• Sale sees 18 heifers average £7,974
  • New UK all-breeds record price for frozen embryos set at £4,500
  • Four lots make 10,000gns or over
  • Crowd of over 1000 in attendance

The on-farm Haltcliffe heifer sale from Messrs Ridley, Haltcliffe, Hesket-New-Market, Wigton, Cumbria held on Friday 29th July, saw a top price of 30,000gns with the eighteen heifers sold averaging £7,974.

The sale was held as part of the British Limousin Cattle Society’s 2011 National Limousin Open Day which was marking the breed and Society’s 40th anniversary in theUnited Kingdom.  With the sale featuring some of the herds top genetics a huge and expectant crowd, estimated at over 1000 people, packed into the sale barn to create a remarkable atmosphere prior to the sale.

An imaginative catalogue, a feature of the sale was Lot1 where the highest bidder secured the opportunity to take a pick from the entire 2009 crop of heifers. In what was described by the auctioneer David Thomlinson as a ‘breeder’s paradise’, the heifers to choose from combined some of the very best bloodlines in the herd including Sympa, Cloughhead Umpire, Renoncule, Haltcliffe Upperity, Perle, and Radio to name just a few.  This unique offer, never before seen at a Limousin production sale, saw the bidding top at 30,000gns, the sale’s highest price, by John Elliot, Roxburgh Mains, Kelso, Roxburghshire who runs the establishing Elliot and Roxburgh pedigree herds. The Elliot father and son team will return to Messrs Ridley at Haltcliffe to take their pick.

Selling at 20,000gns was a big powerful heifer from one of the top female lines of the herd.  Haltcliffe Encore is a daughter of the herd’s 22,000gns Proctors Commander and is out of Haltcliffe Umpire.  Full of breeding, Haltcliffe Umpire is a Cloughhead Umpire daughter and her pedigree also features Sympa on the dam line.  The grand dam, Haltcliffe Vanessa is a full sister to three bulls the herd has sold to gross 42,000gns.  Sold with a beef value of LM+29, Haltcliffe Encore was bought by David Kenwell for his Kendrom pedigree herd based at Dromore, Co. Tyrone, N.Ireland.

Haltcliffe Encore 20,000gns

The herd’s prolific stock bulls Sympa and Cloughhead Umpire both featured strongly throughout the sale catalogue.  Imported from France in 2002, Sympa has been a hugely influential bull within the Haltcliffe herd and as an AI sire has gone to be a prolific sire across the British Limousin herd book and at the point of sale.   Cloughhead Umpire was purchased in 2005 for 42,000gns after he had placed Champion at the pre-sale show to the British Limousin Cattle Society’s February Sale.  Again, he has made his consistent mark within the herd and across the breed and has sold bulls to a top of 72,000gns (Haltcliffe DJ).

Two heifers were sold for 15,000gns.  The first to enter the ring was Haltcliffe Epson a Sympa sired daughter.  This thick October 2009 born heifer is out of Haltcliffe Ava, a Cloughhead Umpire bred dam.  Haltcliffe Upson was sold to Helen Redden and joins her Meadowrig herd at Clarance House, Tweedmouth, Berwick upon Tweed.

Haltcliffe Epson 15,000gns

Also making 15,000gns was the April 2010 born Haltcliffe Flower.  This heifer is by Cloughhead Umpire and is out of the Sympa and Romance combination bred mother, Haltcliffe Acapulco.  From one of the top cow families, three full sisters of Haltcliffe Flower are retained in the herd.  Also carrying a Beef Value of LM+34, Haltcliffe Flower was another to go toNorthern Irelandwhen purchased by Peter Murphy for his Carrickaldreen herd near Mullaghbawn, Newry, N.Ireland.

Haltcliffe Flower 15,000gns

The fourth heifer to reach the five figure mark was Haltcliffe Fyne who made 10,000gns.   Another daughter of Cloughhead Umpire, Haltcliffe Fyne is out of the Haltcliffe Novel sired Haltcliffe Amazon.   This heifer again features a combination of Sympa and Romance in her back pedigree.  Haltcliffe Fyne’s grand mother is Haltcliffe Upperity (retained within the herd), who won the Junior Championship and Reserve Overall Female Championship at the International Limousin Congress in 2004 aged just 18 months.  The purchasers of Haltcliffe Fyne were RS & BA Harker of the Overthwaite Herd based at Holme Carnforth,Lancashire.

Haltcliffe Fyne 10,000gns

Another golden opportunity on offer at the sale was the choice of two frozen embryos from four of the herd’s brood cows at Haltcliffe.  Mated with sires including the world record priced Haltcliffe Vermount (100,000gns),  Sympa, Cloughhead Umpire, and Greenwell Major, the successful bidder had the choice of embryos from four of the top brood cows in the herd, Perle, Renoncule, Radio or Cloughhead Romany.

Perle was purchased for £10,000 in France in 2001; Renoncule is the dam of the 100,000gns Haltcliffe Vermount and her first five sons at sale averaged over £37,500; Radio was purchased from France in 2001 and is the dam of the 72,000gns Haltcliffe DJ; Cloughhead Romany was purchased in 2002 and has been a consistent breeder of first quality females and five figure bulls at sale.

This powerful combination of top genetics saw theUKall-breeds record for frozen embryos smashed as each embryo sold for 4,500gns.  This surpassed the previous record by some 1,900gns!  Taking full advantage of this unique chance was David and Maggie Kelly of Netherhall Farm Ltd, Kirkby Lonsdale, Carnforth for their Netherhall pedigree herd.


18 heifers £7,974.14.

2 Frozen embryos £9,450

Auctioneers:  Harrison & Hetherington