‘A superb heifer and the type of animal that every pedigree herd owner aspires to breed’, is how Scottish judge and BSCS President Stewart Stronach described Ashland Topaz Lopez, the Supreme Overall Champion at the NI National Simmental Show held within the Armagh County Show on Saturday 11th June.
Born in September 2020 Ashland Topaz Lopez was bred by Pat Kelly, and son Frank, from Tempo, County Fermanagh. She is a daughter of the 14,000gns Saltire Impressive, and is bred from the Ashland Brandy daughter, Ashland Topaz 2nd, one of ten cows in the herd.
Stewart Stronach added: “The Female and Supreme Champion is an exceptional heifer. She is very correct, square and long, and has great breed character and ring presence. This is a once in a lifetime heifer!”
Ashland Topaz Lopez was Senior Champion at the inaugural Four-Breeds Calf Show at Dungannon last November. Her latest success comes hot on the heels of winning the Simmental Championship, Beef Performance Heifer Interbreed Championship, and the Reserve Interbreed honours at Balmoral Show in May.
Stewart Stronach, who runs the 160-cow Islavale Herd alongside a 40-cow commercial enterprise, said it was a great honour to judge the NI National Show.
“It has been an amazing show, with quality entries in all classes. I have really enjoyed judging, and I’d like to thank the exhibitors for putting on such a great show. One of the highlights for me was the pairs class. Seven top-quality pairs filled the ring, and it was a tremendous spectacle. The Simmental breed is definitely in good hands in Northern Ireland!”
The one-day event, held in conjunction with the 175th Armagh County Show attracted a good turnout of exhibitors and spectators from across the Province and further afield.
The Kelly family’s Ashland prefix was also behind the breeding of the Junior Champion, Reserve Female and Reserve Supreme Champion Ashland Topaz Mair. Born in January 2021, this heifer was purchased privately last autumn by brothers Shane and Paul McDonald for their Tempo-based Coolcran Herd.
Again sired by Saltire Impressive, this one is bred from the Whitemire King Kong daughter Ashland Topaz 3rd – maternal sister to the dam of the Supreme Champion. She was Junior Champion at Balmoral Show, and went on to secure the Reserve Junior Interbreed honours.
Stewart Stronach commented: “This is another very correct and stylish heifer. Similar to the Champion, there isn’t much between them.”
Shane and Paul McDonald had a memorable day at the NI National Show, also chalking up the Male Championship and Reserve Junior award with the home-bred bull Coolcran Maximus.
Coolcran Maximus, male Champion and Reserve Junior Champion
This September 2021 bull is by Wolfstar Elusive, and is bred from the Ashland Brandy daughter Coolcran Lady Erin – Reserve Female Champion at Balmoral Show in 2015.
“The is a super young bull with a lot of potential for the future. He boasts great shape and length, and is square over the plates,” added the judge.
Claiming the Reserve Male Championship was Ballinalare Farm Mack, a yearling entry bred by Joe and Alan Wilson, Rathfriland. He is by the 8,200 Euro stock bull Rabawn Ernie, and is out of a home-bred dam by the 20,000gns Stirling junior and supreme champion Auchorachan Wizard. This young bull also secured the reserve male title at Balmoral Show.
“Another wide and correct young bull. There is very little between the male champions,” concluded Stewart Stronach.
The young handlers’ classes were judged by Fiona Sutherland. The top placed junior handler was Jamie Dodd from the Craigy Herd based at Saintfield. The senior handling class was won by Thomas Mcaliser from the Ranfurly Herd in Dungannon.
Junior Handler class winner, Jamie Dodd with Judge Fiona Sutherland and Trevor Nesbitt, Fane Valley Stores; Picture: Mullagh Photography
NI Simmental Club Chairman Keith Nelson thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the show. “Special mention to our judges, Armagh County Show, principal sponsor Danske Bank, and the numerous agri businesses and local companies who sponsored the various classes at the show.”
