April 2013

April 25, 2013 Holsworthy Charolais peak at 4,300gns

Charolais bulls sold to a top of 4,300gns in Holsworthy on Thursday 24 April at the South West Charolais Association`s annual spring sale.

The judge Mike Yeandle is flanked by John Wylde and his champion bull Martland Grazer and Jane Haw with the reserve champion Balbithan Heineken

The judge Mike Yeandle is flanked by John Wylde and his champion bull Martland Grazer and Jane Haw with the reserve champion Balbithan Heineken

Sale leader at 4,300gns was the champion, Martland Grazer TI +27, SRI +23, a 21 month old by the 55,000gns Sportsman Columbo and out of a homebred dam. Bred and exhibited by J and C Wylde, Woolavington, Bridgwater he was knocked down sold to PL Heard, Okehampton.

Earlier in the day, Mr Heard had offered his Meldon George TI +33, SRI +31, a rising two year old by Broadbury Diesel to Messrs Needham and Son, Bucklands Newton who also went to 2,300gns for Wyvern Goodun TI +54, SRI +45, a two year old Blelack Digger son from DM Barker, Heathfield Taunton.The day’s second highest call at 3,600gns was the 14 month old Blelack Digger son, Beanhill Harry TI +70, SRI +74 from RJ and BE Kimber, Christian Malford, Chippenham to MS Andrews, Winsford, Minehead.

A bid of 3,200gns secured Downtown Grady TI +33, SRI +26 for A J & D M Finnemore, Camelford. A 20 month old by Balbithan Condor, he was bred and exhibited by Brian Lavis, Bridestowe, Okehampton.

Two, two year old heifers by the 10,000gns Perth champion, Chunal Dougie from Mr and Mrs Andrew White, Worth Matravers led the female section and both were secured by H Dunstan and Sons, Mabe, Penryn. Balbithan Godmanston TI +38, SRI +46 made 3,400gns, while Balbithan Galaxy TI +20 SRI +32 attracted a 3,000gns bid.

Averages: 8 bulls £3,189; 6 females £2,138.

Auctioneers: Kivells


John Wylde puts Martland Grazer under auctioneer Mark Bommel's gavel

John Wylde puts Martland Grazer under auctioneer Mark Bromell’s gavel

Philip Heard sold Meldon George for 3,400gns

Philip Heard sold Meldon George for 3,400gns


April 23, 2013 Charolais Champion tops Ballymena at 4,400gns

Charolais trade topped at 4,400gns at the Northern Ireland Charolais Club’s show and sale at Ballymena Livestock Mart on Friday 19 April.

Kathryn Marshall exhibiting the champion Crosskeys Gomesy, accompanied by Cameron Marshall, Keri McGivern of Moores Concrete and judge Danny McKay

Kathryn Marshall exhibiting the champion Crosskeys Gomesy, accompanied by Cameron Marshall, Keri McGivern of Moores Concrete and judge Danny McKay

The top price of 4,400gns went to the day’s supreme champion Crosskeys Gomesy from C and K Marshall, Ballymena, County Antrim. This 19 month old by Bassett Judge and out of a homebred dam was purchased by C Maxwell, Downpatrick, County Down.

Knocked down sold at 4,300gns was first prize winner Moorlough Hugh by the 55,000gns Thrunton Voldemort and out of a homebred dam sired by Oldstone Egbert. Bred by J McBride, Strabane, County Tyrone, the 14 month old Hugh was secured by J Smyth, Randalstown, County Antrim.

A call of 3,900gns was made for Adams General, a 17 month old by the Doonally New sired Melvin Gal and out of Kilnock Varanasi. Bred by E Reid, Omagh, County Tyrone, General was consigned by K C Veitch, Lisbellaw, County Fermanagh and bought by T McCaster, Larne, County Antrim.

Burnside Honky ET sold for 3,000gns to D McCollum, Ballymena, County Antrim. Bred by B McAllister and Son, Ballymena, County Antrim, this 14 month old was by the 16,000gns Clyth Diplomat and out of a homebred dam.

