A Gretna Green breeder is celebrating after chalking up top prices at two prestigious Scottish bull sales.

Just a few days ago a Charolais bull owned by Alasdair Houston was not just lord of the ring in name at the prestigious Stirling sales, for the 21-month-old Gretnahouse Lord took the top price of 25,000 guineas and captured the reserve supreme and reserve senior champion at the breed’s official spring sale.

Bred and exhibited by Alisdair, Lord, son of the 17,000 gns Balthayock Gladiator is out of the famous ‘Paradise’ cow family that has produced multiple high-priced bulls for the breeder.

The cow family originated from one of his first purchases when Alasdair began to restock after the horrors of foot and mouth in 2001.

Lord heads over the water to Bostonia Charolais, a top pedigree herd in County Sligo.

Alasdair said he is still pinching himself after his remarkable run of success with two of the top prices at round one of the Stirling bull sales with his Aberdeen Angus Gretnahouse Exocet R770, sold for 15,000 gns to Schivas Estate at Ellon.

A few minutes earlier Gretnahouse Black Ballboy R763, a full ET brother to Blacksmith, sold for 13,000 gns to Glympton Estate, Oxford. The herd sold four bulls to average £10,447.

At the Charolais sale, society chairman Andrew Hornall said there was no shortage of commercial traders in the market for a Charolais bull and added “it is no wonder with Charolais-sired suckler calves topping the markets on weight for age”.

“Everyone has tightened their budgets this year, and want a breed that will deliver the weights that the supermarkets demand in the shortest time.”

At the same sale three Cumbrian breeders brought home top bulls. David, Marjorie and Paul Stobart from Scotby, paid 22,000 gns for the 18-month-old Newhouse Lonestar. This son of the 30,000gns Dingle Hofmeister and home-bred dam Newhouse Flora going back to the 18,000gns Sackville Claudius, was bred and exhibited by R M Adam and Son, Forfar.

The reserve intermediate champion from RA Milne and sons, Elgin, also found a new home in Cumbria. Elgin Lampard who is a full brother to the 2015 reserve senior Stirling champion and is sired by the 12,000gns Caylers Gladiator, found a new home with Ian Bell, Brampton, for 8,500gns.

Greystoke Castle Farms, Penrith, were the next to purchase a Stirling bull, this time bred and exhibited by Neil Barclay, from Aberdeenshire. The September-2015-born Harestone Legend, who 24 hours earlier had been tapped out first in his class, is a son of the 25,000gns Stirling intermediate champion Inverlochy Ferdie.

The supreme and senior champion was the next to sell for a five-figure sum – 11,000gns was the price that secured the 21-month-old Edenhurst Leader from exhibitors A and JJ Forrest, Lanarkshire, who had purchased him at Peter and Vanessa Vasey’s dispersal sale in October 2015. Leader is a son of the 17,000gns Cumberland Show champion of champions Sandelford Harrison ET and is no stranger to the show ring himself, previously being awarded reserve championships at the Peebles, Moffat and Biggar Shows.

Jenny and John Rix, Colchester, were the purchasers and judge Chris Curry commented that his choice for champion “is the sort of bull that ticks all the boxes for the modern beef market... a good all-rounder with smooth shoulders for easy calving, good length and very correct in his locomotion. He is easy fleshing and will breed progeny that can be finished at any stage”.

The final lot to bring 9,000gns was the first of two bulls to sell for Hamish Goldie, of Dumfriesshire, a well-known face in the ring at Carlisle’s Borderway Mart. Goldies Leslie, a 15-month-old son of home-bred pair Goldies Formidable and the 14,000gns Goldies Banker- sired Goldies Dew, was knocked down to TA Jones and Son, , Carmarthenshire.

Earlier Mr Goldie exhibited the August-2015- born Goldies Lancelot sired by the 15,000gns Gretnahouse Heman, who was purchased by R Donnan, Newton Stewart, for 7,000gns.

Four more entries secured 7,000gns and Alasdair Houston was the first to benefit when his 19-month-old 12,000gns Wesley Equinox son, Gretnahouse Lucas ,was snapped up by GR and DM Thorp, Bakewell, Derbyshire.

Leading the bids for the females at 6,800gns was the first of four top-priced heifers offered by Hamish Goldie. The 20-month-old Goldies Leona sired by the 12,000gns Goldies Elation and out of the 16,000gns Maerdy Naser daughter Goldies Veil, was purchased by H and H Heron, Newtownards, Co Down, who liked Mr Goldie’s heifers so much they went on to purchase two more.