BORDERWAY Mart in Carlisle was packed to the brim last weekend for the dispersal of the Houston family's highly prized Gretnahouse Aberdeen-Angus and Charolais herds, which saw a record price of 50,000gns and a further 10 five-figure prices.

The two herds which have enjoyed notable success in the past both in the sales rings for the family and as superior breeding cattle, were equally sought after by new and established breeders alike, but it was the Charolais consignment that produced the majority of top prices.

Setting a new female record for the Charolais breed at 50,000gns was the yearling heifer, Gretnahouse Tequila, a daughter of the stock bull Lochend Nighthawk, out of the Westcarse Jimmy-sired Gretnahouse Orangina. Bred from the Gretnahouse Drink family that has bred bulls to five-figures and one that goes back to the foundation female, Gower Sherry, Tequila sold to Charlie Boden of the Sportmans herd from Stockport.

This was a fitting tribute to a lifetime’s work, dedication and breeding achievements of the late Alasdair Houston and his family Lucy, Tara and Rafe who concluded this Charolais journey in the same vein and passion in which it was started.

On the Gretna House Farms Facebook page thanked everyone for their support and said they were 'utterly humbled and delighted' that the genetics of the herd would carry on across the UK, stretching from Orkney, over to Northern Ireland and down to Cornwall.

Demand was hot for six year old stock bull, Lochend Nighthawk who had sired sons to 16,000gns, and many of the sought after lots on the day, with the promise that 1200 retained straws of semen would not be used for at least five years, R S Hopper, Penstock Cornwall, bid to 28,000gns to secure this proven stock getter whilst also investing in a Lochend Nighthawk son, securing Gretnahouse Utopia for 16,000gns, an April-2023 born, F94L double carrier out of Gretnahouse Iusilla by Blelack Digger who herself sold for 5,000gns to E Vaughan, Partridge Nest Farm, Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

Twenty-five spring calving cows with calves at foot exceeded five figures at an average of £10,516.80, topping at a whopping 23,000gns for a mother and daughter outfit. J. B. & E. Peilie Ltd, Penrith, Cumbria paid 12,000gns for the heifer calf at foot Gretnahouse Unpopular out of the famous Paradise family which was responsible for the 25,000gns Ubeauty, this heifer calf was sired by Lochend Nighthawk and born in April-2023, whilst C. Smeaton & Sons, Forfar, Angus selected the popular 17,000gns Balthayock Gladiator sired, March-2019 dam at 11,000gns, Gretnahouse Popular sold back in calf to Lochend Nighthawk.

While the Angus herd saw fewer five-figure prices they sold just as well all through and to a top of 12,000gns for the first calf in the catalogue – Gretnahouse Karama Lady, a March 2023-born heifer by Rodmead Primero, out of a previous home-bred Karama Lady by the great Gretnahouse Blacksmith. She was bid to that money by Moses Irwin, Fintona, Co Tyrone.

A similarly aged bull calf sold next at 10,000gns to Messrs Fleming, Teviothead, Hawick. Grentahouse Egbert, another by Primero, is out of the Stouphill Lord Ramon-sired cow, Gretnahouse Eliza.

Devon-based breeders Mike and Melanie Alford, Foxhillfarm, bought two Aberdeen-Angus at 8000gns each – Gretnahouse Evas Honey and her April-born heifer calf of the same name. The five-year-old cow is by Deveron Leggat and changed hands due to the sire of the calf, Rodmead Primero. The dam goes back to the foundation female, Kitewood Evas Honey.