Simmental bulls soar to 4,800gns at Ballymena

Simmental bulls met a rock solid trade with prices soaring to a top of 4,800gns and 4,400gns at the Northern Ireland Club’s evening show and sale, held at Ballymena Livestock Market.

Auctioneer Graham Loughrey said there was strong interest in the pedigree and commercial cattle on offer, with buyers travelling from throughout the Province to secure quality breeding stock. At the close of business he confirmed that 13 bulls sold to level at £3,110 in an 82% clearance – representing an increase of £562 on last year’s average.

Sale leader at 4,800gns was the reserve male and reserve supreme champion Kilbride Farm Enty TSI+£76 SRI+£78 bred by Billy Robson OBE, and sons Michael and Norman, Doagh, Ballyclare. This seventeen-month-old bull was sired by the 15,000gns Cairnvew Snazzy, and is bred from the Kilbride Farm Vaten daughter Kilbride Farm Eunice 114B. Buyer was pedigree breeder Mike Frazer who runs the Edenvale Herd based at Kells, County Antrim.  Mr Frazer was the recipient of the club’s £200 cash back offer for the highest bidder at the sale.

Claiming his first supreme championship at a Simmental club show and sale was Armagh breeder Chris Traynor, who secured 4,400gns for the January 2014 born Kilmore Finlay TSI+87 SRI+83.  Sired by the herd’s 12,000gns stock bull Kilbride Farm Bantry, he was bred from the Seabank Flint daughter Ranfurly Lady Diana 13th – purchased for 5,100gns at the club’s 40th anniversary elite heifer sale in 2010. This bull is in the breed’s top 20% for eye muscle area +3.2, and sold to Stuart Taylor from Ligoneil, Belfast.

Judge Conrad Fegan from the 8-cow Knockreagh herd based at Rostrevor, County Down, said there was a good show of quality bulls. “The champion really stood out. He is a long muscly bull with a super backend, and good locomotion.  He has style and tremendous breed character.”

Next best at 3,500gns was the second placed Kilbride Farm Feystown TSI+£84 SRI+£84 from the Robson family. Born in March 2014, he was sired by the Kilbride Farm Warren son, Kilbride Farm Connor, and is out of a home-bred Cairnview Snazzy daughter. In the breed’s top 10% for milk +8 this one sold to Stephen Hall from Newtownabbey, County Antrim.

The first prize winning Breaghey Fernando changed hands at 3,100gns for Andrew Clarke from Tynan, County Armagh. This thirteen-month-old bull was sired by the 6,600gns Omorga Baldwin – supreme champion at Dungannon in 2011. His dam is the Kilbride Farm Newry daughter Breaghey Beatrice. Buyer was Norman Thompson from Killaloo, County Londonderry.

Following close behind at 3,000gns was the third prize winning Kilbride Farm Finvoy ET TSI+89 SRI+87. Sired by Cairnview Snazzy, this fifteen-month-old entry was bred from the Lamhoj Supery daughter Kilbride Farm Laura 5V. He caught the eye of M McCracken from Limavady, County Londonderry.

The Robson family secured the female and reserve female championship awards with April 2013 born Cairnview Snazzy daughters.

The female champion Kilbride Farm Eunice 159E sold to Mike Frazer’s Edenvale herd at 3,500gns. Her dam is the Seaview Prince Charming daughter Kilbride Farm Eunice 65T.

Reserve female champion Kilbride Farm Fanni 34E came under the hammer at 2,900gns, selling to William Ferguson who runs the  10-cow Sperrin View Herd based at Stewartstown, County Tyrone.

Both heifers are due at the end of July, and are in-calf to the herd’s Danish-bred homozygous polled stock bull Sneumgaard Imperator.

Commercial maiden heifers sold in a steady trade with prices peaking at £1,200 paid to David Boyd from Monkstown, Newtownabbey. He also sold at £1,180 and £1,000 twice; while F Cunning, Dunloy, received £1,150.

Club chairman Richard Rodgers was delighted with the success of the evening show and sale, and thanked its sponsors Connon General Merchants and the Edenvale Simmental Herd, for their continued financial support.

Averages: 3 pedigree heifers £2,765; and 17 commercial maiden heifers £910.

Auctioneers: JA McClelland and Sons Ltd