Results from the judging ring…
Supreme Overall Champion: Pat and Frank Kelly, Ashland Topaz Lopez. Reserve: Shane and Paul McDonald: Ashland Topaz Mair.
Female Champion: Pat and Frank Kelly, Ashland Topaz Lopez. Reserve: Shane and Paul McDonald: Ashland Topaz Mair.
Male Champion: Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran Maximus. Reserve: Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Mack.
Junior Champion: Shane and Paul McDonald, Ashland Topaz Mair. Reserve: Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran Maximus.
DANI Rosebowl, for the best performance recorded bull: Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran Maximus.
Premier Exhibitor, sponsored by Moocall: Shane and Paul McDonald.
Cow, any age, sponsored by Biocell Agri Ltd – 1, Gavin Hayes and Sons, Corbally Goddess by Hillcrest Champion.
Senior heifer, born between 01/01/20 and 30/06/20, sponsored by Thompsons – 1, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Ladybird by Denizes Fantastic; 2, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Lizabel by Denizes Fantastic.
Intermediate heifer, born between 01/07/20 and 31/12/20, sponsored by ABP Food Group – 1, Pat and Frank Kelly, Ashland Topaz Lopez by Saltire Impressive; 2, David and Jonny Hazelton, Ranfurly Stella 12th by Whitemire King Kong; 3, Leslie and Christopher Weatherup, Lisglass Lollipop by Dermotstown Delboy; 4th Robin Boyd, Slievenagh Lucky Lady by Denizes Hamish.
Junior heifer, born between 01/01/21 and 30/03/21, sponsored by Noel Kilpatrick Financial Services – 1, Shane and Paul McDonald, Ashland Topaz Mair by Saltire Impressive; 2, Leslie and Christopher Weatherup, Lisglass Marigold by Omorga Jaguar; 3, Brian O’Hare, Clonguish Nova by Raceview King; 4, Keith Nelson, Scribby Farms Matilda by Dermotstown Delboy.
Junior heifer, born between 01/05/21 and 31/08/21, sponsored by Yara Fertilisers – 1, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Medusa by Ballinalare Farm Galaxy; 2, Keith Nelson, Scribby Farms Molly by Atlow Dixon; 3, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Majesty 2nd by Kilbride Farm Bantry; 4, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Moneypenny 2nd by Denizes Fantastic.
Junior heifer, born between 01/09/21 and 31/12/21, sponsored by T-Met – 1, David and Jonny Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st by Auchorachan Hercules; 2, Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran Mystic Royal Beauty by Islavale Echo 2; 3, Mrs E O’Neill, Drumcoote Sasha by Curaheen Drifter.
Junior bull, born between 01/01/21 and 30/04/21, sponsored by Animax – 1, Mrs MH Kilpatrick, Ballymoney Martin by Saltire Impressive; 2, William Dodd, Craigy Max by Longbeach Darius.
Junior bull, born between 01/05/21 and 31/08/21, sponsored by George Hamilton Machinery – 1, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Mack by Rabawn Ernie; 2, Richard and Rhys Rodgers, Hiltonstown Magnificent; 3, Mrs MH Kilpatrick, Ballymoney Mick by Saltire Impressive; 4, Mrs MH Kilpatrick, Ballymoney Mark by Saltire Impressive.
Junior bull, born between 01/09/21 and 31/12/21, sponsored by IrwinsFeed – 1, Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran Maximus by Wolfstar Elusive; 2, Nigel Glasgow, Bridgewater Farm Major by Saltire Impressive; 3, Robin Boyd, Slievenagh Mr Magic by Denizes Hamish; 4, Nigel Glasgow, Bridgewater Farm Maximus by Saltire Impressive.
Bull calf, born in 2022, sponsored by British Simmental CattleSociety – 1, Mark Cutler, Gortdonaghy Norman by Anatrim Bodybuilder; 2, Richard and Rhys Rodgers, Hiltonstown Nevada by Mullyknock Gallant.
