• 26,000gns a record for a NI Simmental female, and a sale centre record • 34 heifers average £5583.53, a sale record average and up by +£363 • Denizes sell two heifers at 10,000gns • Islavale Peaches, Weaned Calf Champion, makes 9000gns
The classy October 2022 born heifer Coolcran Heidis Noreen from Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran, Tempo, Co Fermanagh, sold for 26,000gns to lead the third staging of the Next Generation Sale of Simmental Females & Weaned Calves at H&H’s Borderway Mart, Carlisle, today Friday 1st December.
Earlier in the day Coolcran Heidis Noreen had won the Overall Supreme Female Championship in front of the judge Reece Simmers from the noted Backmuir herd, Keith, Banffshire. Come sale time the opening bid of 10,000gns set the tone for some spirited bidding and with Reece Simmers backing up his judging by purchasing the Champion. Coolcran Heidis Noreen, who had secured a number of show titles through the summer in Northern Ireland, is by the AI sire Saltire Impressive, and is out of Coolcran Ellas Heidi.
Commenting afterwards Reece Simmers said: “This was just a tremendous heifer with great style, presence, and quality. She is long and clean with a great top line and good plates. Every angle you looked at her she was just full of class and very feminine. Coming to the sale we had no real thought to buying but this was just a complete Simmental heifer of a quality that you don’t see very often, she was a clear Champion in my eyes, and we’re also delighted to have been able to buy her.”
The 26,000gns was a new record for a NI Simmental female, and was also a new Next Gen Sale, and Simmental centre record. With four animals on the day making over 10,000gns, the 34 served/maiden heifers sold averaged £5583.53 up by +£363 on the year, and again a new record average for the sale. Three weaned heifer calves averaged £5180, and the one cow and calf in the catalogue made £6300. The sale saw some strong bidding for the quality lots on offer from a combination of existing and new breeders.
For Shane and Paul McDonald, Friday 1st December 2023 was a “special day we will always remember for the rest of our lives.” Speaking after the sale Shane McDonald said: “Coolcran Heidi’s Noreen was just a stand-out calf from birth, and from one of the main family lines in the herd. She was a calf that had the potential to develop into something special and she always caught the eye of any visitors to the herd. Following attending the first Next Gen Sale in 2021, we had liked the format and the idea behind it. As such we were very keen to support it if we could and with something special. After a very successful summer show season, and very strong interest in Noreen we decided to enter her. For her to make 26,000gns and to set a new NI Simmental female is just something we could never have anticipated. We’re delighted that she’s gone to such a noted herd as Backmuir and we wish them every success with her.”
The Coolcran herd was established in 2006 and presently comprises of 20 breeding females. The herd’s previous top price had been 7000gns for Coolcran Dazzler the Intermediate Champion at Stirling in February 2014.
Lifting the Overall Reserve Female Championship and taking the second top price of 18,000gns was the April 2022 born Overhill House Neva from Richard McCulloch, Armadale, West Lothian. This heifer is the first female to be offered at sale by Pistyll Kingsman, the sire of the herd’s record breaking 46,000gns bull Overhill House Neo, and is out of Overhill House Kitty Kat, an Aultmore Goliath daughter. Purchasing this heifer for his establishing Towiemore pedigree herd was the commercial producer Ryan Smith, Towiemore, Keith, Banffshire who is recognised for buying bulling heifers and taking top end Simmental heifers with calves at foot in numbers to the breeding cattle sales at Aberdeen and Northern Marts Thainstone Centre in May and October each year. Commenting on his purchase Ryan Smith said: “We have been looking for a heifer with that bit of class and star quality, and with the genetics to build the herd around. This Overhill House heifer is I think an absolute prime example of the modern Simmental. She has great depth and length, tremendous width across her plates and shoulders, and is just full of breed character, style and presence. I liked the breeding on both sides of her pedigree and of course with Pistyll Kingsman as the sire. She really looks the part but also has a good Maternal Milk figure of +10, and with her Termainal Sire Index, and Self Replacing Index both being over +100.” The Towiemore pedigree herd presently comprise of fifteen cows and the Smith family are looking to grow this to around 25 breeding females.
It was a terrific day for Lancashire breeders MA Barlow & Sons, Four Oaks, Ulnes, Nr Leyland, with a top team of ten from their noted Denizes herd averaging a fantastic £5754 and including two animals at 10,000gns. The first of these was the winner of Class Three, Denizes Melody 48 who was purchased at the 10,000gns price by AJ Bulmer for his Habton pedigree herd at Coultas Farm, Malton, North Yorkshire. January 2022 born, Denizes Melody 48 is sired by Blackford Galaxy 15, a previous Royal Highland Show Champion, and is out of Denizes Melody 31st, a Denizes Hamish sired animal. The purchase was one of seven made on the day by Alex Bulmer with others including Lot 220 Skerrington Faith 4th (P) at 5500gns; Lot 219 Denizes Cadette 44th at 4500gns; Lot 202 Newbiemains Miss Flo at 4000gns; Lot 209 Denizes Trixi Belle 22 at 4000gns; and Lot 212 Blackford Nalla at 4000gns.
Commenting after the sale Alex Bulmer said: “Denizes Melody 48 is exactly what we were looking for to add style, quality, and new blood into our Habton herd. She’s a long, wide heifer with great breed characteristics, and just what we are looking for to keep improving. Still new to the Society, we bought seven heifers on Friday from the Denizes, Blackford, Newbiemains and Skerrington herds respectively, and to add to our foundation heifers all acquired from the Corskie herd. These new purchases will add a depth of new bloodlines as we aim to grow the herd. AS well as the pedigrees we run a herd of fifty suckler cows, and the Simmental really suits our system, both pedigree and commercially. I think the sale average and the interest on Friday really shows the breed has a very bright future.”
