by | Oct 25, 2023

• 46,000gns is a new UK breed record for a Simmental bull sold at auction
• 53 bulls (+8) average £7594, up by £36 on the year, and a new breed record sale average
• Simmental only breed to sell more bulls on the year
• 12 bulls sell for 10,000gns and more, as bull sale grosses £422,606

Simmental records were sent tumbling at Stirling as the April 2022 born Overhill House Neo from Over Hill House, Armadale, West Lothian sold for 46,000gns to lead the Simmental Bull Sale at United Auctions, Stirling on Monday 23rd October. The top price set a new breed record for a Simmental sold in the UK, and with Overhill House Neo being purchased by Reece & Andrew Simmers for their noted Backmuir herd at Backmuir Farm, Keith, Banffshire.

Overhill House Neo 46,000gns

In addition to the new top price mark, fifty-three Simmental bulls sold to average a mighty £7594 which in itself is a new UK breed record sale average and eclipsing the previous figure of £7558 set at the corresponding fixture last year.

Overhill House Neo is one of the first sons to be offered at sale by the herds 26,000gns stock bull Pistyll Kingsman who was purchased at Stirling in February 2021, and is out of the Hillcrest Jerome ET daughter Seepa Daffodil. On the previous day, and by common consent in front of one of the biggest ring side crowds seen at a Simmental pre-sale show, Overhill House Neo had been tapped out as the Overall Supreme Champion by the judge Hazel McNee of the noted Finlarg herd at Over Finlarg Farm, Tealing, Dundee. Commenting after her day in the middle, Hazel said; “I was really delighted with my Champion, I think he’s a Simmental bull just full of quality and he really stood out for me. He’s easy fleshed, very correct, walks extremely well, and has tremendous length. He’s the dark colour which I like, and had more than a wee bit of that showy presence I was looking for.” Of the show of Simmental bulls generally Hazel went on to say; “It was a tremendous show with a lot of very modern bulls suited to the market and offering choice for both commercial beef producers and pedigree breeders. The depth in the classes certainly made by job a very enjoyable one.”

Overhill House Neo now heads to Keith to join the 80-cow Backmuir herd and speaking after the sale an equally delighted Reece Simmers said: “We’ve been working away over this last year or more quite well with homebred sires and all the time have been keeping an eye out for a bull that has that little bit of ‘extra special’ about him. As such we’re really pleased to have been able to buy Overhill House Neo and just think he’s a great example of a modern Simmental bull. Neo’s full of style and breed character. He’s got size and power, is full of length, and has a quality back end with easy muscling. We like the breeding on the dam line and he’s a total outcross which will bring new breeding lines to the Backmuir herd.”

Of paying the record price for a Simmental bull to date Reece Simmers went on to say: “The Simmental breed is going from strength to strength and we’ve seen the increasingly strong sales over this last couple of years. Overhill House Neo is just full of quality and breeding, and if he brings that through into his progeny then we feel that he’ll be a value investment for the Backmuir herd over a number of years.” In the sale Backmuir enjoyed a good day themselves when selling two bulls at 10,000gns and 7000gns respectively.

It’s been a strong year of performance for the Overhill House herd at shows and sales and speaking after the sale Richard McCulloch said: “Overhill House Neo has been a special calf from day one and has just always had such a presence about him and a tremendous nature. He’s just continued to do well throughout the summer and he’s the best bull we’ve bred to date. You never have the expectation to come to a sale like Stirling, with the standard of bulls that’s always there, and come away with a record price of 46,000gns. It’s tremendous but very humbling at the same time. The whole team at Overhill House is delighted that he’s gone to a top herd like Backmuir, and we wish Reece, Andrew and Philip every success with him.”

Of his general breeding aims Richard went on to say: “We just continue to keep things simple by being selective, culling hard, and maintaining the quality as high as we can. There’s a lot of hard work, time and effort goes into pedigree breeding and my stockman Scott Gilmour, and Brian Wills who helps us, play a big part in that.” In addition to the top price, Overhill House Nestor made 13,000gns on the day and with him also being a Pistyll Kingsman son. Further Overhill House bulls made 12,000gns and 4500gns. It’s been a tremendous year for the Overhill House herd with the now sale record price sitting alongside them having the all-breeds top price at the May Stirling Sale; the leading price at the May Carlisle Sale a week later; and lifting the Male Championship at the Scottish National Show in August at Dumfries!

It was a terrific all-round Simmental sale with the day seeing a new UK record for a Simmental bull; a new record for a Simmental female; a new record sale average for the breed; and with Simmentals being the only breed to sell more bulls on the year! This sale performance was warmly acknowledged by the British Simmental Cattle Society President Norman Robson, who said: “The breeders have put forward some tremendous bulls and with a real choice for commercial producers and pedigree breeders, and some record sale figures have been achieved which I think reflects that. In the forward industry with a pressure on costs, there really is going to be a premium on efficiency and I think that’s recognised by commercial producers and what has driven the Simmental sales in this last couple of years. Prior to this sale we published independent data, provided by AHDB, that showed Simmentals give you more both maternally and terminally. Industry leading at age at slaughter whether sired by a Simmental or out of a Simmental dam, significant reduction in finishing costs, and lower emissions meeting environmental challenges. Add that to the breeds well established maternal qualities of easy and regular calving, milk, fertility, and longevity and it’s just good economics for beef producers.”