Pair, property of exhibitor, sponsored by Countyside Services – 1, Shane and Paul McDonald, Ashland Topaz Mair and Coolcran Maximus; 2, Richard and Rhys Rodgers, Hiltonstown Magnificent and Hiltonstown McGregor; 3, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Majesty 2nd and Ballinalare Farm Medusa; 4, Keith Nelson, Scribby Farms Matilda and Scribby Farms Molly.
Young handler, aged 8 to 12 years-old, sponsored by Fane Valley Stores – 1, Jamie Dodd; 2, Rhys Rodgers; 3, Phelim O’Rourke; 4, Joseph McKearney.
Young handler, aged 13 to 18 years-old, sponsored by Fane Valley Stores – 1, Thomas McAlister; 2, Erin Nelson.
A very stylish and powerful heifer was how judge David Lowry described the supreme Simmental champion at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s 153rd annual show, held at Balmoral Park.
Mr Lowry who runs the 65-cow Keeldrum Herd based at Lanark in Scotland, returned to home soil to judge the Simmental entry at the four-day show. Originally from County Down, the former auctioneer has been living in Scotland for 22 years.
He was a regular exhibitor at Balmoral’s King’s Hall site, and won the male championship in 1996 with stock bull Carrigeen Farm Dandy, winner of the NI Simmental Male of the Year title in 1996 and 1997.
“There was a small turnout of Simmentals at Balmoral, but the quality was excellent. The females were exceptionally good, and on the day dominated the bulls,” explained David Lowry, who judged the Balmoral sheep interbreed pair and group championships in 2015.
Catching David Lowry’s eye to secure the female and supreme overall championship plaudits was the September 2020 heifer Ashland Topaz Lopez bred by Pat Kelly, and son Frank, from Tempo, County Fermanagh. Sired by the 14,000gns Saltire Impressive, she is bred from the Ashland Brandy daughter, Ashland Topaz 2nd – one of ten cows in the herd.
This much-admired heifer won the Simmental senior championship at the inaugural Four Breeds Calf Show, held at Dungannon last November. This was the Ashland herd’s second supreme Balmoral title, having won the award in 2007 with the home-bred Ashland Lady Diamond 3rd.
David Lowry commented: “The champion is a very stylish and powerful heifer, with tremendous length. She oozes style and ring presence, is full of breed character, and displays great locomotion. A worthy winner!”
Runner-up was the reserve female champion Ranfurly Stella 12th from David and Jonny Hazelton’s 20-cow herd in Dungannon. Born in October 2020 she is by Whitemire King Kong, and bred from the Hillcrest Champion daughter Raceview Fancy Winty – purchased at Roscommon in 2016 for 4,600 Euros.
This heifer is a maternal sister to the 9,000gns Ranfurly Jackpot, sold at Stirling in February 2020.
“The reserve champion is another classy and stylish heifer, with great length and good locomotion,” added the judge.
Brothers Shane and Paul McDonald from Tempo won the junior championship award with the January 2021 Ashland Topaz Mair. Purchased privately from Pat and Frank Kelly last autumn, this heifer was sired by Saltire Impressive, and bred from the Whitemire King Kong daughter Ashland Topaz 3rd – a maternal sister to the dam of the supreme champion.
“The junior champion is a powerful junior heifer, with great width and tremendous fleshing ability,” commented David Lowry.
Claiming the male and reserve junior championship honours was the March 2021 bull Craigy Max bred by William, Jane, Jamie and Lewis Dodd from Saintfield. Sired by Longbeach Darius, his dam Ranfurly Kleeb 35th was purchased at the Ranfurly herd’s second production sale in 2016, and is one of 12 pedigree cows in the Craigy Herd.
David Lowry added: “This junior bull is a fine example of the breed, and has a level topline, great width throughout, and good locomotion.”