The second Denizes animal at 10,000gns was another from the Melody family in the shape of Denizes Melody 52. This August 2022 born heifer is by the herd’s prolific Denizes Hamish and is out of the Ashland Tornado daughter Denizes Melody 18th. A maternal sister to Denizes Hero, who sold for 7000gns to Smallburn Farms, Denizes Melody 52 was bought by RE & SHW Steggles for their fast-establishing Wacton pedigree herd at Honingham, Norfolk. It was repeat custom as at last year’s Next Gen II Sale, the leading maiden heifer price on the day was the 8000gns paid for Denizes Eve’s Beauty 7th which was also purchased by the Steggles. Commenting, Sam Steggles said: “The photographs of Denizes Melody 52 really caught my eye and obviously the breeding in the pedigree is renowned going back to Stuartslaw Melody. In the flesh she was a very sweet heifer just full of quality and I’m delighted to get her to join the Wacton herd of 20 pedigree Simmentals. It was a terrific sale in general with a brisk trade and lots of competition for the quality lots on offer.”
Getting the sale off to a cracking start, the June 2020 born Denizes Rosie 3, a Denizes Hamish daughter, sold with her heifer calf at foot Denizes Rosie 5 by Grangewood Baron, for 6000gns to local breeders Messrs Airey, Little Urswick, Ulverston, Cumbria. Other Denizes animals on the day sold for 6000gns; 4500gns; 4000gns; 3800gns; and 3500gns x 3.
Selling at 9000gns was the youngest animal in the catalogue, the weaned heifer calf from the prolific Islavale herd of WS Stronach, Berryleys Farm, Keith, Banffshire. Earlier in the day this April 2023 born heifer had won the Overall Weaned Calf Championship, and with the Islavale herd having also won this title last year with the 6500gns Islavale Nestle. At the recent Stars of the Future Calf Show at Stirling, Islavale Peaches was the Junior Simmental Female and Overall Junior Champion. Entirely homebred, Peaches is the first heifer to be sold Islavale Lucifer 20 EX93, and is out of Islavale Honeypot VG 86 the mother of the 10,000gns Islavale Lord. Of Islavale Peaches the judge Reece Simmers said: “This a tremendous Simmental heifer calf, full of style and with a lovely head. Similar in type to my Female Champion she’s a calf with a very bright future ahead of her. Again she has great length with a tremendous top and plates, and has a good end with easy muscling.” Buying the Overall Weaned Calf Champion was the Burns Family for their establishing Tippetcraig pedigree herd at High Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire. Earlier in the day the Burns had also purchased the winner of Class Five, Springfield Night Shade from Gavin Brown, Springfield Farm, Penicuik for 5000gns. This August 2022 born heifer is by the herd stock bull Islavale Jabba, and is out of Springfield Imogen. A further purchase at 4000gns was the weaned heifer calf Newton House Posh for 4000gns from JW Gosmore & Partners, Tattenhall, Chester. January 2023 born this calf is by Lissadell Mr Mullarkey VIP, and is out of Clonagh Krystal Posh.
Speaking afterwards George Burns said: “Islavale Peaches is a tremendous showy heifer, full of style with a pretty feminine herd, and had a powerful body for a young calf, and with great conformation. We presently only have two cows but are looking to increase the herd numbers with good quality heifers to breed and show in due course. As such we’re delighted with the three purchases made on the day.”
The Islavale herd had two entries in the catalogue and with their October 2022 born heifer, Islavale Ashley 9, making 7000gns when selling to the Lammermuir herd of James Anderson & Son, Headshaw Farm, Oxton, Lauder, Berwickshire. In the pre-sale show, Islavale Ashley 9 had stood second in her class to the day’s Overall Female Champion and sale top price. By Coose Lincoln (ET) EX90, and out of Islavale Ashley 3 EX91, Islavale Ashley 9’s parents are both classified EX and her dam is EX95 (EX2), the highest classification for a female in the Simmental breed.
Strong supporters of the Next Generation Sales, the Newbiemains herd of Jim & Patricia Goldie, Newbiemains Farm, Annan, Dumfriesshire again featured in the top prices when selling Newbiemains Mariah for 7000gns to the Dovefields pedigree herd of L Renshaw & I Brassington, Church Broughton, Derbyshire. This September 2021 born in-calf heifer is by Newbiemains Jetset 18, and is out of Woodhall Fidelity (P) EX93. Of Newbiemains Mariah Lorraine Renshaw said: “We are delighted to have purchased Newbiemains Mariah and the fact that she is in-calf is just that bit of added value. We feel she has a lot of quality and with her now settled at home it’s clear she has a super temperament. We were looking to maintain and bring a bit of size into the herd and we think Mariah will be perfect for that.” The Dovefields herd presently comprises of 30 head and is run alongside a flock of 100 sheep.
A first time vendor at the Next Generation Sale, Gavin Brown, Springfield Farm, Penicuik enjoyed a terrific debut when selling Springfield Nita to the herd’s top price on the day of 6000gns. Nita is by the herd sire Islavale Jabba and is out of Springfield Goldie, a Woodhall Beautiful daughter and described as the best breeding line in the herd. This animal was one of three purchases on the day by Philliphaugh Estate, Selkirk. On the day, three Springfield females sold for 6000gns; 5000gns; and 3000gns respectively. The herd’s bull calf Springfield Perry, again by Islavale Jabba, also won the Male Weaned Calf Class and placed Overall Reserve Weaned Calf.