Averages: 10 bulls, £3,213.00.

Auctioneers: Ballymena Livestock Mart

Philip Hammond exhibiting the Reserve Champion Tullylagan Gallant, sold for 2,900gns with Keri NcGivern of Moores Concrete and judge Danny McKay

Stuart Hammond exhibiting the Reserve Champion Tullylagan Gallant, sold for 2,900gns with Keri McGivern of Moores Concrete and judge Danny McKay


James McBride with the champion heifer Moorlough Goodgirl and Keri McGivern of Moore Concrete & judge Danny McKay

James McBride with the champion heifer Moorlough Goodgirl and Keri McGivern of Moore Concrete & judge Danny McKay

April 19, 2013 Welshpool Charolais bulls peak at 7,200gns

Charolais bulls met a solid commercial trade selling to a top of 7,200gns in Welshpool on Thursday 18 April at the breed society’s official spring sale.

Sale topper at 7,200gns was Gower Goldenboy TI +36, SRI +29, an 18 month old first prize winning bull bred and exhibited by Richard and Alison Tucker who were enjoying their best ever day in Welshpool in 18 years of trading at the centre. Goldenboy was one of the first strings of bulls by their new herd sire, Teiglum Edgar and out of Gower Comedy, one of the family`s best damlines within their 30 cow herd based at Horton, Gower. The buyer was TT Jones, Llanbrynmair.

Gower Goldenboy  at 7,200gns

Gower Goldenboy at 7,200gns

Next at 6,500gns was the day’s last catalogued entry, Trefaldwyn Hugoboss a 14 month old within the breed’s top 1% with a TI +72 and SRI +62. Bred by Arwel Owen, Foel, Welshpool and secured by MG Roberts, Croesor, Penrhyndeadraeth, he was sired by Blelack Digger and out of a homebred dam going back to Doonally New. Earlier in the day, Hugoboss had been placed first in his class.

Trefaldwyn Hugoboss at 6,500gns

Trefaldwyn Hugoboss at 6,500gns

Following closely at 6,400gns was Dorcas Galileo TI +44, SRI +41 who minutes before had been awarded the supreme championship by judge, Ian Campbell, Thrunton. “Galileo was an all-round good bull; he had length, clean lines and was very well fleshed,” he said. Bred by the Morris family, he was offered by Wyne and Diane Rees, Llangurig, Llanidloes who were enjoying the limelight for the first time in 18 years of exhibiting at the centre. A 20 month old, he was sired by Dorcas Duke, a Goldies Ambassador son, out of a homebred dam and he went home with M Griffiths, Botwnog, Pwllhelli.

Dorcas Galileo champion bull at 6,400gns

Dorcas Galileo champion bull at 6,400gns

A 5,000gns bid secured Montgomery Grantham TI +56, SRI +53 for M Rees, Tywyn. Bred and exhibited by Gareth Roberts, Llangadfan, Welshpool, Grantham was an 18 month old Blelack Digger son and out of a homebred dam by Tullygarley Attaboy.

Montgomery Grantham at 5,000gns

Montgomery Grantham at 5,000gns

The highest of six entries from Flintshire vet, Esmor Evans, Mold made 4,900gns to E Rodrick, Sennybridge, Brecon. Maerdy Grandmarnier TI +42, SRI +46 was a 17 month old Val d’or-Ra son and out of a homebred dam.

Maerdy Granmarnier at 4,900gns

Maerdy Granmarnier at 4,900gn

Two entries from the same vendor shared a 4,000gns bid. First to go was Maerdy Giant TI +50, SRI +45, a 19 month old Simpsons Gregg son and out of a homebred dam. The buyer was JAM Jones, Llandrindod Wells. Minutes later, the 18 month old Maerdy Gulch TI +45, SRI +42 was secured for 4,000gns by JL Nixon and Sons, Llandrindon. A Maerdy Ulm son, he was out of a homebred dam by Maerdy Naser.Three lots were bid to 4,800gns each. First in the ring was the 17 month old Solo Gigolo TI +36, SRI +31, a Newroddige Bonanza son and out of a Maerdy Impeccable sired dam from Cecil and Robert Currell, East Harptree to K and L Jones, Narberth.