The reserve male championship went to Ballinalare Farm Mack, an eleven-month-old bull bred by Joe and Alan Wilson, Rathfriland. He was sired by the herd’s 8,200 Euros stock bull Rabawn Ernie, champion at the Irish society’s 2014 sale in Tullamore. His dam Ballinalare Farm Helena 2nd , is an Auchorachan Wizard daughter out of Glenturk Tulip, a heifer won by Joe Wilson in a charity raffle.
Joe and Alan Wilson also won the award for the best pair of Simmentals. The winning duo were Ballinalare Farm Ladybird and Ballinalare Farm Lizabel, described by the judge as well balanced and matching heifers. They are both daughters of the 10,000gns herd sire Denizes Fantastic – reserve junior champion at Stirling in February 2016.
Results from the judging ring….
The Bobbie Dickson Perpetual Championship Trophy for the champion: P Kelly. Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton.
British Simmental Cattle Society Engraved Crystal Glasses for the champion: P Kelly.
Imex Perpetual Cow Bell for the female champion: P Kelly. Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton.
Bangor and Six Road Ends Farmers’ Union Perpetual Trophy for the female champion: P Kelly.
Bobbie Gamble Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the best heifer: P Kelly.
NI Simmental Club Trophy for the exhibitor-bred male champion: William and Jane Dodd. Reserve: J and A Wilson.
William Black Memorial Perpetual Cup for the male champion: William and Jane Dodd.
News Letter Shield for the junior champion: S and P McDonald. Reserve: William and Jane Dodd.
Silver Award for the best exhibit bred in Northern Ireland: P Kelly.
Cow or heifer, born in 2019 – 1, William Gubbins, Prablin Lucy by Dermotstown Delboy.
Heifer, born between 01/01/20 and 30/06/20 – 1, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Lizabel by Denizes Fantastic; 2, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Ladybird by Denizes Delboy.
Heifer, born between 01/07/20 and 31/12/20 – 1, Pat and Frank Kelly, Ashland Topaz Lopez by Saltire Impressive; 2, WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Stella 12th by Whitemire King Kong; 3, JL and CJ Weatherup, Lisglass Lollipop by Dermotstown Delboy.
Heifer, born on or after 01/01/21 – 1, S and P McDonald, Ashland Topaz Mair by Saltire Impressive; 2, JL and CJ Weatherup, Lisglass Marigold by Omorga Jaguar; 3, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Modesty by Camus Brandy.
Bull, born on or after 01/01/21 – 1, William and Jane Dodd, Craigy Max by Longbeach Darius; 2, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Mack by Rabawn Ernie.
Pair, property of exhibitor – 1, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Lizabel and Ballinalare Farm Ladybird; 2, JL and CJ Weatherup, Lisglass Marigold and Lisglass Lollipop; 3, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Modesty and Ballinalare Farm Medusa.
Simmental bulls sold to a top of 3,500gns at the British Simmental Cattle Society’s regional show and sale, held at Dungannon Farmers’ Mart on Friday 25th March.
Sale leader was the first prize winning Lisglass Leo TSI+77 SRI+90, bred by the father and son team of Leslie and Christopher Weatherup, Ballyclare. Sired by Islavale Frontier, his dam is the home-bred Liglass Iona – one of 35 cows in the herd. This eighteen-month-old bull is no stranger to success, having won the Reserve Senior Championship at the inaugural Four Breeds Calf Show at Dungannon in November last year. Ranked in the breed’s top five per cent for eye muscle area at +5.5, he sold to JA Humphrey from Coleraine.
Second highest price of the day 3,000gns was paid to Cecil McIlwaine, and sons Scott and Neil, Newtownstewart, for the Male Champion Corrick Laird TSI+77 SRI+81. Sired by Seafort Gill, this nineteen-month-old bull is the first calf bred from the Omorga Tarbuck daughter Corrick Jenny. He sold to B McDermott from Fintona, County Tyrone.