Father and son team Lindsay and Robert Currie, Pinclanty, Pinmore, Girvan also made 6000gns when selling their September 2022 born heifer Braegarrie Nigella who was a first prize winner in Class Six. With a depth of breeding behind her, Braegarrie Nigella is sired by Overhill House Link, an Islavale Heston son, and is out of Braegarrie Helga, a Teviot Bouncer daughter. With a little track record behind her, Braegarrie Nigella headed to Next Gen with a class win behind her from the recent Simmental Youngstock Show held within Borderway Agri Expo at the same venue in October. Buying this animal was Richard McCulloch, Armadale, West Lothian for his noted Overhill House pedigree herd.
OTHER LEADING PRICES 5,500gns – Lot 220 Skerrington Faith 4th (P) sold to R Bulmer, Great Habton, North Yorks 5,500gns – Lot 244 Overhill House Ness sold to J W Gosmore, Tattenhall, Chester 5,000gns – Lot 203 Boars Head Karina 10th sold to R & A Simmers, Keith, Banffshire 5,000gns – Lot 224 Springfield Night Shade sold G & F Burns, High Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire 4,500gns – Lot 219 Denizes Cadette 44th sold to R Bulmer, Great Habton, North Yorks
• Robgill Neptune leads the bulls at 4500gns. • Strong demand and trade for females • Commercial heifers top at £2100
There was strong trade at the recent Northern Ireland Simmental Club show and sale for both pedigree bulls and females as well as commercial females. The event was held at Swatragh Livestock Market on Friday 27th October and saw large crowds gathering on the night.
Simmental has been the breed of choice for many NI farmers for both positive maternal and terminal characteristics and is continuing to remain profitable with the overall sale average, bulls and females, reaching £2,581.
There was an exceptional turnout of young bulls on show with two being sold to pedigree herds in Northern Ireland and Scotland and the average reaching £3,461.
Judge John Warnock from Carrowdore, Newtownards, was impressed by “the very good show of quality stock” which was as good he had “seen in a long time”. He noted he was particularly pleased by the Male and Female Champions.
It was Robgill Neptune who was crowned Overall Champion on the night, bred by the Farrell Family, Dromore, County Tyrone. This outstanding May 2022 born young bull is a son of Newbiemains Interceptor and a homebred Dermotstown Delboy cow, Robgill Olivia.
His power, length and flashy colour caught the eye of buyer, Barry Chambers, Shanehill Simmentals, Portadown, who purchased him for 4,500gns. As well as exhibiting an attractive appearance, Robgill Neptune displays superb figures which Barry noted will hopefully be an asset to his herd.
Dunrock New Boy, bred by the Quinn family, Cookstown, caught the eye of the judge with his length and muscle cover to secure Reserve Champion but remains with his breeder.
Coolcran Nailer, bred by the McDonald family, Tempo, was sold to the Glenlossie herd of Brian Sutherland, Moray, Scotland for 3,300gns He is in the top 15% of the breed for terminal traits including 600-day weight which is advantageous from both a pedigree and commercial perspective.
Ashland Lucy Nora, bred by Pat Kelly, Tempo was the Overall Female Champion and made the top price of 5,000gns. This April 2022 heifer has several top bloodlines in her pedigree including her sire, Ashland Legacy, Woodhall Ferrari, Atlow Dixon and Bel Dhu Capercaillie. This was reflected in her eye-catching presence in the ring with super mobility and strong potential as a pedigree breeding female. She was purchased by Peter Murtagh, Newry, Co Down.
A further two heifers were secured by Peter on the night, bred by William Dodd, Craigy Keira M6 for 3,200gns and Craigy Keira N1 for 3,000gns. The Dodd family also had a successful evening of trade selling their three heifers, with the third, Craigy Keira N5 selling for 1,900gns to Alan Minnis.
Ranfurly Weikel 46th was the Reserve Female Champion, bred by the Hazelton family, Dungannon who sold for 3,100gns to Raymond Pedlow. This December 2021 heifer is homebred out of Ranfurly Kinker and Ranfurly Weikel 25th. A terrific example of a promising breeding female.
Eamon McCloskey sold Drumagarner Nan for 3,500gns to Bryan Paul, the Dermotstown Delboy daughter displayed power and eye-catching presence in the ring.
The sale also attracted consignments from a number of leading herds including Kilbride Farm, Robson family; Nevin Smith, Edenbann; Lummin, Thompson family; Lurgill, Ann and Alan Kennedy; and Pointfarms, Matthew Cunning.
The quality of these entries was reflected by reaching some of the top prices of the evening. Heifers from the Edenbann herd of Nevin Smith, Garvagh, reached 2,900gns with Edenbann Marigold selling to Paul O’Kane. Also, Edenbann Melody made 2,500gns and Edenbann Miriam selling for 2,200gns both returning with Raymond Pedlow. All heifers are scanned in calf, with Edenbann Marigold and Edenbann Melody to Popes Jasper and Edenbann Miriam to a homebred Edenbann Lyle.
Similarly, Kilbride Farm Laura 48N, sold for 2,800gns to David Pedlow and Kilbride Farm Laura 49N sold for 2,700gns. Both heifers are bred from homebred sires, Kilbride Farm Jetstream and Kilbride Farm Gruffalo (P) respectively, and have particularly favourable figures for calving ease and gestation length.
