21 bulls sell to average £4814.15 Simmental average up on the year by £375.15 5 Islavale bulls average £6794 Islavale Jammydodger 18 from Mr WS Stronach, Berryleys Farm, Grange, Keith, sold for 7600gns to lead the trade for Simmental bulls from United Auctions’ Stirling Bull Sales May catalogue. From a strong line-up of bulls offered from the herd, Islavale sold five bulls in all at over 6000gns to gross £33,968 at an average of £6794.
Due to the lockdown and restrictions in place with the Covid-19 pandemic, this years’ sale was conducted via direct marketing instead of a live sale at Stirling Agricultural Centre. A very solid demand for Simmental bulls has seen 21 sell to date to average £4814.15, up by a mighty £375.15. Of the six breeds offered for sale in the catalogue, only one other breed saw an increase in averages on the year.
The November 2018 born Islavale Jammydodger, the youngest catalogued Islavale bull, is by the AI sire Team Celtic 11 and is out of Islavale Elisha EX 91, a Curaheen Bandit daughter. Heading down south and to a pedigree home, Islavale Jammydoger was purchased by Rhys Grenham, Boars Head Farm, Crowborough, Sussex to join his Boars Head Simmental herd.
Commenting, Mr Grenham said: “We saw the bull advertised in the pre-sale catalogue, and whilst we hadn’t seen him in the flesh we saw the pictures of him and also spoke to Stewart Stronach. The bull has a combination of good breeding and performance figures that we like. We could see in the pics, and now confirmed when he’s home, he’s got terrific conformation, length, width and power, and carries a real Simmental presence.”
After settling into his new surrounds, Islavale Jammydodger will be heading out to work in the herd which presently comprises of 10 pedigree cows with youngstock coming through behind. The Boars Head herd was established in the early 1970s and has carried on through three generations to present. “We very much try and produce the best stock we can to sell good Simmental bulls commercially, and to support pedigree sales with both bulls and females. Purchasing Islavale Jammydodger is an investment for the herd to continue to meet that quality aim”, said Mr Grenham.
The Simmental breed has enjoyed a strong trade into the Scottish islands in recent years and this was continued when the second top priced bull, Islavale Jordi 18 (TF) also from the Stronach family, sold for 6500gns to JR Rendall, Whitehow, Orkney. This bull, October 2018 born, is by the herd’s stock bull Corskie Highlander and is out of another Curaheen Bandit daughter, Islavale Topaz 3. A maternal half-brother to the noted 25,000gns Corskie Gingersnap, Corskie Highlander’s first calf at sale for the Islavale herd, Islavale Jackpot, made the 15,000gns sale top price when selling at Stirling in October 2019.
Continuing the May 2020 sale run, Islavale Javelin 18 sold for 6250gns. This calf is sired by Ranfurly Confederate C24 11 EX 94, and is out of Islavale Freda, a Woodhall Walker daughter. October 2018 born, Islavale Javelin was purchased by Islay Estates, Isle of Islay. A prolic sire, Ranfurly Confederate sons have previously sold up to 24,000gns for the Islavale herd. Heading to the same buyer was Islavale Javan at 6000gns. October 2018 born, Islavale Javan is by Atlow Dixon 12 and is out of another Woodhall Walker daughter, Islavale Cassie. Islavale Javan is a full brother to Islavale Gambler who was the Overall Simmental Champion at Stirling in February 2017.
The last bull at 6000gns was Islavale Jabba who was purchased by Gavin Brown for his Springfield pedigree herd at Springfield Farm, Penicuik. This bull, November 2018 born is by the Team Celtic 11 son, Wolfstar Elusive 13, and is out of Islavale Eleanor, another Curaheen Bandit daughter.
Selling at 5200gns was the polled bull Corskie Journal PP 18 from Mr WJ & J Green, Fochabers, Moray. This November 2018 bull is by Linde General and is out of Lykke Isabella who was imported from Denmark as a heifer after Iain Green judged her as overall junior female champion at the Danish National Simmental Show in 2015. Buying this bull was J C McLaren & Partners, for their Dargill pedigree herd at Crieff, Perthshire. The Corskie herd also sold the Auchoracan Farmer 14 sired Corskie Joking to J Gordon, Wester Clunie for 4800gns.
Raymond Kennedy, Auctioneer and Sales Executive at United Auctions, said: “There has been a tremendous entry of bulls available in both numbers and quality at the May Bull Sale. While it has been unfortunate for all involved not to have the usual sales platform, vendors and buyers have adapted quickly and all those involved are confident that the right customers have found the right bulls to best suit their individual needs.
“The online catalogue continues to be regularly updated and there is still an excellent selection of bulls available for sale to suit all needs and budgets. For any enquiries do not hesitate to contact our sales team.”
The Chestermann Simmental herd of Messrs N&N Gwynne, Castlewigg Farm, Newton Stewart, have secured a private sale of two pedigree maiden heifers for export to the Republic of Ireland. Both heifers have been purchased by Mr. Declan Rouse as foundation females for his new and establishing Enniscrone pedigree herd in Enniscrone, Co. Sligo.
