farming journalist, Catherina Cunnane.
Watret’s black and white British Blue, Solway View Rafa (ET), sold for what is understood to be a new breed record of 32,000gns at the British Blue Society’s 32nd spring show and sale at Borderway Mart, Carlisle, Cumbria, on Saturday, May 13th, 2023.
According to the sales catalogue, lot 80 was born in November 2021 and is out of Dodu De St Remacle (going back to Empire D’Ochain) and home-bred dam, Solway View Milly (EG).
Solway View Rafa is the first son to be sold from Solway View Milly, the 2019 Royal Highland Show and Royal Welsh Show champion.
Rafa himself previously won the senior male champion silverware at Stars of the Future and is a full brother to Solway View Pearl and Solway View Ria.
Rafa was snapped up by the judge, Nigel Pennie, who tapped him out as the sale’s male champion and reserve supreme.
Solway View Rita (ET)
Meanwhile, from the same stable and matching the previous female price record of 30,000gns was lot 109, Solway View Rita (ET), a November-2021-born black and white British Blue.
The sale’s overall champion, who now heads to Coul Estate, is by Engin D Hontoir and is out of home-bred dam, Solway View Netty.
According to the sales catalogue, Rita “has always been a favourite and will make a massive cow just like her mother”.
The sale comes just weeks after the Jalex Select Sale 1 of 2023, which recorded what is understood to be a new in-calf commercial heifer price record of £23,000.
The £23,000 Tiny Dancer heifer swept the boards when she came under the hammer on Saturday, April 29th, 2023.
Lot 10, which James Alexander himself described as “probably the best heifer we have ever offered for sale” ahead of the sale, which took place in conjunction with Harrison and Hetherington and MartEye, is by Wilodge LJ herself and a Powerhouse Elite x Ronick Hawk dam.
The Limousin heifer was born in May 2020 and is due on 19-09-2023, with a bull calf, by either the AI bull, Norman Ely or the herd’s stock sire, Knockroghery Scat Daddy, “either of which should be an exciting cross”.
Read more on this report.