Commercial females also sold well and were highly sought after with lots reaching top prices of £2,100 from Eamon McCloskey. Nevin Smith was also successful, making £1,950 and another entry from Eamon McCloskey making £1,900. Other strong commercial entries from David McElmurray, Gareth Bryson and Philip Woods made on average £2.65/kg, £2.71/kg and £2.77/kg respectively.
• Coolcran Heidi’s Noreen takes Overall Reserve • Champion and Reserve sired by Saltire Impressive
The maiden heifer Ballinalare Farm Nikita from Mr J & Mr A Wilson, Newry, Co Down continued her fine showing summer when winning the 2023 NI Simmental National Show Overall Supreme Championship on Saturday 22nd July, held within the Randox Antrim Show. Along the way, Nikita also picked up the Female Championship, and the Junior Championship from the judge for the day, Colin Inglis of the noted Greencap herd at Dalachy Farm, Aberdour, Fife.
These latest high profile wins, for the now seventeen-month-old maiden heifer, followed on from the Simmental Supreme Championship secured at the RUAS Balmoral Show, Belfast in May, an Interbreed at Ballymena, and multiple wins at various local shows.
February 2022 born, Ballinalare Farm Nikita is sired by the prolific 14,000gns Saltire Impressive She is out of Ballinalare Farm Ilyssa whose Granddam is a full sister of the noted Ballinalare Farm Nightrider who was bought by Iain Green, Fochabers and has bred bulls sold up to 18,000gns for his Corskie herd. Commenting, the judge Colin Inglis said: “My Champion was just an absolutely stand out heifer. She has size, power with great femininity, and had amazing style and presence in the ring. A terrific Simmental heifer who just had it all, and a very worthy Champion in a great show of cattle.”
Of his day in the ring generally, Colin Inglis went on to say: “I was delighted to be asked to judge at the Northern Irish Simmental National Show, and would like to thank the NI Simmental Club for the invitation and for looking after me so well, it was a very enjoyable day. There was a really good standard of cattle overall showing the Simmental breed off so well, and as such every class was a strong one to judge. My Champion and Reserve came from the heifer classes and both were just the quality of animals that you’d be thrilled to have in your herd. Despite the female one, two, the bull classes were all of a very high standard and comprised of a good style of cattle, it really was a wonderful show of Simmental bulls.”
Having completed a memorable ‘summer show double’, a delighted Alan Wilson said: “We’ve very much enjoyed the summer and the show successes we’ve had with Nikita and against some strong competition. She’s always been a heifer with great style, and ‘look at me’ presence in the ring. When she’s in the ring there’s very little work for us involved as she shows herself off so well! The shows continue to be a shop window to promote your herd and this summer will help to profile the planned production sale for the Ballinalare herd next year, and being held along with the Ranfurly herd.” At the time of the report, the plan was for Ballinalare Farm Nikita to have one final outing this summer at Clogher Valley.
Taking the Reserve Overall, Reserve Female, and Reserve Junior titles was Coolcran Heidi’s Noreen from Shane and Paul McDonald, Tempo, Co Fermanagh. With plenty of breeding behind her, the October 2022 born Noreen is also by Saltire Impressive, the same sire as the Champion, and is out of Coolcran Ellas Heidi, a Dermotstown Delboy daughter and one of the most consistent breeding cows in the herd. Her Granddam, Coolcran Juliet’s Ella is a full sister of Coolcran Dazzler who was Intermediate Champion at Stirling in February 2014.
It was a high quality Championship shoot out and the judge Colin Inglis commented on his Reserve: “My Overall Reserve is just another high quality heifer, very correct and with plenty of style. She was that little bit younger but a terrific female full of potential.”
The NI Simmental National Show was the first outing for this autumn born heifer and speaking afterwards Shane McDonald was delighted with her performance: “Noreen is only nine months old and she showed herself really well in competing with the older heifers. From the word go, there has always been something very smart and sweet about this heifer and thankfully she seems to be living up to expectations at the moment. We think she has all the makings to be a star of the future.” Forward plans see the Champion and Reserve heifers likely to go head to head again with Coolcran Heidi’s Noreen also being aimed at Clogher Valley Show.
Consistent supporters of the NI Simmental Show, this year was the second consecutive year that the Coolcran herd has lifted the Reserve Overall Supreme title. Last year they picked up the award with Ashland Topaz Mair, another heifer who is sired by Saltire Impressive.
Lifting the Male Championship was the February 2022 born bull Craigy Notorious from William & Jane Dodd, and their sons Jamie and Lewis, Saintfield, Co Down. Craigy Notorious is by Keeldrum Fabregas 14, and is out of the Popes Barclay daughter Craigy Violet G6. Also with a bit of a show record behind him, Craigy Notorious was Reserve Male and Reserve Junior Champion at the RUAS Balmoral Show this year. For the Dodds it’s been quite a start to their Simmental showing careers with back to back Male Championships at the RUAS Balmoral, the Reserve Male, and the Reserve Junior at this year’s RUAS Balmoral, and now the Male Championship at the NI Simmental National Show!
Showing for the first time in some 23 years, to support the National Show, was the noted Kilbride Farm herd of WH Robson & Sons, Doagh, Ballyclare. The Robsons duly picked up the Reserve Male Champion with their April 2022 born Kilbride Farm Neymar. With polled genetics on either side of his pedigree, Neymar is by Kilbride Farm Jetstream (P), and is out of Kilbride Farm Eunice 287 J (P). So far eight Jetstream sons have been sold to pedigree herds and with a top price to date of 13,000gns. A full brother Kilbride Farm Marvel has been sold to Andrew Clarke of the Breaghey Herd, the current Chairman of the NI Simmental Breeders’ Club. Commenting, Norman Robson, who is the President of the British Simmental Cattle Society said: “It was a one off for the herd to show again to support the National Show, and we’re delighted to win the Reserve Male Championship. The aim from here is that Kilbride Farm Neymar will go to either the October 2023, or February 2024 Stirling Simmental Sale.”
