by | Aug 12, 2021

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: 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.