The Killiworgie Simmental herd of Steve & Gill Gummow, Higher Killiworgie Farm, Newquay, Cornwall have sold two pedigree heifers to buyers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland respectively.
First up, Killiworgie Gabbys Joy has sold to the Innisrooske herd of Mr Michael Reihill, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Entirely homebred this April 2018 born heifer is by Killiworgie Hornblower 16, and is out of Killiworgie Gabby, a Killiworgie Emperor 13 daughter. A past Male Champion at the Royal Cornwall Show, the only occasion on which he was shown, Killiworgie Hornblower was put to one cow before being sold privately, with Killiworgie Gabbys Joy being the resulting calf. Killiworgie Gabbys Joy features some Irish breeding in the pedigree with the Southern Irish bull Seaview Prince Charming on the sire side and the N Irish bred Ballinlare Farm Buttercup 2nd being on the dam line.
Heading further south is Killiworgie Mirandas Jade who was sold to Mr Maurice Darcy for his Boyerstown herd in Navan, Co. Meath, Republic of Ireland. This February 2018 born heifer is by the Auchoracan Wizard sired Killiworgie Emperor 13 and is out of Boars Head Miranda EX 90. Killiworgie Mirandas Jade was sold in calf to Dinton Imperial, a son of Bel Dhu Capercaillie 11. A bull with a strong show record, and a prolific stock bull in the herd, Killiworgie Emperor 13 has sired some 60 registered Killiworgie pedigree calves. The bull’s mother Ballinalare Farm Buttercup 2nd was purchased at sale from the breeder Mr J & Mr A Wilson, Newry, County Down whilst carrying what was to be Killiworgie Emperor 13.
These respective sales to Ireland came about after both animals had been seen on the online Simmental Market (www.simmentalmarket.co.uk) which has been set up by the British Simmental Cattle Society to promote breeders’ stock available for sale during the ongoing Covid-19 situation.
Commenting on the sales for the Killiworgie herd which was established in 1998 and comprises of twenty breeding females, Gill Gummow said: “Beyond them seeing the animals online we spoke on the telephone to the breeders about the heifers, discussed their breeding, and forwarded further pictures and videos. We are delighted to have made these sales and very much look forward to seeing these heifers go on to do well for their new owners.”
These further sales follow the recent export of two pedigree Simmental maiden heifers to the Republic of Ireland from the Chestermann pedigree herd of Messrs N&N Gwynne, Castlewigg Farm, Newton Stewart.
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:
Kate studied at Harper Adams where she graduated in 2014 with a BSc Hons Degree in Agri-Food Marketing and Business studies. Since then she has held a retail manager’s role with the Handmade Scotch Egg Company, and most recently has been working in Human Resources at Avara Foods – Freemans of Newent. Commenting, BSCS President Michael Barlow said: “Kate brings a lot of very relevant and transferrable skills to this position. Coupled with her degree and work to date, Kate is also from a family farming background (in the Midlands) and has been heavily involved with Young Farmers. She will be a great addition to the Simmental staff team at the Stoneleigh office.” With the Covid-19 situation ongoing, Kate will commence her role from a home base in line with the present Society arrangements.
Kate has been taken on to fill the gap left by Julie Holmes who is leaving the Society’s employment after seven and a half years. Mr Barlow further commented: “On behalf of the Society’s membership and personally, I’d like to sincerely thank Julie for her enthusiasm and hard work throughout her time with the Society. We wish her all the very best for the future.”
During the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the Simmental Society’s staff continue to work from home. Telephone numbers have been redirected and services to date have continued to be provided with as little disruption as possible. General enquiries should continue to be made by telephone on 02476 696513, or by email: email@example.com If you have animals to register by telephone the number is 0800 505 3954, with the line available Mon-Thurs 10.00 – 16.00, and Friday 09.00-15.00.
Judging the Aberdeen and Northern Mart spring sale at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, was Ian Goldie, of Greenhill, Cummertrees, Annan.
Topping the trade on the day at 8,500gns was lot 47, ISLAVALE JESTER 18, bred by W S Stronach, Berryleys Farm, Grange, Keith, Banffshire, AB55 6LN. Sired by the well-known RANFURLY CONFEDERATE C24 11 EX 94, out of one of the 22,000gns DIRNANEAN BRADLEY 10 EX 93 daughters, sold to Gill & Co, Ross-Shire.
Securing the second top price on the day was the Champion bull LOT 50 BLACKFORD JAGUAR 18, bred by Mr W G Macpherson (A Firm), Blackford Farm, Croy, Inverness, Inverness-Shire, IV2 5PS. Sired by the noted BLACKFORD GALAXY 15, and out of a KILBRIDE FARM STRABANE daughter, sold for 5,800gns to G Ramsay, Keith.
Third top price on the day and the Reserve Champion bull was LOT 46, TILLYEVE JASON 18, bred by Messrs C & M Bruce, Tillyeve, Udny, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, AB41 6SJ. An OVERHILL HOUSE GANDHI son, out of a GRANGEWOOD COLUMBUS 11 daughter. Sold for 4,800gns to B Norburn, Freswick.
Selling at 4,200gns was LOT 51 ISLAVALE JUKEBOX 18, another from the Stronach family, and again sired by the well-known RANFURLY CONFEDERATE C24 11 EX 94, out of a CHESTERMANN VARNEY daughter, sold to Mr Alexander, Banchory.
10 Bulls sold to average £4,494, up £84 on last year
The 1991 born Brinkton Brilliant is the top sire by progeny registered in the British Simmental Cattle Society’s herdbook with 3513 calves to his name. Brinkton Brilliant was bred by Bob Lunness, East Yorkshire and was sold to Genus Breeding Limited. Brilliant’s pedigree features the noted female Stuartslaw Melody on the sire line whilst Scottish Neff, himself ranked sixth on the all-time table, features on the dam line. The figures, produced in the Society’s fiftieth anniversary year, show that seventeen animals in all have had more than 1000 progeny registered to them since the herdbook commenced in 1970. A literal ‘who’s who’ of noted names within the breed, the Heywood herd of David Barker, Somerset, is the only bull with two entries in the top seventeen with Heywood Esquire placing at fourth with 1598 calves and Heywood Scorpio featuring at eighth (with 1400 calves). Placing at second overall is the 1986 born Gretna House Supersonic 1063, bred by Alasdair Houston, Dumfriesshire and a son of Heywood Scorpio. Supersonic has had 2216 calves registered to him. Completing the top three bulls is Lodge Nicholas bred by S Henshall, Crewe. This 1983 born bull is by the homebred Lodge Lennard. Perhaps unsurprisingly the progeny leaders are mainly pre 2000 born. Kilbride Farm Newry is the leading post 2000 born bull with 1224 calves registered to him. Please see the full listing in the attached graphic along with a pic of Brinkton Brilliant.