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Pedigree Bull sales back in the ring

Harrison and Hetherington’s Spring Pedigree Bull sales of major breeds will see some stock, sellers and selected buyers returning to the rings, together with timed online live auctions

30 April 2021, at 12:00pm

As the UK’s largest livestock trading company, Harrison and Hetherington’s Pedigree Bull Sales are a key date in the annual calendar for breeders and buyers from both across the UK and beyond.

For this year’s May Bull sales, the team are excited to announce that both sellers and committed purchasers will be able to attend the sales in-person again, in as normal a sale as the current restrictions allow. Online bidding will also be running alongside the traditional mart ring for all other interested parties, given the success of the company’s virtual platform. One key difference this year sees the 2021 sales split over three weekends, with Limousin, Continental and Traditional themes across each.

Catalogues are now published, and the sales will take place between Friday 7 May and Saturday 22 May.

The LIMOUSIN Sale will take place on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 May, with an entry of 272 head split 179 bulls and 93 females.

Friday 14 and Saturday 15 May is the CONTINENTIAL Sale, with:

  • BRITISH BLUES and entry of 131 head of stock entered, split 87 bulls and 44 females.
  • CHAROLAIS with 101 head, comprising 86 bulls and 15 females.
  • SIMMENTAL (only on the 15 May) featuring 18 head - 12 bulls and 6 females.
  • BLONDES - 8 head - 6 bulls and 2 females.
  • SALERS - 4 head - 4 bulls.

The final weekend, the 21 and 22 May, is the TRADITIONAL Sale, with:

  • ABERDEEN ANGUS - 109 head –-89 bulls and 20 females
  • BEEF SHORTHORN - 71 head - 18 bulls and 53 females
  • BELTED GALLOWAY (only on the 22 May) - 11 head - 4 bulls and 7 females
  • HEREFORD - 19 head - 8 bulls and 11 females
  • LINCOLN RED - 4 head - 4 bulls.

Scott Donaldson, Managing Director of Harrison and Hetherington, says: “We are delighted to be getting back to normal, however this will not be a full return to ringside selling. The theory behind restructuring the sale in this manner is to meet wishes of both the vendors and the purchasers, while ensuring the safety of all attendees. Vendors and purchasers keen to conduct business will be welcomed to each of the sales in-person, following all required social distancing guidelines and measures. All other parties or other members of the public will be able to attend and partake in the sales online, as bystanders cannot be accommodated due to these restrictions.”

Harrison and Hetherington is at the forefront of the industry and pioneered the UK’s first online sale of pedigree stock at the onset of the pandemic, last March. The team worked hard to deliver a competitive and transparent bidding process on a high-quality online platform, which set a benchmark for the rest of the country. This live virtual auction system provides a number of incredibly important benefits at this time, by enabling vulnerable individuals to partake, and in allowing buyers from across the length and breadth of the UK to still have access, despite travel restrictions.

Commenting on the announcement, Peter Phythian, Chief Executive of the Charolais Cattle Society said: “We supported H and H to do the online sales last year and they proved to be a huge success. Now, we are getting back to live bidding and matching buyers with sellers. The last twelve months have certainly been challenging, and across the world we have all had to learn to adapt. Social media has especially come into its own and will continue to play an important part in promoting the stock to wide audiences, in advance of the actual sales themselves. People no longer need to attend physically, which is great news if you are a vulnerable or high-risk individual. It really has granted us incredible access to wider audiences.”

Barrie L Turner, CEO of The Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society commented: “It’s been a year long struggle with sales in general but new technologies have been adopted, adapted and implemented, to maintain maximum engagement of buyers to match vendors. H and H have embraced this as an opportunity and by trying new technology and adapting to the circumstances that prevail at any one time, they have moved a very traditional and age-old style of sale into a new era.

“This will be hugely beneficial to the pedigree sale process as we move out of restrictive measures and now into the years to come. The untapped and previously untested potential that the world wide web offers around the sale ring can bring nothing but benefit to all who use the process.”

For those who would like any support or guidance on showcasing their bulls via this virtual format, the H&H team are there to help. Presenting you livestock digitally can be daunting, so vendors are invited to contact the Pedigree office at Borderway if they require any assistance.

To conclude, Scott Donaldson is keen to emphasise: “These pedigree bull sales really are integral to enabling the UK’s breeding cycle to continue. There is advance proactivity and hard work taking place behind the scenes by all to ensure everyone – the breeders, vendors, auctioneers and societies – feels safe and ready to continue the important work of finding new homes for these animals.”