Maiden heifer Glenrock Illusion sells for £131,250, setting a new Limousin World Record

  • Maiden Heifer Glenrock Illusion 125,000gns (£131,250)
  • All-Breeds UK & European Record for a Bovine Animal
  • World Record Price for a Limousin Animal


It was a world record-breaking day on 22 August 2014 at the sale of the Glenrock Limousin Herd on behalf of Mr & Mrs Stephen Illingworth, Dumfries with the maiden heifer Glenrock Illusion selling for £131,250 (125,000gns). 
Held at Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway Mart in Carlisle, a huge crowd from all four corners of the United Kingdom and Ireland witnessed the new record mark being set when Illusion was purchased by Mike & Melanie Alford for their Foxhill Farm pedigree herd in Devon, England in a half share along with Danny Sawrij for his Swalesmoor herd at Kedzlie Farms Ltd, Galashiels, Scotland. The £131,250 figure sets a host of new records in being an All-Breeds UK & European record for a bovine animal and a world record for a pedigree Limousin animal.  The previous record had been the £126,000 paid for the Limousin bull Dolcorsllwyn Fabio in 2012.

Glenrock Illusion, a January 2013-born embryo calf by the £24,150 Goldies Comet and out of the herd’s matriarch cow Glenrock Spangle, arrived at the sale with a glitteringshow record behind her that had included being Junior Limousin Champion and Reserve Junior Interbreed Champion at the 2014 Royal Highland, Junior Limousin Champion at the 2014 Great Yorkshire Show,  Scottish Limousin Grand Prix Champion in August this year, and Junior Champion and Reserve Interbreed at the 2013 Stars of the Future Show.

Within a catalogue of the highest quality and depth, the sale of Glenrock Illusion had been much anticipated.  H&H auctioneer David Thomlinson took a first bid of 10,000gns to set the ball rolling and a spell-bound crowd looked on as a flurry of determined bidding quickly took Illusion to and beyond the six-figure mark before settling at the new record figure.

Following the sale, Glenrock Illusion has now gone down to Foxhill Farm in Devon and will immediately be put on a flushing programme before being put in-calf. Speaking after the sale, a delighted Melanie Alford said: “For us the dam line is the key to any successful breeding programme and Glenrock Illusion combines the best of breeding with Goldies Comet, Wilodge Vantastic and Emue on the sire side and of course the noted Glenrock Spangle on the dam. At this stage we may flush Glenrock Illusion to Sympa or to our homebred £39,900 Foxhillfarm Irishlad to add to the tremendous female line of the herd’s Bankdale Elizabeth.”   Glenrock Illusion will also be on display at the Alfords’ Open Day which is due to be held on Sunday 14 September!

This British Limousin Cattle Society Breeders’ Sale was billed as a ‘Sale of the Glenrock Herd including Show Team’ and was held ‘reluctantly’ but positively with the Illingworths having been given the opportunity to purchase Howgillside after twenty years of tenancy. The remarkable twelve-year-old ‘herd matriarch cow’ Glenrock Spangle, who prior to the sale had bred females to £21,000 and bulls to £16,800 was the only animal to be retained.  At the sale itself, Glenrock Spangle progeny sold for a gross of £257,000 with her life-time progeny surpassing £366,000! Rachels Lesley, Glenrock Spangle’s mother, was originally purchased for the herd at Carlisle for £735! 

Beyond a day never to be forgotten for the Illingworth family of Stephen & Helen, son Thomas, and daughter Vicki, Stephen Illingworth commented: “Whilst we always knew Glenrock Illusion was a very special heifer, to sell her for £131,000 is way beyond our wildest expectations and is very much the icing on the cake for what was a great sale throughout.  From the day she was born Illusion was something special and has just got better and better.  This year she has had the profile in the showring which has helped to showcase her.  She has so much style and presence, size and length, width along the back and is full of character and femininity.  She’s a very special heifer with the pedigree behind her as well.”

The world record for Glenrock Illusion led the trade but the sale was a flyer throughout for the 65 lots catalogued.  Overall, the sale grossed a mighty £537,000.  Amongst the highlight averages, 15 maiden and yearling heifers averaged £15,155 with 32 cows served and/or suckling averaging £6,811.87.  In all, 11 lots made five figures or more.

On the sale as a whole, Stephen Illingworth said:  “There was a terrific crowd at the sale and so many bidders that helped the sale on for which we are very grateful.  Showing has given the herd profile, and I hope also that the quality and consistency of animals that we have brought forward regularly to sale and that have gone on and done well helped also.  There is proven breeding in the cattle and a depth of pedigree. As a farming family, the greatest pleasure you get is looking at your cattle at home.  The fact that so many people think as much of your cattle is really very humbling.” 

The crowd at Carlisle was by popular opinion the largest witnessed at a breeders’ sale held there in some 20 years and this was picked up on by the sale auctioneer David Thomlinson: “Glenrock cattle and bloodlines have been at the forefront of the Limousin breed for a number of years.  The depth of bloodlines and proven breeding presented an opportunity for new and established buyers to purchase some quality animals and genetics.  The cattle sold readily and many bidders will have left disappointed that they could not purchase.  The sale was held at fairly short notice and these were very genuine cattle.  In forty years of selling Limousins, this would easily fit into the top five breeders’ sales that I’ve been involved with. As for the world record-breaking Glenrock Illusion, animals like this very rarely come on the market.  With the depth of breeding behind her she will not be a one-off.  I’m thrilled to bits that the sale was held at Carlisle.  It was a great day for the Limousin breed, the buyers, the auctioneers, and most of all the Illingworth family.”

The day’s second top price of £25,200 was paid for Glenrock Impulse, a January 2013-born embryo calf by Goldies Comet and out of Glenrock Spangle making her a full sister to Glenrock Illusion.   This animal was also sold in a half-share with Danny Sawrij again being a purchaser and this time along with NR Barclay for his Harestone herd in Aberdeenshire.

Leading the handful of bulls on offer was the £15,750 paid for the November 2012-born Glenrock Humdinger. An embryo calf, Humdinger is sired by the noted Sympa, and is out of Glenrock Spangle. He had previously won Best Young Bull in the 2013 North West Limousin Club Herd Competition.  Purchasing Glenrock Humdinger were CN & N Raine who run the Towler herd at Barnard Castle, Co Durham.

For more see

Recent Limousin record breakers:

2006: Limousin bull Haltcliffe Vermount sold for £105,000 at Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway Mart, Carlisle for vendors Messrs Ridley, to set an all-beef breeds World, European and British record at auction.  He was also first UK bovine animal to be sold for a six figure sum.

2011: Limousin heifer Bankdale Erin sold for £68,250 at Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway Mart, Carlisle at a dispersal sale of Gordon Wilson’s Bankdale herd to set a World record at auction for a pedigree beef heifer.
2012: Dolcorsllwyn Fabio, a bull from Glyn & Nia Vaughan is sold for £126,000 setting a new Limousin world record and a UK & European bovine record.

2014: Glenrock Illusion from Stephen & Helen Illingworth is sold for £131,250 to set a new Limousin world record and a UK & European bovine record - also an all-breeds’ world record for a pedigree beef maiden heifer.

26 August 2014