Farmers lead the field

Martin and June Whiting's Lakewood Duke Arazamatazz J086.
Martin and June Whiting's Lakewood Duke Arazamatazz J086.

AWARD-WINNING Morpeth farmers are again leading the field with more success for their prize bulls.

The Herald reported last summer how Martin and June Whiting’s highly-regarded Lakewood Herd was recognised as the most improved in the country for the Aberdeen Angus breed, based on genetic gain.

The Longwitton-based stud also secured top placings at the National Calf Show in Carlisle in the last year.

And in 2009 their home-bred bull Lakewood Prince Maverick was in the top one percent nationwide for eye muscle, as well as being the highest placed native breed in the Interbreed Beef class at the Royal Highland Show.

Now there is yet more success as the couple’s Lakewood Duke Arazamatazz took second place in the intermediate bull class at Perth Bull Sales in Stirling.

Duke, who is out of Lakewood Duchess Avalon and sired by Rawburn Evolution — the current stock bull at the stud, is in the top one percent for his breed, with a terminal sire index of +39, self-replacing index of +57 and a milk figure of +15.

He was sold by the Lakewood Partnership for 13,000 Guineas to W&G Henderson of Ardgay, Sutherland, in Scotland.

It was the farm’s first ever entry at the bull sales.

Mr Whiting said: “We were hoping to do well but we weren’t sure how it was going to go as this was the first time we had put one of our bulls up for public auction – so we were over the moon with the result.

“Before then we had always sold privately, but what happened in Stirling has given us the confidence to go to more public auctions.

“We have also got high hopes that another of our bulls will do well at this year’s Royal Highland Show in June.”

The Whitings bought their farm in 1994, establishing their pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd with two heifers bought from the Rawburn Herd by Mr Whiting’s mother.

The stock has gradually built up to 25 by retaining female replacements, and the first stock bull was purchased in 2004.