• 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.
• 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.
At Gisburn’s May Show & Sale of Rearing Calves, an entry in excess of 200 calves (10 weeks and under), was kindly judged by Duncan Bailey and sponsored by Thornton Breakers. The Champion Calf, sired by a Denizes bull, was a 24-day-old Simmental bull from J & RJ Parsons, Brogden which went onto sell for £505.
The overall average for rearing calves on the day was £281 for ‘all shapes and size’ with the auctioneers saying that the sale ‘proved again that in Gisburn, we have something for everyone and someone for everything’!
The April 2021 born Hollybrook Maximum from Chris & Zara Curson, Hollybrook Farm, Welbourne, Dereham, Norfolk sold for 3900gns to top the small section of Simmentals at the fledgling Melton Mowbray Multi Breed Sale on Saturday, 25th March.
Earlier in the day this bull had been placed as the Simmental Overall Champion by the judge, John Barlow of the noted Denizes herd, before going on to lift the Overall Reserve Interbreed in front of all seven of the breed judges. Commenting, John Barlow said: “This is just a natural Simmental bull with plenty of length and a good second thigh. He’s a good commercial Simmental bull ready to work.” Hollybrook Maximum, got by AI, is sired by Clonagh Diehard Gallant, and is out of Williams Vikki’s Blossom. Purchasing the Champion online, and one of two bought on the day, was the significant Simmental based commercial enterprise in the shape of Fristling Hall Farm, Swan Lane, Ingatestone, Essex. Melton Mowbray represented only the second Society sale for the Cursons who run a 20-cow pedigree herd alongside a 60 cow Simmental based suckler herd.
Selling at 3200gns was the homozygous polled bull Blue Cedar Mungo from Nigel Darling, Intwood Farm, Intwood, Norwich. This January 2021 born bull is by the Danish bred AI sire Sneumgaard Imperator, and is out of Blue Cedar Edwina, with both parents being homozygous polled. With both calving ease, and gestation length figures in the top 1% of the breed, Blue Cedar Mungo was purchased by H Catlin, Leylandii Farm, Boston, Lincolnshire.
Selling two bulls at 3000gns was CH Evans & Son, Kington Grange Farm, Claverdon, Warwickshire. The first of these was the red ticket winner Wroxall Marmite. Heterozygous Polled, this January 2021 born bull is by Forsdale Gallipoli, and is out of Wroxall Esprit-Zilla. Arriving with a show track record that had seen him win breed championships at the Three Counties and Staffordshire Shows respectively in 2022, Wroxall Marmite was another bull to be snapped up by Fristling Hall Farm, Essex. Following directly on was the March 2021 born Wroxall Meatball. This March 2021 born calf, who stood second in his class to the Champion, is by Coose Gambler (P), and is out of Wroxall Favour-Patiance (P). With Calving Ease figures of +3.6 placing him in the top 15% of the breed, Wroxall Marmite was purchased by GT Hall & Son, Dudley Wood Farm, Atherstone, Warwickshire.
The January 2021 born Cade Maverick from PA&SM Cade, Paddock Farm, Buckden, East Anglia, sold for 5200gns when being the first bull in the ring at the Melton Mowbray Multi Breed Sale held on Saturday 26th March at Melton Mowbray Livestock Market.
Cade Maverick is the first calf to be offered for sale from the herd’s stock bull Sacombe Jameson, and is out of Heathbrow Ingrid, a Celtic Comet daughter. With a little show track record behind him, Cade Maverick had placed as the South East Simmental Club Junior & Reserve Overall Champion at the Melton Mowbray Calf Show in November 2021. Purchasing the bull was P A Clowes & Partners.
This is the second year in a row that the Cade herd, which comprises of 26 breeding females, has topped this fledgling Simmental Sale with Cade Kolossal taking the lead price at last year’s sale.