NORTHERN IRELAND CLUB 50TH ANNIVERSARY SIMMENTAL SPECTACULAR PLANS UNVEILED

NORTHERN IRELAND CLUB 50TH ANNIVERSARY SIMMENTAL SPECTACULAR PLANS UNVEILED

Launching the NI Simmental Club’s 50th Anniversary Simmental Spectacular are chairman Keith Nelson, and vice chairman Andrew Clarke. Picture: Julie Hazelton

The Northern Ireland Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club has announced details of a Simmental Spectacular to celebrate its 50th Anniversary.


Scheduled to take place at Dungannon Farmers’ Mart on Friday 22nd October, the event is set to feature a show and sale of pedigree bulls, elite pedigree females, and a selection of crossbred weanling heifers.

Announcing details of the Golden Anniversary Celebrations club chairman Keith Nelson said: “Northern Ireland is synonymous for top-quality Simmental cattle, and club members are custodians of some of the breed’s most prolific and world-renown bloodlines.

“Simmentals were imported into the UK in 1970, and the NI Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club was founded in 1971. The forthcoming sale planned for 22nd October will provide club members with a chance to showcase the ‘cream of the crop’.”

Keith Nelson added: “The sale will offer buyers a rare opportunity to acquire elite pedigree heifers. Females that herd owners would normally be reluctant to sell!”

The sale is also expected to attract an entry of high-quality bulls from many of the Province’s leading herds. “Since the introduction of animal movement restrictions dictated by the NI Protocol, breeders in Northern Ireland are reluctant to take pedigree bulls to breed society sales across the water,” added Keith Nelson.

“Bulls which would normally have been destined for sales in Stirling have been sold privately off farm. Club members have reported a strong demand for Simmental bulls from local and UK-based customers. In the wake of Brexit we are hoping to re-establish the Dungannon sale venue as a one-stop shop for pedigree and commercial herd owners to source stock bulls.”

British Simmental Cattle Society sale rules will apply, and all vendors must be members of a CHeCS approved herd health scheme. All pedigree bulls and females will be pre-sale inspected in accordance with breed society regulations.

Organisers have also unveiled that the Simmental Spectacular will include a choice entry of cross-bred weanling and maiden heifers.

Vice chairman Andrew Clarke explained: ”We are inviting entries of quality commercial heifers aged between six-months and sixteen-months of age (born early July 2020 and end of April 2021). They will be inspected on-farm prior to the event, and the name of the sire will be listed in the catalogue.

“Simmental is noted for its maternal and terminal traits, and there is a strong demand for stylish commercial heifers. We are hoping that this sale will give farmers who are producing Simmental suckler replacements a shop window for their surplus breeding stock. It will also give buyers an opportunity to select replacement females which are progeny of pedigree Simmental stock bulls and proven AI sires.”

Entry forms and schedules are available to download on the Dungannon Farmers’ Mart website: www.dfm-ni.co.uk/Entry-Forms. The closing date for pedigree entries is Friday 20th August; while the entries for the commercial section must be submitted on or before Friday 3rd September.

ASHLAND LAD LEADS DUNGANNON SIMMENTAL SALE AT 5,600GNS

ASHLAND LAD LEADS DUNGANNON SIMMENTAL SALE AT 5,600GNS

Simmental bulls sold to a top of 5,600gns at the breed society’s spring sale, hosted by Dungannon Farmers’ Mart.

Securing the day’s leading bid was the much-admired Ashland Lad bred by father and son duo Pat and Frank Kelly from Tempo, County Fermanagh.

Ashland Lad
Ashland Lad

Almost fifteen-months, he was one of the youngest bulls in the catalogue, and boasted the complete package – ring presence, conformation and breed character, with a pedigree to match. Sired by the legendary Raceview King, his dam is the home-bred Carnkern Titan daughter Ashland Candice Terona 2nd – one of eight pedigree cows in the herd.

Ranked in the breed’s top five per cent for eye muscle area +5.7, and top ten per cent for terminal sire index +97 and self-replacing index +108, he attracted strong attention from salering and online bidders.

Following spirited bidding auctioneer Trevor Wylie dropped the hammer at 5,600gns, with the successful bid coming via the telephone from Messrs WJ Fraser and Son, Aughnarrow Farm, Ballindalloch, Banffshire. Stewart Fraser had spotted the bull on social media prior to the sale and was determined to secure him for his commercial suckler enterprise.

Also selling for export to Scotland was the 4,100gns Kilbride Farm Karl consigned by Billy Robson OBE, and sons Michael and Norman, Doagh, Ballyclare. Born in October 2019, this polled bull was sired by Curaheen Gunshot, and bred from the Sneumgaard Imperator daughter Kilbride Farm Fanni 601. He caught the eye of pedigree herd owner Lachlan Quarm who runs the Annick Herd based at Holehouse Farm, Annick Estate, Irvine, Ayrshire.

Kilbride Farm Karl
Kilbride Farm Karl

Three lots sold for 3,000gns each. First to go was the June 2019 Bridgewater Farm Kaymer TSI+76 SRI+74 bred by Nigel Glasgow, Cookstown. A Delfur Decider son, he was bred from Ranfurly Lady Diana 25th, purchased for 4,200gns at the 2nd joint production sale from the Ballinlare Farm and Ranfurly herds, held at Dungannon in September 2016. Buyer was Brian Murphy from Portadown.

Nigel Glasgow’s Bridgewater Farm Kilroy TSI+75 SRI+88 sold for 3,000gns to William Nixon, Ballynahinch. This September 2019 entry was sired by Islavale Frontier, and bred from the Raceview King daughter Ranfurly Beauty 6th. He is in the top five percent for calving ease +5.5, and top 10 per cent for eye muscle area +5.2.

Also securing a bid of 3,000gns was the September 2019 Rehall Karl TSI+65 SRI+71 , bred by William and Keith Stubbs, Irvinestown. Sired by the 8,500gns Islavale Cracker, he is out of the home-bred Drumacritten Callum daughter Rehall Flower – one of nine cows in the herd. Buyers were Hamilton and Matthew Cleland, who run a 130-cow commercial dairy herd based at Legamaddy Farm, Downpatrick. The father and son team have been using Simmental stock bulls for over 25 years, and finish all cross-bred progeny on the farm.

Rehall Karl
Rehall Karl

A small entry of females peaked at 1,900gns, paid to Jonathan Henderson, Desertmartin, for the November 2019 Drumsamney Caramel’s Belle. Sired by Shacon Hannibal, she is bred from the Kilbride Farm Comber daughter Drumsamney Amy’s Caramel.

Auctioneer Trevor Wylie confirmed that two heifers averaged £1,890 each; while six bulls sold to level at £3,623 per head – an increase of £863 on the 2019 spring sale.