Pedigree Sales to Progress Online

29th April 2020

Harrison and Hetherington’s May Pedigree Bulls Sales of Major Breeds to take place through Timed Online Live Auctions.

Following the pioneering success of its first online sale of pedigree stock since the lockdown, Harrison and Hetherington have announced today that its main pedigree bull sales will now take place through the same live online auction platform. The unprecedent decision is as a direct result of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. Scheduled over three weeks, these May sales will take place for the Limousin, Blonde, Aberdeen Angus, British Blue, Simmental, Shorthorn, Beef Shorthorn, Belted Galloways, Lincoln Red, Hereford and Salers breeds.

Catalogues are already published and the first sale to be conducted will be the Limousin Sale commencing on Friday May 1st. For all sales there will be a 6 day online preview followed by just over four days of trading via the H&H online portal www.harrisonandhetherington.co.uk/news/hh-on-line-time-auction

With an entry of 120 bulls & 40 females viewing for the Limousin sale will commence on Monday 27th April with bidding starting on Friday 1st May 9.00am. The second pedigree sale comprising 90 bulls and 4 females Charolais, 22 bulls & 1 female Blonde, 80 bulls & 4 females Aberdeen Angus, 15 bulls & 4 females Simmental and 20 bulls & 20 females Beef Shorthorn will start at 9.00am Friday 8th May. The third and final sale, of mainly 65 bulls & 15 females British Blue along with Lincoln Red, Hereford and Salers will start at 9.00am Friday 15th May.

As the UK’s largest livestock trading company, Harrison & Hetherington is at the forefront of the industry and its team are insistent that these sales must have an element of competition. Research reveals that when buying online, buyers would much prefer the live auction format because it is a shop window giving the opportunity for comparisons and choice – this is exactly what H&H have worked hard to deliver. The site has been specially created to show a transparent bidding process.

Heather Pritchard, Pedigree Sales & Marketing Manager of Harrison & Hetherington says, “There is no alternative at the current time, and we are delighted that overall the response to these online sales has been very positive. Yes of course it would be preferable to have hundreds of bulls coming through a ring, with the place brimming with hundreds of customers, but this, is the best alternative under the current circumstances. Without exception, the breed societies we have spoken to are all very positive and pleased that we have forged ahead and offered and alternative at this such unprecedented time.”

We believe we have provided a high-quality platform which stays true to our business principle of creating genuine competition. This was demonstrated at our recent pedigree dairy sale conducted in exactly the same manner. It was a great success and set a benchmark. We saw both a similar clearance of bulls sold, and averages achieved when comparing to last year’s sale here at Borderway.”

The benefits of the live auction system is that auctioneers know the buyers who regularly attend these sales, relationships have been built up over many years and across many generations so there is a huge element of trust. In recent days and during the next few weeks buyers will be contacted and vendors will be briefed. Everyone involved will be made fully aware of the online live auction format and will ensure that trading will be as seamless as possible.  Of course people do like to see stock in the flesh, so H&H’ s auctioneers are giving support to the vendors to ensure that the animals are portrayed in the best possible light.

Commenting on this new method of trading Peter Phythian, the Chief Executive of the Charolais Breed Society, says: “We have got to make the most of it. It is absolutely fantastic what the Society and H&H are doing, and it certainly is what is needed at this time. And I know that we have a tremendous line up for both pedigree and commercial buyers.”

“Who knows what is going to happen going forward, and, as yet where we stand with the October Bull sales. Looking at one of the models which the Government has put out, Covid-19 could reappear in the Autumn so as a Society it is imperative that we have a platform able to sell bulls for our members.”

Andy Ryder, Breed Secretary of the British Blues Society, adds, “Of course, nothing beats being in the actual live ring, however, in these circumstances, this is the only way forward for us to trade our pedigree livestock. These are unprecedented times and, our members have got behind this new trading. We will miss the buzz and interaction which comes with these major pedigree sales, and for many it is the yearly get together, where they can meet with their fellow breeders, customers and friends.”

To conclude Heather is keen to reiterate; “For us these sales are about providing an open and transparent platform for selling these animals. The advance proactivity and hard work being completed by everyone, the breeders, the societies, vendors and auctioneers, will be integral to the overall success of these very important pedigree bull sales. This will ensure that new homes are found and most importantly that the breeding cycle continues”