2023 NI NATIONAL SIMMENTAL SHOW CLASSES & RESULTS
Class 61 – Senior heifer, born between 01/01/21 and 30/06/21 Kindly sponsored by Noel Kilpatrick Financial Services 1st Kenneth Stubbs – Drumagarner Michelle (29/06/2021) – sire Curaheen Dickens/ dam Drumagarner Gayle 2nd Brian O’Hare – Clonguish Nova (22/02/2021) – sire Raceview King /dam – Clonguish Eve
Class 62 – Intermediate heifer, born between 01/07/21 and 31/12/21 Kindly sponsored by Biocell 1st JL & CJ Weatherup – Lisglass Mayflower (26/08/2021) – sire Raceview King/dam Lisglass Jellybean 2nd WD & JD Hazelton – Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14 (14/10/2021)- sire Auchorachan Hercules /dam Ranfurly Lady Diana 33rd J5
Class 63 – Junior heifer, born between 01/01/22 and 30/04/22 Kindly sponsored by Robinsons Quarry Masters 1st Joe & Alan Wilson – Ballinalare Farm Nikita (08/02/2022) – sire Saltire Impressive /dam Ballinalare Farm Ilyssa 2nd Molly Bradley – Clonagh Posh Pixie (23/02/2022) – sire Tiset Darwin/dam Cloneygowan Temptress Posh 3rd Pat Kelly – Ashland Lucy Nora (17/04/2022) – sire Ashland Legacy /dam Ashland Lucy Kay 4th William Dodd – Craigy Jessica N2 (16/04/2022) -sire Keeldrum Fabregas/dam Craigy Jessica l 14 5th Kenneth Stubbs – Drumbulcan Nala (14/03/2022) – sire Drumlone Inmate /dam Drumbulcan Hayley
Class 64 – Junior heifer, born between 01/05/22 and 31/08/22 Kindly sponsored by Provita 1st Nigel Glasgow – Bridgewater Farm Evie 5th (22/08/2022)- sire Auchorachan Hercules/dam Bridgewater Farm Evie 2nd 2nd Richard Rodgers – Hiltonstown Nadia (ET) (11/07/2022) – sire Raceview King/dam Hiltonstown Topaz
Class 65 – Junior heifer, born between 01/09/22 and 31/12/22 Kindly sponsored by ABP 1st S&P McDonald – Coolcran Heidis Noreen (12/10/2022) – sire Saltire Impressive/dam Coolcran Ellas Heidi 2nd JL & CJ Weatherup – Lisglass Nectar (06/09/2022) -sire Alchester Kracker/dam Raceview Favourite 3rd Nigel Glasgow – Bridgewater Farm Hilda (05/12/2022) – sire Curaheen Bandit/dam Cloone Hilda
Class 66 – Heifer calf born in 2023 Kindly sponsored by T Met 1st Andrew Clarke- Breaghey Class -P477 (16/01/2023) – sire Omorga Horton / dam Breaghey Class -I286
Female Championship Kindly sponsored by T Met Female Champion – Ballinalare Farm Nikita Reserve Female Champion – Coolcran Heidis Noreen
Class 69 – Junior bull, born between 01/05/22 and 31/08/22 Kindly sponsored by Thompson Feeds 1st Cecil Mcilwaine – Corrick Nelson (30/06/2022) – sire Corrick Hamlet/dam Corrick Greta 2nd W H Robson & Sons – Kilbride Farm Normandy (P) (07/05/2022) – sire Sneumgaard Imperator (PP) /dam Kilbride Farm Eunice 308L (P) 3rd Richard Rodgers – Hiltonstown Neymar (17/08/2022) – sire Hiltonstown Lachlan/dam Hiltonstown Joy 4th Richard Rodgers – Hiltonstown Navigator (ET) (31/08/2022) – sire Celtic Rock / dam Hiltonstown Topaz
Class 70 – Junior bull, born between 01/09/22 and 31/12/22 Kindly sponsored by Animax 1st JL & CJ Weatherup – Lisglass Nugget (14/09/2022) – sire Kilbride Farm Dragoon /dam Lisglass Jellybean 2nd W H Robson & Sons – Kilbride Farm Nebulus (06/09/2022) – sire Kilbride Farm Jetstream (P)/dam Kilbride Farm Eunice 175 F 3rd Andrew Clarke – Breaghey Netflix (07/12/2022) – sire Woodhall Ferrari /dam Breaghey Vida 2
DANI Rosebowl bull performance Award awarded to the Bull which has High Index EBV’s and also placed highest in the judging. Kindly sponsored by George Hamilton 1st Kilbride Farm Neymar 149 points 2nd Kilbride Farm Normandy (P) 130 points 3rd Corrick Nevada 122 points 4th Craigy Notorious 114 points 5th Corrick Nelson 105 points 6th Ranfurly Notorious 101 points 7th Ashfurly Notorious 84 points 8th Lisglass Nugget 80 points
Male Championship Kindly sponsored by Danskie Bank Male Champion – Craigy Notorious Reserve Male Champion – Kilbride Farm Neymar
Class 72 – Pair of animals, property of exhibitor Kindly sponsored by L & B Estate Agents 1st Cecil McIlwaine (Corrick) 2nd WD & JD Hazelton (Ranfurly) 3rd Andrew Clarke (Breaghey) 4th W H Robson & Sons (Kilbride Farm) 5th Kenneth Stubbs (Drumbulcan) 6th Nigel Glasgow (Bridgewater) 7th William Dodd (Craigy)
Class 73 – Young handler, aged 8 to 12 years-old on show day Kindly sponsored by Countryside Services 1st Rhys Rodgers 2nd Lewis Dodds 3rd Jamie Dodds 4th Danny Clarke 5th Ashton Wallace
Class 74 – Young handler, aged 13 to 18 years-old on show day Kindly sponsored by Fane Valley 1st Thomas McAlister
• 100% clearance of fifteen females to average £2612 • Female Champion Drumagarner Michelle makes 4400gns • Drumagarner take five of the top six female prices • Gortnamoyagh Neptune (P) tops the bulls at 3300gns
The in-calf heifer Drumagarner Michelle from Mr M & Mr E McCloskey, Kilrea, Coleraine sold for 4,400gns to lead a strong trade for Simmental females at the Northern Ireland Simmental Club’s May Sale held at Swatragh Livestock Market, Maghera.