Corskie Naqus 14,000gns

In all, twelve bulls on the day made five figures or more and with the second top priced bull being the 14,000gns Corskie Naqus 22 from Mr WJ & J Green, Corskie, Garmouth, Fochabers. This March 2022 born bull had stood second in his class to the Reserve Intermediate Champion in the pre-sale show. Sired by Drumagarner Hughes, who has had bulls at sale up to 13,000gns, and out of the Dirnanean Bradley daughter, Corskie Klarasch, this bull with good figures for calving ease and maternal (milk) sold to AH Smith who runs a significant commercial enterprise of 350 Angus and Simmental cows, and also the 15 cow Arkland pedigree herd at Low Arkland Farm, Castle Douglas. Speaking after the sale Alan Smith said: “This Corskie bull just had a lot of style and we liked his back breeding and performance figures. He’ll work in both the pedigree and commercial herd and we hope he will bring his qualities to both.”

Presenting a tremendous pen of bulls and enjoying another fantastic sale was the prolific Islavale herd of WS Stronach & Son, Berryleys Farm, Grange, Keith. Ten bulls sold for a collective £104,685, and to average an incredible £10,469. Six of the bulls made over five figures, and just for good measure the herd picked up the Reserve Overall; Junior Championship; Reserve Intermediate; and had five first places and three seconds in the pre-sale show. Quite a day!

Islavale Nugget 13,000gns

From the Islavale pen, two bulls made 13,000gns. The first of these was Islavale Nugget who had stood third in his class to the Overall Champion. One of the first sons at sale from the herd sire Coose Lincoln EX90, this April born bull is out of the Curhaeen Bandit daughter Islavale Ena EX91. With tremendous figures putting him in the top 1% for both Terminal Sire Index, and Self Replacing Index, Islavale Nugget was purchased by commercial producer and repeat Islavale buyer GM Mitchell & Son, Fernie Mill, Cupar, Fife. At this same 13,000gns price was Islavale Newton who was the first prize bull in class seven. April 2022 born and sired by the noted Ranfurly Confederate, this heifer’s calf is out of Islavale Kathy, a Corskie Highlander daughter. With top 10% figures for Calving Ease, and top 1% for Self Replacing Index, this bull was another to go for commercial use and to the south west of Scotland when selling to W Barbour, Carsegowan Farm, Dumfries.

Islavale Newton 13,000gns
Overhill House Nestor 13,000gns

Also selling at 13,000gns was another from Richard McCulloch in the shape of the previously referred to Overhill Nestor. April 2022 born this bull is another by Pistyll Kingsman, the same sire as the new record holder, and is out of Overhill House Eve, an Annick Capercaillie daughter. Another bull in the teens and going commercially, Overhill House Nestor was purchased by Glass & Smith, Mill of Fowlis, Alford, Aberdeenshire. As a footnote the prices meant that the first two sons of Pistyll Kingsman at sale had averaged just under £31,000!

Islavale Northstar 12,000gns

Back to the Islavale pen and Islavale Northstar made 12,000gns when selling to the Coltfield herd of Cameron Maciver, Wester Coltfield, Forres, Moray. Got by AI this April 2022 born bull, out of the same class as the Overall Champion, is by Curaheen Giant and is out of Islavale Hope EX 91. Commenting Cameron Maciver said: “My son James and myself saw the bull on farm in May and we liked him then and also the Wolfstar Elusive breeding he has on the dam line. He’s a bull we think can add a little mor size into our calves. The plan from here is to put him with around 10 cows towards the end of November.” Also from Islavale and at the same price of 12,000gns was the winner of class five, and the Reserve Intermediate Champion, Islavale Nico. Another of the first sons at sale by Coose Lincoln EX 90, Nico is out of Islavale Fashion EX 92, a Curaheen Bandit daughter who previously bred the 8000gns Islavale Loki the top priced bull at Thainstone last year. Purchasing Islavale Nico was D & G Manson for their 140 cow Simmental based commercial herd at Brodieshill, Alves, Forres. Commenting, Robert Manson said: “We had followed Nico through the summer having had several visits to the Islavale herd. At that time we had seen some Coose Lincoln calves on the ground and were especially impressed by the heifer calves length and shape. We’ll aim to put Nico to four or five cows in six weeks time. He’ll have an easy winter and will hopefully have a bit more to do in the spring. There were a lot of good Simmental bulls on the day that made 10k and more and plenty of choice for the commercial buyers.” Earlier this year, Brodieshill hosted a high-quality commercial Open Day on behalf of the British Simmental Cattle Society.