Chestermann Data Stella 3, a June 2018 born heifer is by the herd sire Overhill House Data 12 and is out of Chestermann Ringleader Stella. Overhill House Data 12, bred by Richard McCulloch, West Lothian, is a past Junior Male Champion at the Royal Highland Show and has also bred a first prize winner for the Chestermann herd at the 2019 Scottish Simmental National Show at Kelso.
The second heifer to be sold, the October 2018 born Chestermann Empire Stella 2, is by Sterling Empire 13, and is out of the Kilbride Farm Wick daughter, Chestermann Wick Stella.
The purchaser, Mr Rouse first saw videos of the heifers on the newly launched Simmental Market (www.simmentalmarket.co.uk), a website created by the British Simmental Cattle Society to promote Simmental stock and bring buyers and sellers together, during the ongoing Covid-19 situation.
Commenting, he said, “Both of these heifers carry a combination of femininity, style, and depth of breeding and I’m delighted to have bought them for my herd.”
The sale of these heifers follows hard on the heels of a previous export sale from the Chestermann herd to Ireland in February this year when the April 2018 born heifer Chestermann Data Mali 3, another Overhill House Data 12 daughter sold to the Dripsey Herd of Mr & Mrs Cotter, Co. Cork after they had seen her on a herd visit.
For any queries to this news release, or for any further information, then please contact the British Simmental Cattle Society on 02476696513 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Snapshot herd feature on the Smith family at Towiemore Farm, Keith, Banffshire who are regularly achieving £2500 averages for 80 plus head consignments of Simmental heifers with calves at foot.
High quality Simmental females are at the very heart of the cattle enterprise of brothers Ryan and Lewis Smith who along with their father Graham, and uncle Colin, run three farms within a five mile radius of the home farm Towiemore, Drummuir, Keith. The lowland farms total 560 acres in all, whilst the hill farm is rented and has been increased from 10,000 acres to 25,000 acres earlier this year. The hill farm presently carries 2000 Blackie ewes with a further 300 Scotch Mules lambing down at Towiemore.
Over a number of years, the Smith family have been recognised for taking top end Simmental heifers with calves at foot, featuring a tremendous depth in quality and numbers, to the breeding cattle sales at Aberdeen and Northern Marts, Thainstone Centre in May and October. At both sales the Towiemore cattle have frequently led the top prices and averages, and have secured a number of championships at the October show and sale. More impressive is that the herd have consistently averaged £2400 – £2500 for the big number of heifers forward at each of these sales.
Despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation, Aberdeen and Northern Marts have been able to keep their store and prime cattle sales going, albeit under the required restrictions, and the May breeding cattle sale will go ahead as planned on Tuesday, 12th May. The Towiemore offering will see a mighty 85 heifers forward, with a further 15 entered for a future sale in three weeks time also at Thainstone.
Aimed at this upcoming sale, the Smiths have calved 110 heifers in the Spring. A further 65 will be calving through mid-July to the end of August for the backend sale. 95% of the heifers would be Simmental crosses with some almost pure. Towiemore buy their heifers from a number of well-known sources including Delfur Farms; the Campbells at West Watton, Caithness; the Gunns at Carsgoes, Caithness; and Iain Green at Corskie to name a few. In addition, the Smiths have around 30 cows at home and have established a small eight strong pedigree herd under the Towiemore prefix which includes foundation females from the Islavale and Sterling herds respectively.
Simmental is very much the Smiths breed of choice as a breeding female and is a big part of the farms marketing equation. Commenting, Ryan Smith who manages the cattle side of the business said: “Simmentals are the most popular suckler cows by far in the North East of Scotland and we’re aiming these heifers at filling that demand. Whatever the breed of bull put to them the Simmental makes a great job at producing and rearing a quality calf.”
The majority of the heifers aimed at the sales have Limousin calves at foot. “Again, this is driven by the market place,” says Ryan. “We’re selling these outfits when the calf is two to three months old and the buyers like that bit of shape and flash in the calves. As first calvers we find the Simmental heifers are easy calving and easy to work with. They’re tremendous mothers with plenty of milk, a real strength of the breed, and have good, ever improving tight udders which is great for the calves to suck.”
All of the heifers are calved indoors. This helps with overall management and allows for their diets to be controlled, which is a major part of calving, and also given the quick turnover for sale. As important has been finding the balance of keeping the heifers at the right condition for calving, and then being able to push them on for selling in optimum condition shortly afterwards. The Smiths have a diet feeder to which they add pre-calving minerals to the ration. Up to eight weeks before calving in Spring, and one week after calving, the heifers are given ammonia treated straw, silage, and draff. They then go onto a reduced amount of straw, draff, more silage, and with barley introduced as well. The October selling heifers are also calved indoors but are turned out to grass straight away.