June 2021 born, Drumagarner Michelle is by Curaheen Dickens, and is out of Drumagarner Gayle, a Drumagarner Eden daughter who goes back to Broomfield Wee Nina one of the herd’s foundation females. Earlier in the day this heifer had won the Female Championship in front of the judge David Farrell of the Lakeside herd at Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. Sold PD’d in calf to the noted Curaheen Drifter, Drumagarner Michelle was purchased at the day’s top price of 4400gns by Mr K Stubbs for his 20-cow Drumbulcan pedigree herd at Whitfield Farm, Co Fermanagh. Commenting Mr Stubbs said: “This heifer just caught my eye. She’s full of style and character in herself, is well bred, and in-calf to a top bull. Quality is key and I’m delighted to have bought her for my Drumbulcan herd.”
A tremendous day’s trading for the McCloskeys saw them take five out of the top six female sale prices and with six Drumagarner heifers averaging £3016. Speaking afterwards Eamon McCloskey commented: “I brought six well-bred heifers to support the sale and am delighted with the trade. It was a strong sale as buyers are clearly looking for Simmental females and breeders across the board brought some quality heifers to sell.”
The Simmental breed has seen a surge in demand across the UK for breeding females and the sale at Swatragh continued this with a total clearance of the fifteen females forward to average a very healthy £2612. Commercial producers looking for the hard-working efficiency of high-quality Simmental replacement females bid readily on the day for the lots of their choice.
Selling at 3400gns was the McCloskey’s stylish heterozygous polled heifer Drumagarner Nora (P). January 2022 born, Nora is by Curaheen Gunshot (P), and is out of another Drumagarner Eden daughter, Drumagarner Helen. This lot was knocked down to William Gabbie, Crossgar, Co Down. The previous lot Drumagarner Nelly, and the Reserve Female Champion, made 2900gns when being one of five females bought on the day by Paul O’Kane, Dungiven, Co Derry. With plenty of top bloodlines behind her, this January 2022 born heifer by Longbeach Darius 12, and out of Drumagarner Kate featured the noted Hillcrest Champion, Omorga Volvo, and Dermotstown Delboy in her back pedigree. In addition to their top prices, Drumagarner sold further heifers on the day to 2600gns (x2), and 2200gns.
At 2700gns was the March 2022 born Lummin Nessa from D&M Thompson, Ballymena, Co Antrim. A twin to a female, this March 2022 born heifer is by Clonagh Mister Hansome, and is out of Lummin Iona, an Auroch Deuter daughter. Purchasing Lummin Nessa, who carried a high Maternal (Milk) figure of +11, was Peter Gilmore, Kilrea, Co Derry.
In the bulls, polled genetics again featured when the heterozygous Gortnamoyagh Neptune (P) from J&T Stewart, Garvagh, Co Derry sold for the day’s lead price of 3300gns. This January 2022 born calf is by the homozygous polled Coose Kingston (PP), and is out of Gortnomayagh Ikia, an Edenbann Ferguson daughter. Purchasing this bull who carried good figures for both Calving Ease, and Maternal (Milk) was Ryan Campbell, Kilrea, Co Derry.
In all, eight bulls sold on the day to average £3,140 and with a 72% clearance rate. Selling at 3000gns was the Male Champion in the shape of Ashland Notorious from Mr P Kelly, Tempo, Co Fermanagh. This young March 2022 born bull is by the Auchorachan ACDC son Delfur Decider 12, and is out of Ashland Topaz 3rd, a Whitemires King Kong daughter. Buying the Male Champion was Daniel Laverty, Bellaghy, Co Derry.
At 2900gns was Hiltonstown Nevada 22 (ET) from Richard & Rhys Rodgers, Port Glenone, Co Antrim. Another March 2022 born calf, Nevada is by the AI sire Mullynock Gallant, and is out of Ballinalare Farm Cherie VG87, an Auchorachan Wizard daughter. This calf was purchased by David Thompson, Bushmills, Co Antrim.
Quality and breeding was to the fore when the maiden heifer Ballinalare Farm Nikita from Mr J & Mr A Wilson, Newry, Co Down lifted the Simmental Overall Supreme Championship at the 2023 RUAS Balmoral Show, Balmoral Park, on Wednesday 10th May.
A small but strong Simmental section was presented before the judge on the day, Stewart Stronach of the prolific Islavale herd, Berryleys Farm, Keith on the opening afternoon of what was the 154th staging of Northern Ireland’s blue riband agricultural show.
