Friday 4 August, saw the highly anticipated reduction sale of the Burnett Family’s Spittalton herd of Blairdrummond, Stirling. Established in 1993, the herd has grown to become one of the larger pedigree Limousin herds in Scotland and they are three times winners of large herd section of the Scottish herd competition.
With 47 lots up for grabs, all found new homes selling to packed ringside at Borderway Mart, which saw prices top at 11,000gns with the 41 cow and calf outfits averaging £5,245, heifers averaging £5,171, and individual cows averaging £6,825.
Topping the lots at 11,000gns was Spittalton Norma, who was sold with her heifer calf Spittalton Umbrella. The six year-old Norma, who sold served by AI and who has also run with the stock bull for good measure, is a daughter of Burnbank Judge, a bull purchased by the herd in 2016 who went on to produce over 100 progeny for them. Her dam is Spittalton Edwina who goes back to the 10,500gns Hargill Blaze. Norma’s March-born heifer calf Spittalton Umbrella is sired by the popular AI bull and 40,000gns Ampertaine Opportunity.
After the bidding was done, the man with his hand in the air was Antony Sayer Jnr from Hilderston, Staffordshire, who purchased the pair to join his Willowvale Limousin herd, established in 2006. Speaking after the sale, Anthony said “In my opinion Norma was the best cow in the market, still young with a lovely heifer calf, I liked her breeding. She will join my small herd along with the other cow and calf I bought today and the two heifers I purchased at the Red Ladies sale in December, making six breeding females in total. I also run 10 recipients who will help me to up my numbers as I have concentrated on buying in quality females as a foundation for my herd”.
Just moments before the next top priced lot of the day made 10,000gns, when she was knocked down to Ian Snape, Dambourne, Redditch. Spittalton Milly, a 2016 born cow whose heifer calf has been retained by the herd, is sired by the 7,500gns Carlisle junior champion Maraiscote Gigolo and bred out of the Lodge Equal daughter Spittalton Hanielle.
At 8,200gns was another cow and heifer calf pair, Spittalton Lodie and Teasel. Lodie is a 2015-born cow with a consistent calving record starting in 2018 and whose second daughter Podie, sold later on in the sale. Out of Spittalton Brodie, a Ormeb daughter, she is sired by Dinmore Hitman and has been PD’d in calf. Her daughter Spittalton Teasel, was one of the older calves on offer at 10 months old, and is sired by the privately purchased stock bull Dyke Papa. The pair was purchased by Charlotte Garbutt, Grindale, Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
Next in the trade stakes was the first of two lots to sell for 7,500gns. Just four lots in was Spittalton Ivana with her four-month-old and Ampertaine Opportunity sired heifer calf Uvana. Ivana is sired by the home-bred Spittalton Denzil, another prolific herd sire with over 80 progeny registered. Her dam is Spittalton Cara, who goes back to the 24,000gns Glenrock Ventura.
This was the just one of nine lots to be snapped up by Ian Miller, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, to join his Millers pedigree Limousin herd, which he has been growing since his first heifer purchase in 2018 and now totals 35 breeding females, alongside his suckler herd which is exclusively run to Limousin bulls. Ian said “Limousin ticks all the boxes and is the only breed for me for weight gain and finishing”. No stranger to pedigree breeding, the family also have 150 Beltex ewes, and last year averaged 15,000gns for their pen of 10 tups at the annual Beltex sale in August.
Mr Miller went on to purchase the other 7,500gns lot, maiden heifer Spittalton Soanna saying she was “really something special”. At 20 months old, she has a top 10% beef value of 44, is sired by the aforementioned Ampertaine Opportunity and is out of Spittalton Oanna, who goes back to the 16,000gns Dinmore Jeanpierre.
Just behind at 7,000gns were Spittalton Ottie with her heifer calf Spittalton Uttie, and the pair caught the eye of Andrew Ewing, Annan, Dumfriesshire. Ottie is a 2018-born daughter of Ampertaine Gigolo, sire of the world record winning 140,000gns Trueman Jagger and is out of Spittalton Lottie, a Maraiscote daughter. While her January-born heifer calf Uttoe is by Dyke Papa.
Another pair to be knocked down at 7,000gns were Spittalton Offer and Topher. The five-year-old Offer is out of Spittalton Ample, who goes back to Dyfri Tanner and is sired by Burnbank Judge, while her December-born son Topher is sired by the prolific AI bull Whinfellpark Lomu. They are both going home to Glenrothes, Fife, with their new owners Messrs Jack.
Adding to the day’s sale was a small consignment of five cows with calves from the Broadhead herd of Turner Farms Ltd, Honley, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. Their top selling lot at 3,000gns was the cow and calf pair Broadhead Nellie and Unicorn, who were purchased by BA Comer, Wedmore, Somerset. The five-year-old Nellie is a cow with French bloodlines, she is sired by Volcano while her Dam Bewick Genevieve goes back to Ionesco. Her June born heifer calf Broadhead Unicorn is sired by the homebred Broadhead Rolly.
Other top priced Lots
Lot 2 Spiitalton Fifi sold with her calf at foot Ultravox for 6,500gns to Miller Farms Ltd, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
Lot 29 Spittalton Oielle sold with her calf at foot Tramper for 6,500gns to Messrs Sinclair, Lyth, Wick, Caithness
Lot 14 Spittalton Ligolo sold with her calf at foot Universal for 6,200gns to Miller Farms Ltd, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
Lot 3 Spiitalton Hansy sold with her calf at foot Tiggy for 6,100gns to Messrs Evans, Tregaron, Cardigonshire
Lot 21 Spiitalton Maz sold with her calf at foot Tilly for 5,800gns to Miller Farms Ltd, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
Lot 24 Spittalton Noney sold with her calf at foot Templer for 5,700gns to Messrs Morgan, Escley, Hereford
Lot 16 Spiitalton Lapple sold with her calf at foot Texas for 5,500gns to Messrs Evans, Maenaddwyn, Anglesey
Lot 19 Spittalton Mabel sold with her calf at foot Tiree for 5,500gns to Miller Farms Ltd, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
Lot 39 Spittalton Pascha sold with her calf at foot Uscha for 5,500gns to Messrs Cunningham, Dungannon, Co Tyrone
Lot 42 Spittalton Rejoice sold with her calf at foot Trudi for 5,500gns to Messrs McGookin, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim
Lot 34 Spittalton Payla sold with her calf at foot Usher for 5,000gns to Messrs Sinclair, Lyth, Wick, Caithness
Lot 44 Spittalton Regina sold with her calf at foot Tegin for 5,000gns to Messrs Barker, Harrogate, N. Yorks
41 cow & calves £5244.87, 2 dry cows £6,825.00, 4 heifers £5171.25, 6 embryos £316.66
5 Cows & calves £2898.00