Islavale Nico 12,000gns
Overhill House Niko 12,000gns

Securing their third five figure price on the day was Overhill House Niko who made 12,000gns when selling to the commercial herd of J Innes & Sons, Dunscroft, Huntly, Aberdeenshire. Arriving with a show record behind him, Overhill House Niko was the Overall Male Champion and Junior Champion at this years high profile Scottish Simmental National Show at Dumfries. At Stirling’s pre-sale show Niko stood second in his class to his stablemate and the day’s Overall Supreme Champion. Entirely homebred, he is by Overhill House Enhance, a Banwy T-Rex son, and is out of Overhill House Keelo. A stylish, dark red bull, Overhill House Niko carried a top 1% figure for Maternal (Milk).

Hemingford Nelson 11,000gns

Up from Cambridgeshire was the lengthy and stylish Hemingford Nelson from James & Rachael Griffin’s fifteen cow herd at Hemingford Abbots, Huntingdon, who took first place in class three before securing a fantastic Reserve Senior Championship. This March 2022 born bull is by the herd stock sire Saltire Jaguar, who was purchased for 9000gns at Stirling in February 2020 and is out of Hemingford Jewel, a Corskie Dreamer daughter. Nelson made 11,000gns and will now reacclimatise when moving north to the Auchorachan pedigree herd of D&R Durno & Sons, Glenlivet, Ballindalloch. Speaking after the sale James Griffin said: “We are working away and trying to bring forward good bulls. This is a big step up for us and we are ‘blown away’ to sell a bull to 11,000gns and to such a renowned Scottish herd.”

Islavale Nemo 11,000gns

The run of Islavale bulls continued with the April 2022 born Islavale Nemo selling for 11,000gns to H J Warnock of Ballydoonan Road, Carrowdore, Co Down who runs just under fifty cows in his pedigree Templefyn herd. Another by Coose Lincoln EX 90, Islavale Nemo is out of Islavale Bramble 2 VG 88, a Curaheen Bandit daughter, and sported excellent figures being in the top 1% Self Replacing Index. Commenting John Warnock said: “We purchased Islavale Illusive in February 2019 for 14,000gns and he’s done well for us. I think this is another top bull with length, width and good figures behind him.” Also at 11,000gns was the winner of class nine, the Junior Champion and Overall Reserve Champion in the form of Islavale Neuk. This April 2022 born bull is by the herd’s well-known sire Shacon Hannibal 16 (ET) EX 94, and is out of the eight-year-old Islavale Gretel EX 90.

Islavale Neuk 11,000gns
Judge Hazel McNee

Commenting on her choice of Reserve Champion, the judge Hazel McNee said: “This was just another very good solid Simmental bull who had excellent conformation, was very square from behind, carried a good top line. Purchasing this bull was well-known Orkney bull buyer Liam Muir of Upper Onston, Stromness, Orkney. Orkney buyers were again to the fore with eight bulls sold on the day heading to the islands.

Backmuir Nuckles 10,000gns

The final bull to make 10,000gns, and who stood second in the last class to the day’s Reserve Overall Champion, was Backmuir Knuckles from the Simmers family. May 2022 born this bull is by the homebred Backmuir King who stood as Male Champion at this year’s Royal Highland Show. Knuckles is out of Starline Lorette who is a Kilbride Farm Duke daughter. Buying this bull was the well-known and high profile Corskie herd of Mr WJ & J Green, Corskie, Garmouth, Fochabers.

Corskie Nohow 9,500gns

Corskie was again to the fore when selling the day’s Senior Champion and winner of Class One Corskie Nohow (P), a bull with length, power, and who is heterozygous polled, for 9500gns to repeat buyer A Nicolson, Relugas Mains Farm, Dunphail, Moray. January 2022 born this bull is out of Corskie Jubliee VG 87, and is one of the first sons from Rathnashan Kellog’s EX 94 who was purchased as a young calf from Southern Ireland. Kellog’s is the sire of Corskie Miami this year’s Junior Champion at the Royal Highland.

9,000gns Lot 307 Kilbride Farm Neville PP sold to John M Sutherland, Sibminster & Stainland, Thurso, Caithness
9,000gns Lot 318 Jaw Nato sold to G R Morton, Church Farm, Gamlesby, Penrith
9,000gns Lot 373 Islavale New York sold to A & J Craig, Craigton Castle, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire
8,500gns Lot 349 Islavale Norman sold to Robert Bell & Partners, Craigo, Levenview, Westhall, Kinross
7,500gns Lot 332 Kersknowe Neptune sold to J Gunn, Carsgoe, Halkirk, Caithness
7,000gns Lot 377 Backmuir Nemisis sold to Douganhill Farms, Orchardton Mains, Palnackie, Dumfries

Overhill House Neo with the Backmuir & Overhill House teams
Champion & Reserve Champion presentation
Senior Champion presentation
Junior Champion presentation
Intermediate Champion presentation
Group of three