The fifteen-month-old Ballinalare Farm Nikita took first prize in the second class of the day before moving on to win the Heifer Championship, the Overall Female Championship, and getting the judge’s final tap out as the day’s Overall Supreme Champion. February 2022 born, Ballinalare Farm Nikita is sired by the 14,000gns Saltire Impressive who was also the sire of last year’s RUAS Balmoral Show Champion. She is out of Ballinalare Farm Ilyssa whose Granddam is a full sister of the noted Ballinalare Farm Nightrider who was bought by Iain Green, Fochabers and went on to breed well in the noted Corskie herd.
Commenting on his Champion, the judge Stewart Stronach said: “Ballinalare Farm Nikita was an outstanding animal. Long and clean, she just oozed breed and show character. A really modern Simmental heifer and a very worthy Champion.”
Long term exhibitors, the Wilsons have been showing at the RUAS Balmoral Show for over 30 years and with many Championship wins in that time. Perhaps most notably is Ballinalare Farm Money Penny who won in 2004 as a heifer, before repeating the win in 2005 with her first calf, and completing the hat-trick in 2006 with her second calf! This is a feat never completed previously with a homebred animal.
From here the aim of the Wilsons is to continue to show Ballinalare Farm Nikita throughout this summer and to help with the promotion of the fourth Production Sale from the Ballinalare herd, and along with the Ranfurly herd, planned to be held in September 2024.
The Championship win continued what has been a terrific 2023 year to date for the Ballinalare Farm father and son team Joe and Alan Wilson. In February, Alan Wilson’s Bannhill Farm Masterpiece lifted the Supreme Championship at the Stirling Simmental Bull Sale before going on to sell for 28,000gns, and set a new record top price for a Simmental bull from Northern Ireland.
Following the Champion through the female section, and lifting the Reserve Overall Supreme title, and Reserve Overall female was the winner of the first class of the day, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14 from David and Jonny Hazelton’s Dungannon based 20-cow herd. October 2021 born, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st is out of Ranfurly Lady Diana 33rd J5 18 VG88, a Raceview King daughter, and whose pedigree goes back to the renowned Salisbury Guinevere, the foundation female of that line. Lady Diana 41st is by the prolific Auchorachan Hercules who himself was bred from a Ranfurly embryo and which in itself is a great source of pride for the Hazeltons. Again, regular exhibitors at Balmoral over a number of years the Ranfurly herd won back to back Championships in 2018, and 2019, and lifted the Reserve Overall title last year.
Commenting on Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14, David Hazelton said: “We’re delighted to win both the Reserve Overall and Reserve Female titles at this prestigious show. This heifer has always had that bit of star quality and she was shown successfully as a calf last year at both Armagh and Dungannon. At this point we have plans to take her to one or two further summer shows this year.” Later in the show there was further success for the Ranfurly herd when Ranfurly Weikel 45th M11, who placed second to the Reserve Overall in her class, took Reserve in the Interbreed Continental Heifer – Beef Recorded Championship. In the Interbreed Exhibitor Bred Pairs, judged by George Harvey, Perth, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14 teamed up with Ranfurly Notorious 22, the February 2022 born Auchorachan ACDC son, to take a very creditable third in the Interbreed Exhibitor Bred Pairs.
Michael Durno’s Auchorachan breeding was again evident in the bulls with the Male Championship being awarded to Auchorachan Majestic 21 entered and shown by William & Jane Dodd who run the Craigy pedigree herd at Saintfield, Co Down. This September 2021 born bull was purchased at Stirling in February this year with William Dodd saying; “We just thought this bull had something special when we saw him as he was just full of style and not too extreme. We were delighted to get him and now to win the Male Championship at Balmoral with him is just a fantastic bonus. However his showing days are now over as he is the herd’s new stock bull and will soon be going out with the cows!”
In what is only the Craigy herds second year showing at Balmoral this is their second Male Championship in a row and following on from the homebred Craigy Max’s win last year. Rounding off a cracking show day for the Dodds, the February 2022 born Craigy Notorious also won his class before placing Reserve Junior Champion to the Overall Supreme. Craigy Notorious is by Keeldrum Fabregas 14, and is out of the Popes Barclay daughter Craigy Violet G6. Very much a family affair, Notorious was ‘picked from the pens’ by Jamie and Lewis, William and Jane’s sons who spotted his potential from being a young calf. Both keen cattle men in their own right, Jamie and Lewis took turns to show the bulls on the day.
Come the Interbreeds the Simmental entries more than held their own and with the Simmentals taking the Reserve Overall in the Interbreed Group of Three in front of the judge Andrew Hughes, Halifax. The Simmental team comprised of Ballinalare Farm Nikita; Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st; and Auchorachan Majestic.
Congratulations are extended to all exhibitors at the 2023 RUAS Balmoral Show who represented the Simmental breed so well.
2023 Balmoral Show Simmental Results
The Bobbie Dickson Perpetual Championship Trophy for the Champion: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14.
British Simmental Cattle Society Engraved Crystal Glasses for the Champion: Alan Wilson
Imex Perpetual Cow Bell for the Female Champion: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14
Bangor and Six Road Ends Farmers’ Union Perpetual Trophy for the Female Champion: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14
Bobbie Gamble Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the Best Heifer: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14
NI Simmental Club Trophy for the Exhibitor-bred Male Champion: William and Jane Dodd, Auchorachan Majestic 21. Reserve: William & Jane Dodd, Craigy Notorious 22.
