The Highlanders are back!

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The Highlanders were back at Oban Livestock Centre this week with a rise in sale prices.

Top price at The Highland Cattle Society’s autumn show and sale was 10,000gns for the overall champion from the McConachie family’s Culfoich fold near Grantown-on-Spey.

Champion Carlin 6th of Culfoich yearling heifer owned by J&M McConachie and Son, lead out by Rachel McConachie and reserve (left) Bonnie Ruadh 1st of Balemartine Tiree owned and lead out by Emily Armstrong. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn
Sisters Emily and Eva Armstrong with mum Fiona giving their yearling heifer Ruadh 1st of Balemartine, Tiree a stroke after she was awarded reserve female champion overall at the 124th autumn show and sale of highland cattle. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn
Sisters Emily and Eva Armstrong give their yearling heifer Ruadh 1st of Balemartine, Tiree a kiss after she was awarded reserve female champion overall at the 124th autumn show and sale of highland cattle. The girls were introduced to highland cattle by their late dad Mark. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn
A beaming Emily Armstrong Balemartine Tiree coming out of the ring after selling her yearling heifer for 3,500gns
Photograph: Kevin McGlynn


A delighted Emily Armstrong from Balemartine, Tiree saw her yearling heifer Bonnie Ruadh 1st of Balemartine sell for 3,500gns in the ring. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn
A great day for Karen and Michael Macgregor with their three-year-old heifer Sobhrach 2nd of Eilean Mor who sold for 9,000gns at the 124th annual autumn sale of highland cattle at Oban Livestock Centre.
Photograph: Kevin McGlynn

The prestigious championship title was secured for the society’s past president Gordon McConachie and his family by Carlin 6 of Culfoich.

This April, 2020-born heifer is by the 3,600gns Jacob 2 of Benmore, which stood male champion at the Royal Highland Show in 2019 and previously bred two yearling female champions at Oban for the family. Bred out of Laria 1 of Culfoich, which won the junior championship at the Royal Highland Show in 2010, this rising yearling heifer sold to Germany with Falko Steinberg who purchased his first Highlander at Oban in 1988.

Breeders witnessed increased averages compared to the 2019 sale, particularly for younger females as yearling heifers traded £1,393.17 dearer on the year, while heifer calves increased by £1,248.06.

Next best at 9,000gns, was the second animal through the ring from Karen and Michael Macgregor’s 11-cow Eilean Mor fold at Port An Aiseig, Glenborrodale at Acharacle.
Also achieving a personal best for the couple when sold to Balrownie Farms, Brechin, was the three-year-old heifer champion Sobhrach 2 of Eilean Mor,  due to calve in March to Harris of Balemartine.

Lanarkshire breeder Alan Prentice, of the Hyndford Fold, Ravenstruther, sold his dearest female to date when his three-year-old heifer, Banrigh 10 of Hyndford, made 7,000gns.

It was a particularly memorable day for The Applecross Trust team from Strathcarron, when they topped the heifer calf trade at 6,700gns, after returning to the sale ring for the first time in 35 years.

John Cooper’s Culloden fold at Tordarroch Estates, near Inverness, produced the next top price of 3,600gns for March-born heifer calf, Heather 17 of Tordarroch.

Just behind at 3,500gns, from the Armstrong family’s Balemartine fold on the Isle of Tiree, was Bonnie Ruadh 1 of Balemartine, which stood reserve overall champion in the pre-sale show.

Last to hit the 3,000gns bracket was Neoinean Ruadh 6 of Leys, from Leys Castle Farm, Inverness and was sold to Willie MacLean, Inverglen, Barcaldine, Oban.

Karen and Michael Macgregor were back in the money at 2,300gns for the yearling heifer Ros Dath Airgid 2 of Eilean Mor, which sold to Andrew Ewing, Dumbretton.
She is by the same sire as the 9,000gns sale, out of Ros Dubh of Eilean Mor.

Sunday’s pre-sale show attracted a large crowd of spectators, and saw sisters Sophie and Tara Adams from Aberdeenshire lead the way among the young handlers. Sophie came first in the 15- to 18-year-olds class and went on to take the overall champion accolade, while Tara won the under 14-years section and stood reserve to her big sister.

For the full prize list see