Founded over 40 years ago, the Corrick herd comprises of 20 pedigree cows. The McIlwaine’s have sold Seafort Gill sons to a top of 8,000gns, with three averaging £5,250 per head at Stirling and Dungannon.
Irish judge Sean McGarry from the 8-cow Clonguish Herd in Longford said the Male Champion stood out. “There were quality entries at the top of each class, but the male champion really caught my eye. He is a stylish bull with excellent conformation, and is very correct throughout.”
Two lots came under the hammer of auctioneer Trevor Wylie at 2,900gns each. First to sell was the third placed Coolcrannel Mighty TSI+68 SRI+85, consigned by William Phair, Lisbellaw. This fourteen-month-old bull was sired by the 2014 and 2015 Balmoral Show champion Dermotstown Delboy, and is bred from the home-bred Curaheen Apostle daughter Coolcrannel Holly. He was snapped up by Danny McLaughlin from Dungiven.
William and Keith Stubbs, Irvinestown, realised 2,900gns for the first prize winning Rehall Moneymaker TSI+84 SRI+97. This polled bull was born in January 2021, and is by Curaheen Gunshot; while his dam is the home-bred Rehall Flower. With an eye muscle area of +5.6 placing him in the breed’s top five per cent, he sold to WJ Simpson from Killyleagh, County Down.
First bull into the salering Dressogue Legacy TSI+86 SRI+98 came under the hammer at 2,600gns for Seamus O’Kane and Sons from Drumquin, Omagh. Born in May 2020, he is by the herd’s 11,000gns stock bull Islavale Invincible; and his dam is the home-bred Dressogue Goldie. In the top five per cent for milk +12, he sold to Patrick Quinn from Stoneyford, Lisburn.
Claiming the day’s Reserve Male Championship award was the seventeen-month-old Coolcran Lambrini TSI+91 and SRI+98 bred by brothers Shane and Paul McDonald, Tempo. Sired by Ashland Brandy, he is bred from Coolcran Juliet’s Ella – one of 20 cows in the herd founded in 2006. Buyer at 2,500gns was C McKeeman from Bushmills.
Female trade peaked at 2,600gns, paid to William Nelson, and son George, Rosslea, for the September 2020 born Drumacritten Lily. She caught the judge’s eye to claim the Female Championship plaudits. Sired by the 14,000gns Saltire Impressive, this heifer is bred from the Raceview King daughter Drumacritten Wanda EX91 – one of ten cows in the County Fermanagh-based herd. Buyer was Ian Magill from Millisle who has recently established the Ballyrolly Herd.
The Nelson duo also secured a bid of 2,000gns for the second placed Drumacritten Louise. Born in September 2020, she is by Dermotstown Delboy, and out of a home-bred Curaheen Dickens dam. Buyer was pedigree herd owner Ashley Bowden, owner of the Legmurn Herd based at Stewartstown.
Sales from the Slievenagh; Omorga; and Hiltonstown herds
The New Year is off to a good start for three Simmental herds located in counties Antrim and Tyrone, Northern Ireland, with the export of two cows and calves, five heifers, and one young bull to breeders in Switzerland and Germany.
The deal featuring the Slievenagh, Omorga and Hiltonstown herds, follows on from an ‘export first’ in July 2020 involving 11 Northern Ireland-bred Simmental cattle. This latest export deal was struck with three repeat customers and a new buyer, and bolsters an upsurge in international demand for genetics, embryos and semen from high health status herds in Northern Ireland.
Robin Boyd from the Portglenone-based 30-cow Slievenagh Herd is the British Simmental Cattle Society’s World Simmental and Fleckvieh Federation representative and was one of three breeders who shipped pedigree cattle to the continent last week.
