This is a big year for the Simmental breed in Ireland as it celebrates 50 years in existence. Last Saturday was also a big day for Irish breeders with a super trade for bulls and heifers at the society’s autumn premier show and sale in Roscommon Mart. Robert Forde of the Mullyknock Herd, Co Fermanagh, had the judging honours in the pre-sale show.
Topping the trade on the day was the senior bull champion, Clonagh Matador, for Garrett and Lyndsey Behan, Ballyfin, Co Laois. This August 2020-born son of herd sire Manor Park Hansome, out of a Kilbride Farm Dragoon daughter “Helen of Troy”, received an opening bid of €5,000.
Following a flurry of online bids, he was eventually knocked down to an online bid from the Crudie Herd, Angus, Scotland for €18,000.
Matador had a replacement index of €131 and a terminal index of €113 with a calving difficulty figure of 2.9%.
The next highest priced bull was the junior champion, Bighill Magic Et, for Fergal Doherty, Carrigart, Co Donegal. This Dermostown Delboy son attracted a lot of interest in the pre-sale show, He was knocked down to well-known Northern Ireland breeder Joe Wilson for his Ballinalare Farm Herd, Co Down, at €11,000.
Next in the money was the reserve senior bull champion Rathnashan Mozzarella P ET for Patrick and Nigel Hogan, Bennekerry, Co Carlow.
Sired by the popular AI bull Curaheen Gunshot P, out of the homebred Rathnashan Heidi ET, this September 2020-born bull also found a home across the water selling for €9,500 to M & J McCaskill, Woodhall Farm, Scotland.
Hogan’s other entry in the sale was the May 2020-born Rathnashan Magnum. This Saltire Impressive son won his class in the pre-sale show and went on to sell for €8,300 to the Corskie Herd of WJ & J Green, Moray, Scotland.
Mount Mozart – for Joe and James Kelly, Ballynacally Co Clare – sold for €6,700. Sired by the herd’s previous stock bull Kilbride Farm Glencloy 15, this May 2020-born bull sold to a Co Louth-based pedigree Simmental herd.
Bulls met a 72% clearance with an average selling price of €4,406. Of the 29 bulls sold, 18 were to export customers, with 12 bulls trading at €4,000 and above.
Topping the heifer trade was the yearling heifer champion Bighill Miami Ko Ko E Et for Fergal Doherty. Miami Ko Ko E ET is sired by Kilbride Farm Dragoon out of the homebred Bighill Ko Ko Ethna Et, who herself picked up a national title on the show circuit in 2019. She sold for €8,800 to the Manor Park Herd of Clive Houldey, Lockerbie, Scotland.
Following closely behind her was Lissadell Mercedes ET for Kieran and Paul Mullarkey, Ballinful Co Sligo. She was the weanling heifer champion in the pre-sale show. This Kilbride Farm Bantry daughter was knocked down to J W Gosmore’s Newton House Herd, Chester, England for €7,200.
Her herd mate Lissadell Midnight Lady ET, a Hillcrest champion daughter, sold for €7,100 and returning home to Co Sligo to join the Enniscrone herd.
Next at €7,000 was Coose Matilda, a December 2020-born Tulla Jaguar P daughter, bred by John and Ronan Tuohy. She took reserve heifer calf champion in the pre-sale show.
This one heads across the water to the Overhill House Herd of Richard McCulloch, West Lothian, Scotland.
Heifers met an 83% clearance, with an average selling price of €3,809. Of the 44 heifers sold, 14 were to export customers, with six going to Northern Ireland and eight to mainland UK. Fifteen heifers traded at €4,000 and above.
Raceview production sale
The famous Raceview Herd of Peter and Marion O’Connell from Mallow in Co Cork held a production sale of 11 heifers. They achieved a full clearance, with eight finding new homes in Northern Ireland and the remaining three staying in the Republic of Ireland.
The sale-topper here was My Jolly Diana selling for €8,700 to the Ballinlare Farm Herd of Joe Wilson, Co Down.
The Raceview Herd’s 100% clearance achieved an average selling price of €4,709. The Portroyal Herd of John Hession also offered a draft of heifers. The top price was €2,800 for Portroyal Mercury P. This Polled heifer, which sold to a new breeder, is due to calve in March 2022.
Commenting on the sale, Simmental Society president Jennie Aherne said: “We were absolutely delighted with the sale. The key to the success of this sale was the high standard of stock put forward by our members. It’s a great vote of confidence in Irish genetics to see so many animals exported across the water to some of the big names in Simmental breeding across the UK.