Roger Everall, Shrawardine, Shrewsbury offered the next entry at 4,800gns to Messrs Hughes, Llanerchymedd, Anglesey. Shraden Granite TI +37, SRI +22 was a rising two year old by the Burradon Talisman sired Shraden Calypso and out of a homebred dam. Mr Everall’s Shraden Greycloud TI +29, SRI +21, another same age Calypso son and out of an Escott sired homebred dam made 4,000gns to SL Evans, Penmaen, Gower.

Shraden Granite at 4,800gns

Shraden Granite at 4,800gns

The third 4,800gns call was made by JLC Williams, Portmadoc for the reserve champion, Beanhill Henry TI +59, SRI +57 bred and exhibited by RJ and BE Kimber, Chippenham. Henry was a 15 month old Blelack Digger son and out of a homebred dam by Talisman.

Beanhill Henry the Reserve Champion at 4,800gns

Beanhill Henry the Reserve Champion at 4,800gns

Plasbela Gladiator TI +57, SRI +57, a 17 month old from T and G Roberts, Llanfair, Abergele was knocked down sold for 4,500gns to Messrs Williams and Son, Kington. A Dingle Hofmeister son, he was out of an Inverlochy Resolve sired homebred dam. Another Hofmeister son from the same breeders, this time the 14 month old, Plasbela Hoff TI +50, SRI +48 made 4,400gns to HW Lloyd, Abergele.

Two more entries sold at 4,400gns each. First to go was Charbron Genial TI +35, SRI +34 from Barons Cross Charolais Stud, Aymestrey, Leominster to CR Griffiths, Bettws, Ammanford. Genial was a rising two year old by the 25,000gns Perth champion Goldies Unbeatable and out of a homebred dam by Caylers Supreme.

Next at 4,400gns was Gwenog Gonzeles TI +32, SRI +29, a 22 month old by Thrunton Classic and out of a Derryharney Outstanding sired homebred dam from father and son team, John and Peter Howells, Llanybyder to AW Williams, LLannefydd, Denbigh.

Gwastod Generator, a two year old Elgin Columbo son sold and out of a Charbron bred dam from BL Williams, Abermeurig, Lampeter made 4,200gns to PW Humphreys, Capel Bangor, Aberystwyth.

The 16 month old Thrunton Dominator son, Caylers Guardsman TI +38, SRI +25 from David and Louise Barker, Nuthampstead, Royston commanded a 4,000gns bid from T Gowling, Market Harborough.

Alwyn Rees, Pennal, Machynlleth offered his 20 month old Pennal Genetic TI +36, SRI +29 by Texan and out of a Killadeas Jack sired homebred dam at 4,000gns to FG Goodall, Llandovery.

Female section

Heading J and L Pegg’s dispersal at 5,200gns was Waterfall Ellierose, a four year old Coolnaslee Universe daughter and out of a homebred dam by Doonally New. She was sold in calf to Balthayock Adonis to Ann Orr-Ewing, Purton Swindon.

Waterfall Ellierose at 5,200gns

Waterfall Ellierose at 5,200gns

Next at 3,100gns was Harviestoun Dionne, a four year old Ravenworth Unwin daughter offered with her March born heifer, Waterfall Ionne by Adonis. She sold to AJ Powell, Knighton. A bid of 3,000gns secured Waterfall Blaise for DJ Thornely, Swadlingcote, Derby. A seven year old Doonally New daughter, she was knocked down sold in calf to Adonis.

A draft from Griff Morris, Llanstephen, Cramarthen was led at 3,500gns for Cargriff Colette, a five year old by Cargriff Valient and out of a homebred dam by Seawell Offshore. Sold in calf to Chunal Dougie, she was purchased by AJ Powell who also bid 2,900gns for a cow and calf pair from RL Hall, Malton. Bassett Bryony was a seven year old by Thrunton Troubadour sold in calf to Rumsden Udimore, while her nine month old heifer calf, Hallgarth Heuchera was by Bassett Bamboo.

