Ard­na­mur­chan breeder gets top price at Oban

Mar­ket: Pho­tog­ra­pher’ s heifer sells for 8,000gn

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FARMING - BY NANCY NI­COL­SON

Ard­na­mur­chan High­land cattle breeder Michael Mac­gre­gor al­ways joked he made more from pho­tograph­ing his cows than sell­ing them.

That all changed this week when the Mac­gre­gor fam­ily’s three-year-old heifer, Anna of Eilean Mor, walked straight off her rough Ard­na­mur­chan hill and into the Oban sale ring to make the breed’s top price of 8,000 guineas.

Mr Mac­gre­gor, a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher, and his wife Karen run 10 cows at Port an Air­seig in Glen­bor­ro­dale, Achar­a­cle.

Anna, in-calf to Tiree bull Harris of Bale­mar­tine, caught the eye of Rich­mond farmer Ju­lia Carr, and is now on her way to Mar­rick Park, North York­shire.

Mr Mac­gre­gor said: “We keep High­landers be­cause they’re the most prac­ti­cal cattle in our land­scape.

“They’re like a Vic­to­rian paint­ing in their sea loch set­ting, and they fit into the wood­land on the farm. Our pre­vi­ous best price was 3,000gn, so we’re thrilled.”

Mrs Mac­gre­gor added the cattle also acted as a con­ser­va­tion tool by graz­ing parts of the hill that are pro­tected for the marsh frit­il­lary but­ter­fly.

She said: “We’re very keen on the en­vi­ron­ment, so it’s a plea­sure to have the an­i­mals ben­e­fit­ing na­ture in this way.”

Falko Stein­berg bought a se­lec­tion of fe­males for his grow­ing fold, in­clud­ing the breed cham­pion, Heather 12th of Tor­dar­roch from Farr, for 5,500gn.

At 5,000gn the Browns from Led­lanet, Kin­ross sold Sine Dhubh 7th of Craigowmil­l to Ju­lia Carr. Other lead­ing prices in­cluded 4,000gn for June 21st of Hyn­d­ford from La­nark­shire breeder Alan Pren­tice and 3,000gn for the Browns’ Vic­to­ria 22nd of Craigowmil­l.

Both were bought by Bal­nagowan Estate, Easter Ross.

Av­er­ages: three-yearold heifers, seven, £3,750; two-year-old heifers, seven, £2,625; year­ling heifers, 17, £1,173.52; heifer calves, 20, £918.75; bull calves, four, £603.75; and un­hal­tered calves, eight, £462. Jed­der­field dis­per­sal: cows and calves, five, £1,291.50; and cows, five, £540.75.

SOLD: Karen and Michael Mac­gre­gor’s High­land heifer Anna of Eilean Mor at the Oban mart with Jade Brown

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