Headlining the Traditional Hereford Breeders’ Club recent Grass Masters timed online auction at £3,000 was May 2021-born bull, Albany Sailor, from the Cook family, Cambridge.
The sale topper, by Lincoln, a bull that has earnt “huge respect” in the traditional breed in recent year, claimed breed championships at both the Shropshire County and Royal Three Counties shows in 2023.
According to the sales catalogue, “bulls like Sailor, who was lot number 7, do not come on the market very often, full of muscle depth and breed character”.
“Sailor is also from the great Susannah line; his dam is a big, strong, cow, full of milk.”
Next on the price table at £2,550 was another two-year-old bull, the June 2021-born Carpenters Brigadier, lot number 9, from Helen MacLeod, Malvern.
He is one of only a few contemporary cattle sired by AI from the 1962-born MMB bull Ffostil Brigadier, with only 12 calves born since the 1980s, according to the sales catalogue.
“He is an easy bull to have around, being easy fleshed and easy to handle. We really believe in this young bull, having entrusted him with ten cows this spring,” the owners said.
Traditional Hereford cattle
Leading the female trade was another from F W Cook & Son, the in-calf 2018-born cow, Albany Oyster Girl 20th, lot number 15, at £2,225.
According to the catalogue, “Oyster Girls are one of the most renowned but rarest female lines in the breed, with only 10 found in the 2023 census”.
“She is from a line of Oyster Girls at Albany that are firm favourites. The dam and grand dam of the cows have always been two of the best in the herd.”
“A daughter of the hugely renowned Albany Lincoln, a bull with a great reputation in the breed, he stood breed champion at Three Counties,” the catalogue added.
Another standout female line which breeders had the chance to pick up in this year’s online event, emanating from the original Free Town ‘C’ family, came in the form of the 2019-born in-calf cow, Carpenters Caroline, bred, and sold by Helen MacLeod for £2,000, with her 5-month-old steer calf.
According to the catalogue, she is “from one of the rarer lines, but a line that consistently performs for the Carpenters herd” and is in-calf to Carpenters Mackenzie and due on 03/02/2024.
“Caroline has a back pedigree full of Hereford superstars from years gone by including Freetown Vanguard, Free Town Kendal, Westwood Laura’s, Llandinabo Quirk and Crown,” the catalogue notes.
Meanwhile, Gavelock Sybilla with her steer calf at foot, born in March and by Willow Grange Louis, from Carolyn Redmayne made £1,600.
She has been described as a “striking female with plenty of body capacity, feminine and maternal with good bone and a strong topline”.
She is by Boresisle Lawrence, who has bred “consistently strong, deep-bodied cattle with great longevity and suitability to pasture-based systems”.
Meanwhile, Albany Lisbon, due to calve in September to the home-bred Albany Orrie, from the holding of F W Cook & Son saw a price tag of £1,525.
The March 2017-born entry is from the original Gaudy line, of which only 70 remain, according to the catalogue.
The Boresisle Lawrence daughter is “a moderately sized, female with heaps of style, flesh and shape that is a consistent quality producer”.
Two further lots from vendor Helen MacLeod both sold into Wales, with the yearling bull, Carpenters Monroe, knocked down at £1,500 and maiden heifer, Carpenters Curly 19th, finding a new home at £1,200.
Monroe is a January 2022 born sold of Shefford Monarch with “huge potential, being compact, full of muscle, great movement and loads of breed character”.
Curly 19th is a March 2022 born daughter of Carpenters Morgan, with a pedigree “full of large, strong, prolific animals” and she herself is a “sweet, feminine heifer with lots of growth”.
The final lot in the auction was a pair of embryos offered for sale by P & E Lynn.
Sired by Margarita Sebastian and from the family’s homebred and show-winning donor dam Hockerwood Lucy, they were purchased for £250 per embryo.
3 bulls sold for an average of £2,350, while four 4 in-calf cows/heifers levelled at £1,812.50.
Meanwhile, 1 cow and calf changed hands for £1,600, the sale’s only maiden heifer fetched £1,200 and as highlighted above, 2 embryos sold for £250/piece.
The online timed auction of original population pedigree, traditional Hereford bulls, females and embryos ran from Friday, July 7th, 2023, to Sunday, July 9th, 2023, in conjunction with Denis Barrett Auctions, Co Cork, Ireland.
According to organisers, the sale “presented genetics famed worldwide for their ability to thrive on pasture-based diets, using low inputs to produce a high-yielding, compact beef carcass”.
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