Other leading lots from Cargriff included Cargriff Hotpot, a 10 month heifer by Swalesmoor Bayonet making 2,900gns to VAS Corbett, Knighton.

Averages: 56 bulls £3,638.44; 3 cows £3,500.00; 4 cows with calves at foot £3,150. 7 heifers £1,408.50

April 4, 2013 Charolais crosses averaging £200 a head more than other Continental crosses

Cumbrian beef producer, Mark Bowman is focused on maximising output per suckler cow and has found that he has been able to boost annual income by over £200 a head by simply swapping terminal sires for Charolais.


Mark Bowman of Crinkledyke with his Charolais sired progeny

 “Our main objective for our cattle enterprise is to rear calves with a big carcase because there’s no disputing – weight pays, and then finish the entire crop as efficiently as possible,” Mark explains.

“We use a mix of markets – both live and dead. At present all cattle are sold liveweight through the ring at Penrith mart with buyers providing feedback on carcase data – it’s a useful exercise and helps to identify where we can make further improvements to selecting more carefully our genetics as well as management. A Charolais cross heifer made 270p per kg liveweight (£1,650) at the mart’s Easter prime show.

 “We’ve tried and tested three crops of Charolais sired calves and they’ve certainly lived up to our expectations. Take the bulls, they’re finishing on average eight weeks earlier and killing out 30kg heavier than our other continental crosses, while our biggest surprise has been the heifers, in particular their quality – they’re long, clean and have good conformation and they’re reaching an average 400kg in 20 months.” The entire crop of bulls and heifers are fed an identical diet at the same rate. See table 1.

 Table 1: Cringledyke finished cattle average performance


Charolais cross

Continental cross





Days to slaughter





Weight (kg)





Source: Cringledyke

Those performance benefits delivered by the Charolais cross bulls are leaving Mr Bowman an additional income of more than £300 a head over the continental crosses, when taking in the current 380p per kg average market price (R4L) and 350p per day costs. In addition, the Charolais cross heifers are delivering an extra £100.

Mark Bowman farms Cringledyke, Kirkoswald, a 500 acre hill unit including 100 acres of cereals and 30 acres of roots, and carrying 115 suckler cows and followers plus 1,150 ewes. All progeny are taken through to finishing. The unit is farmed in a family partnership – Mark and his wife, Julie and parents, Maurice and Pat.  

Finishing homebred bulls and heifers on home grown grain has been key to Mark’s strategy for the last 20 years, and it’s one that he continues to tweak while keeping the system as simple as possible.

Introducing Charolais as the herd’s terminal sire was a relatively recent decision.  “We were seeking to breed and rear an animal with a big frame on which to grow muscle – we want to exploit size and weight and we decided to invest in Charolais five years ago having watched how the breed had evolved since it was originally introduced to the county more than 40 years ago. It has developed more muscle, has a favourable temperament, and we believed there was the potential to exploit hybrid vigour using him over our continental cross dairy suckler cows. 

“Over 80% of the herd is scheduled to calve in spring and the remainder autumn in order to spread the workload and cash flow,” he says. “We carefully select milky cows, ones that will provide sufficient milk for their calves through to September when we introduce creep, a mix based on home grown barley.” 

Weaned calves are housed in November, bulls averaging 350kg and heifers 270kg. The bulls are introduced to the finishing diet, a 14% CP barley mix. The Charolais crosses are finishing at 15 months and an average 440kgs, killing out at 58% and within the U 3,4L specification, while the heifers are overwintered on silage plus 2kg a head of barley based home mix, grazed the following summer and then rehoused and finished at an average 19 months; they kill out similar to the bulls and all grade -U or better.  

He adds: “We are proud of our beef enterprise which is producing a high quality and fully traceable product, as efficiently as possible. Making just one change by introducing Charolais to the herd has certainly helped to improve our efficiencies and we’re continually fine tuning. In fact we’re working away here not just for ourselves, but we would also like to make sure the opportunities are available for our two young sons, Arthur and Jack to eventually secure a farming future.”