HRH Princess Royal to attend 150th Bull Sales

Pacemaker Press 14/5/2014 'Princess Anne  at  the opening day of  the Balmoral Show at the old Maze prison side near Lisburn  with Tens of thousands of people due to  attend the agricultural and food show over the next three days.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 14/5/2014 'Princess Anne at the opening day of the Balmoral Show at the old Maze prison side near Lisburn with Tens of thousands of people due to attend the agricultural and food show over the next three days.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

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United Auctions is delighted to confirm that HRH Princess Royal is to attend the Stirling Bull Sales in February 2015 to mark the 150th anniversary of the prestigious event.

Princess Anne is attending the first day of the first week of the event in her capacity as patron of the Beef Shorthorn Breed Society.

This will be the first time a member of the royal family has visited the Bull Sales at the Stirling Agricultural Centre.

During her visit, she will view the show of Beef Shorthorn cattle and meet breed officials and Shorthorn enthusiasts.

The world-famous event, now known as the Stirling Bull Sales, started in 1865 at the Perth Market in Mill Street and comprised 14 Beef Shorthorns selling to a top of 39gns, averaging around 14gns.

In February 2015, 100 Shorthorn bulls and 35 females are catalogued, demonstrating that the breed continues to have an important role in commercial beef production.

David Leggat, Executive Chairman at UA, said: “It will be an honour to welcome Princess Anne to Stirling to mark 150 years of the Bull Sales and we’re absolutely delighted that we can celebrate this special occasion with our staff and customers.”

A potted history of the Bull Sales

Macdonald and McCallum conducted the original sales of bulls in 1865. J M Fraser became a partner in 1871, and Macdonald Fraser was formed. He was widely recognised as the pioneer of the Sales and did much to develop it into an international event.

In the early sales, the numbers forward were small and it wasn’t until 1872 when numbers had increased significantly – and now included Aberdeen Angus – that they warranted a separate sale day from the normal Friday market.

Held on a Wednesday in mid-March, 75 shorthorns sold for a total of £1964.

1875 saw the company move to larger premises at Caledonian Road and a sale on March 12th 1879 attracted the largest number of buyers including, for the first time, several from overseas. In the following years buyers from Canada, the US, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa attended the sales.

By 1892 the two breeds had separate sale dates: 286 Angus were sold on February 24th while 242 Shorthorns sold on March 2nd.

The Bull Sales became multi-breed affairs in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s with the rise of continental breeds of cattle.

The event moved from Perth’s Caledonian Road to the Perth Agricultural Centre in 1990 and in 2009 it moved to the Stirling Agricultural Centre where it remains one of the major events in the UK’s Beef Cattle calendar.

At the February Bull Sales, no less than 1150 pedigree bulls and females will be on show and sale. The event will be held from February 2ndand 3rd and will continue on February 16th and 17th at the Stirling Agricultural Centre. They are sponsored by Bank of Scotland.