Come sale time Ryan believes that whilst the combined strength of the unit is what sells it on the day, that buyers recognise the benefit they are getting from what is a long-term investment in a Simmental breeding female. “The quality and age of the calf can determine the price and the stronger calves sell the units well. However, buyers are getting first quality Simmental females that will generally go on breed well for them for ten years or more,” said Ryan. “At the end of a productive working life you’ll get an additional good return for a Simmental cow when selling it through the fat ring or it going for slaughter. That’s very attractive to buyers”
With the recognition the Smiths have for selling top quality Simmental heifers with calves at foot, they have regular and repeat local customers at both the May and October sales. However Ryan has seen additional buyers from new geographies at recent sales and sees a bright future for Simmental breeding females.
Commenting he said: “It’s great to have these regular customers as it obviously boosts the sale and shows that the buyers are very happy with their previous purchases. Whilst a lot of buyers have been relatively local we have noticed more and more coming up from the central and southern areas of Scotland.”
“The Simmental makes an ideal suckler female for any herd. They are extremely popular in the North East of Scotland but with their maternal attributes, and the job they make of their calves, I think they are well suited to any location of farm right around the UK. As a breed they’re very easy fleshing cattle, they’ve got great versatility and putting any breed of bull to a Simmental female will give you a good calf. It all adds up to good economics and we’re delighted with the performance of Simmentals at Towiemore Farm.”
You can follow the Towiemore cattle and the breeding female sale at Aberdeen and Northern Mart’s Thainstone Centre on Tuesday 12th May. For more information, and to watch the sale live then please follow the link:
Judging the Stirling Spring pre-sale show was Mr Phillip Simmers from Backmuir Farm, Keith, Banffshire.
Topping the male trade on the day at 18,000gns was the Intermediate and Overall Champion WOLFSTAR JACKAROO 18, bred by Mr A King, Wolfstar, Ormiston, East Lothian, EH35 5NH. A TEAM CELTIC son, out of a WOLFSTAR WOTSIT daughter. Purchased by the judge Mr Phillip Simmers, Backmuir Farm, Keith, Banffshire.
Second top price, also from the same stable, selling for 17,000gns was the Reserve Senior Champion WOLFSTAR JIMMY CHOO 18. An ISLAVALE GUY 15 son, out of a TEAM CELTIC 11 daughter. Also purchased by the judge Phillip Simmers, Back Muir Farm, Keith Banffshire.
Third top price of the day, selling for 10,000gns was FINLARG JAGUAR 18, bred by Kate & Alan McNee, Over Finlarg Farm, Tealing, Dundee, DD4 OQE. A TEAM DRAMBUIE 12 son, out of a HALENOOK VARGNER daughter. Sold to McClymont & Son, Yarrow, Selkirk.
3 went under the hammer at 9,000gns
RANFURLY JACKPOT J12 18, bred by Mr WD & JD Hazelton, Cohannon House, 25 Bovean Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone, N Ireland, BT71 6HR. An AUCHORACHAN ACDC 09 son, out of a HILLCREST CHAMPION daughter, sold for 9,000gns to Philip Haugh Estates, Selkirk.
Next came, CORSKIE JACKPOT 18, bred by MR WJ & J GREEN, CORSKIE, GARMOUTH, FOCHABERS, MORAY, IV32 7NN. A DIRNANEAN BRADLEY 10 EX 93 son, out of one of the Breed Record BEL DHU CAPERCAILLIE 11 daughters. Sold for 9,000gns to J S Gunn, Mavsey, Caithness.
The last to secure 9,000gns was SALTIRE JAGUAR 18, bred by J & G HOULISTON, 10 NEWMAINS, DREM NORTH BERWICK, EAST LOTHIAN, EH39 5BL. Another TEAM CELTIC 11 son, out of a KILBRIDE FARM DRAGOON 12 daughter. Purchased by JA Griffin, 54 Common Lane, Hemingford Abbots.
BROOMBRAE JOEY 18, bred by Mr G L Clark, Broombrae Farm, Auchtermuchty, Cupar, Fife KY14 7EE. A CORSKIE ELGIN 13 son, out of a TEAM WISCONSIN daughter, sold for 8,200gns to R Forrest Ltd, Duns, Berwickshire.
MANOR PARK JOHN 18, bred by Mr D C Houldey, Kirtleton House, Waterbeck, Lockerbie, DG11 3HD. A CORSKIE EBAY 13 son, out of a BLACKFORD WORZEL 2 daughter, sold for 8,000gns to Floors Farming, Kelso.
Also, selling for 8,000gns was BLACKFORD JUMBO 18, bred by MR W G MACPHERSON (A FIRM), BLACKFORD FARM, CROY, INVERNESS, INVERNESS-SHIRE, IV2 5PS. A BLACKFORD GALAXY 15 son, out of a KILBRIDE FARM DOUBLEACTION 12 EX 93 daughter. Purchased by A Wright, Argaty, Doune.
Topping the female trade of the day was the Female Champion ANNICK DUCHESS 19TH, bred by Mr L D Quarm, HOLEHOUSE FARM, ANNICK LODGE ESTATE, BY IRVINE, AYRSHIRE, KA11 2AF. Sired by WOLFSTAR GOLD DIGGER 15 and out of a SKERRINGTON VISA daughter, sold for 4,200gns to the judge Phillip Simmers, Backmuir Farm, Keith, Banffshire.
Bulls met a 67% clearance, with 86 bulls selling to average £5039, up £64