“We are delighted to announce another significant export of Simmentals to Switzerland and Germany. The breed was first imported to Northern Ireland in 1971, and last year, as the NI Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club celebrated its 50th Anniversary, we were brokering a deal to export ten Simmental cattle to the breed’s native homeland,” explained Robin Boyd.
“The dual-purpose Simmental is one of the more influential breeds in the UK, offering both superior terminal and maternal traits. This latest export is testimony to the quality and consistency of Northern Ireland bred cattle and gives breeders in Germany and Switzerland an opportunity to tap-into new bloodlines from proven bulls and cow families.”
Mr Boyd continued: “It is very pleasing to see that the majority of the cattle are going to satisfied customers Felix Tobler, Christian Bunde and Mario Walther, and new buyer Markus Rahn. “
The initial export almost eighteen-months ago was initiated by Flex Tobler, and his son Joel, from Chapelle in Switzerland, who had visited the UK and NI to participate in stockjudging competitions organised by the Simmental Young Members’ Association. Their enthusiasm fuelled a growing interest in local cattle, which resulted in visits from prospective buyers in October 2019 and January 2020.
The Tobler family were the first-ever herd owners to import cattle, of any breed, from Northern Ireland to Switzerland.
Felix and Joel Tobler took delivery of five animals carrying the Boyd family’s Slievenagh prefix. The consignment included the three-year-old cow Slievenagh Klassy Lady, an Omorga Isaac daughter, bred from Slievenagh Faith VG85, whose maternal granddam Slievenagh Madonna bred the 20,000gns Perth reserve supreme champion Slievenagh Talisman (Nov 2007). This young cow was accompanied by her polled eight-month-old Coose Jericho bull calf.
The March 2019 Slievenagh Krystal was sired by Shacon Hannibal, one of the most influential sires at the Society’s recent Next Generation Sale in Carlisle. Her dam is the Kilbride Farm Bantry daughter Slievenagh Emmylou EX90. Included in the deal was Krystal’s eight-week-old heifer calf Slievenagh Monica, a daughter of home-bred stock bull Slievenagh Kildare.
Also selling to Felix Tobler was the yearling heifer Slievenagh Molly. She is a polled daughter of Dermotstown Delboy, and a twin heifer bred from first calver Slievenagh Jasmine. This heifer’s maternal grandam Slievenagh Buttercup EX90 was the UK’s first Golden Cow in the new register launched by the society in 2019.
The Bunde family from Drewitz in Germany, purchased the 2020 born heifers Slievenagh Lottie and Slievenagh Lily (P).
Lottie was second in a strong class for autumn-born heifers in the NI Simmental Club’s virtual show last year. She was sired by Omorga Murray and is out of the Kilbride Farm Bantry daughter Slievenagh Goddess, which hails from the Madonna female line.
Lily is by Slievenagh Justthejob, a home-bred homozygous polled son of Kilbride Farm Glenhead. Her dam is Slievenagh Iris from the noted Omorga Daffodil family.
Mario Walther from Frankfurt bought two Curaheen Gunshot progeny from the Moore family’s 40-cow Omorga prefix. Both nine-months of age, Omorga Midnight (P) is bred from the Kilbride Farm Bantry daughter Omorga Fanny, while the bull Omorga Moses (P) is bred from Curaheen Dell. Mr Walther previously purchased from the Omorga Herd in 2020.
Richard and Rhys Rodgers from Portglenone, were also part of the 2020 export deal, and this time sold a heifer to German customer Markus Rahan. The March 2020 Hiltonstown Lindsay was sired by the 2014 and 2015 Balmoral Show champion Dertmotstown Delboy and is out of the home-bred dam Hiltonstown Grace VG88 – one of 35 cows in the herd.
The export was facilitated by livestock haulier Martin O’Neill, with the journey from Northern Ireland via Rosslare and Cherbourg, taking almost three days. This latest deal continues what has been a significant export demand for British Simmental live cattle and genetics over the last two years with further sales to Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, USA, and China