William Black Memorial Perpetual Cup for the Male Champion: William and Jane Dodd, Auchorachan Majestic 21. Reserve: William & Jane Dodd, Craigy Notorious 22.
News Letter Shield for Junior champion: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita . Reserve: William & Jane Dodd, Craigy Notorious 22.
Silver Award for the best exhibit bred in Northern Ireland: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita.
Cow or heifer, born between 1 July 21 & 31 December 21 – 1, WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14. 2 WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Weikel 45th M11. 3, Connor Wilkinson, Mount Natalia.
Heifer, born on or after 01/01/22 – 1, Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita; 2, Andrew Clarke, Breaghey Vida N435; 3, Andrew Clarke, Breaghey Nadine. 4 Molly Bradley, Clonagh Posh Pixie.
Bull, born on or before 31/12/21 – 1, William and Jane Dodd, Auchorachan Majestic 21.
Bull born on or after 1st January 2022 – 1 William & Jane Dodd, Craigy Notorious 22. 2 WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Notorious N2. 3 Mrs Julie Wallace, Ashfurly Notorious
Pair, property of exhibitor – 1, WD and JD Hazelton; 2, William & Jane Dodd; 3, Andrew Clarke.
Feature on James McKane, Spring Farm, Ballymena, and where the performance efficiency of the Simmental breed is the backbone of the farm’s commercial suckler herd. Spring Farm will host a NI Simmental Breeders Club Open Day, in conjunction with the British Simmental Cattle Society, on Saturday 20th May 2023.
• 100 acres grassland • 55 cow commercial Simmental herd • 6 pedigree Simmental cows • 15 months, 350kg age and weight at first breeding • 24 month age at first calving • 100% herd calving within three months • 100% calves reared • 380kg dwt in 14 months, weight and age of finished bulls, majority grading U bracket, remainder R3
Suckler producers searching for an efficient and profitable cow need look no further than the Simmental, says James McKane who has a lifetime’s experience working with the breed. “Simmentals are future fit; we’ve adopted a relatively low input high output system and they tick all the boxes. They’re fertile, have ample milk, great growth rates from forage-based diets, and equally important, they’re docile.” Add together the herd’s performance efficiency and it has the hallmarks of contributing to reduced emissions.
“We’ve a 55-cow herd of predominantly Simmental genetics run with two Simmental stock bulls, and usually end up averaging 100% calves reared. We’re achieving our target for the entire herd to calve from mid-February within a 12-week block. Cows and calves are turned out as soon as the weather permits, and they look after themselves eating nothing but grass, supplemented with magnesium licks, throughout the season which we like to extend to at least seven months,” explains James who farms at Laymore, near Ballymena in partnership with his wife, Laura and with help from brother, Bill.
“The cows and heifers milk like trains right through to the bitter end without any meal and they keep themselves in body condition score 3 to 4 right round the year. Furthermore, we’ve never fed creep to the calves; it’s another expense, results in poaching and what’s more, we don’t need to, their mothers have plenty of milk.” Following weaning, the herd is housed and thrives on pure silage diets, without any supplementary feed, until turn out.
James explains replacement heifers are sufficiently well grown to serve at 350kgs and calve at two years. “They’re bred to the Angus and we synchronise. Since we strive to be more and more efficient, there’s no way we would think about keeping them on for another year grazing valuable grass.”
While a few of the later born male calves are steered and sold as stores, most are kept entire and are currently finishing within an average 14 months at 380kg and sold deadweight on to a rising late spring market. The majority are grading within the U bracket, the remainder R3. “On housing, these bulls are introduced to a diet of first cut grass silage and meal, and after a settling down period, by the turn of the year we finding they’re averaging 1.7kg DLWG.
“In fact, we’ve just started to weigh the bulls on a monthly basis – it was something the NI Simmental Club has encouraged us to do, and its proved to be an eye opener finding out how they’re really performing. I would never have picked out some of those bulls that are doing up to 2.0kg DLWG.”
James’s Simmental journey began in 1971 when he saw the breed for the first time pictured in Farming Life accompanying an article marking one of the initial Simmental importations to the province made by W David Perry, Killane. “David was a friend of the family, so I asked my Dad if we could visit and ended up bringing home a Simmental heifer; she was my 13th birthday present. She cost £40 which was a lot of money at the time, however she turned out to be an investment for life.”
Since then, James says it’s been a slow road to success. “I’m a first-generation farmer and made sacrifices to save up pocket money sufficient to buy one pedigree heifer from Killane in 1978, before growing the herd to stocking capacity on our 100-acre grassland unit. We’ve now got six pedigree cows registered under the Springfarm prefix and are presently hoping to introduce ET to help expand the herd. It’s a development that’s been inspired by daughter, Megan’s love of the breed and interest in showing at local agricultural shows.
“I’ve also got a contracting business so I’m away from the farm a lot, particularly during spring and summer. Again, that’s where Simmentals score, they’re so quiet and easy to handle, and we’ve always been confident our cattle are safe for our two daughters, Megan and Ruth to work amongst.”
He adds: “For this unit to have a future, then we’ve to keep costs down, be as efficient as possible and only keep low input high performance cattle. Our Simmentals are ticking all the boxes.”
• If you are interested in attending the Simmental Open Day at Spring Farm on Friday 20th May, then you can ‘register your interest’ by clicking: https://britishsimmental.co.uk/open-days-farm-walks/ This would be a huge help in allowing us to anticipate the number of attendees and to organise accordingly.
• Please also keep an eye on the NI Simmental Breeders Club, and British Simmental Cattle Society’s Facebook pages; and also www.britishsimmental.co.uk