Simmental bulls reached a ceiling of 14,000gns at the society’s spring show and sale, hosted by United Auctions at Stirling Agricultural Centre.
There were eight five-figure price tags, but trade was selective with 98 bulls selling to average £4,975 in a 68% clearance – down £502 on last year.
“These are challenging times for the industry and buyers are being cautious,” said breed society chief executive Neil Shand. “Feed costs are up, and there is a lot of uncertainty around Brexit.
“There was a strong demand for senior bulls, while a good proportion of the junior bulls proved harder to sell. Customers are looking for Simmentals to produce home-bred replacement females, but they want bulls that are ready to work.”
Sale leader at 14,000gns was the March 2017 Islavale Illusive TSI+81 SRI+93 from Stuart Stronach, and son Stuart, from Keith, Banffshire. They had a lucrative trip to the Scottish saleyard selling nine bulls to gross over £71,000 and average £7,945 per head.
The fourth placed Islavale Illusive was sired by the herd’s 15,000gns stock bull Atlow Dixon – champion at Stirling five years ago – and is out of a home-bred dam by the Irish-bred Clonagh A Super Star. He joins John Warnock’s Templefyn Herd at Carrowdore, County Down.
Three lots shared a 11,000gns price tag, including the fifth placed Islavale Invincible TSI+65 SRI+81 who caught the eye of pedigree breeder Seamus O’Kane, Dressogue Herd, Drumquin, County Tyrone. This March 2017 entry was sired by the 8,200 Euro Curaheen Giant, and is out of a home-bred dam by Curaheen Bandit.
Orkney suckler farmer Steven Sandison was tasked with judging the 155-strong entry. He awarded the senior and supreme overall championship to the Stronach family’s Islavale Islander TSI+68 SRI+76. Another March 2017 Curaheen Giant son, he is bred from the Popes Laird daughter Islavale Briana. Buyer at 9,000gns was Murray Mitchell, St Andrews, Fife.
Claiming the junior and reserve supreme championship, followed by a price tag of 10,000gns, was the October 2017 Woodhall Instinct TSI+75 SRI+87 from Geoff and Kate Anderson, Elgin. Bred by the late Hector MacAskill, this October 2017 entry is by Islavale Frontier, and is bred from the Steinadler daughter Woodhall Eva. Ranked in the breed’s top 5% for milk +11, and top 10% for calving ease +5.5 and eye muscle area +5, he sold to Sir Edward Mountain’s 150-cow Delfur Herd based at Aberlour, Banffshire.
Gordon McFarland from Newtownstewart paid out 8,000gns to secure the first placed Pitmudie Imperial TSI+84 SRI+64 from Scottish breeder Heather Duff. Born in March 2017 he is by the NI-bred Hiltonstown Ferrari, and out of Cairnorrie Nancy 2nd. This one is in the top 10% for eye muscle area +4.9.
Pedigree breeder Robert Farrell, Robgill Herd, Dromore, County Tyrone, secured the second placed Newbiemains Interceptor TSI+73 SRI+97 for 7,500gns. Sired by Woodhall Fantastic, this July 2017 entry is bred from Newbiemains Eyecatcher EX90. He was reserve champion at the Stars of the Future calf show last year.
Leading the Northern Ireland Simmental line-up were breed stalwart Billy Robson OBE, and sons Michael and Norman from Doagh, Ballyclare. They sold to a top of 7,200gns twice, and traded ten bulls from their noted 100-cow herd to average £4,370 each.
First to sell at 7,200gns was the reserve intermediate champion Kilbride Farm Ireland TSI+96 SRI+92. Born in August 2017 he is by the Raceview King son Crugmelyn Brenin, and is out of the Seaview Prince Charming daughter Kilbride Farm Eunice 165E. Ranked in the top 15% for eye muscle area +4.6, he sold to Easter Tulloch Ltd, Kincardineshire.
Also selling at 7,200gns was the August 2017 homozygous polled Kilbride Farm Italy TSI+95 SRI+118. Sired by PHS Polled Worldwide son Kilbride Farm Galahad, he is bred from the Sneumgaard Imperator daughter Kilbride Farm Jolly 17G.
Trevor Wilson, Templepatrick, paid out 6,000gns to secure the September 2017 Kilbride Farm Ibraham TSI+95 SRI+93. Sired by Crugmelyn Brenin, he is out of Kilbride Farm Fanni 27C.
Also on Mr Wilson’s shopping list at 5,000gns was the fourth placed Kilbride Farm I-Catcher TSI+94 SRI+92. Another by Crugmelyn Brenin, this August 2017 entry is bred from Kilbride Farm Eunice 103B – a daughter of the 15,000gns Cairnview Snazzy.
The second placed Ranfurly Indiana TSI+95 SRI+103 came under the hammer at 6,200gns for David Hazelton, Dungannon, Born in May 2017, he is by Team Celtic and out of the Whitmire King Kong daughter Ranfurly Kleeb 32nd VG87. Boasting the highest milk value +15 (top 1%) in the catalogue, he sold to Mr Anderson from Banchory.
Retired vet Joe Campbell from Strabane realised 5,800gns for Camus Impact TSI+75 SRI+94. Born in June 2017, this second prize winner is by the 2014 and 2015 Balmoral champion Dermotstown Delboy, and out of a home-bred dam by Dirnanean Apostle. He is in the top 10% for calving ease +5, and top 5% for eye muscle area +5.5.
Canon Harry Moore, and son John, Beragh, sold the fourth placed Omorga Ivanhoe TSI+69 SRI+80 for 4,500gns. Sired by Mullyknock Gallant, this October 2017 entry is out of a home-bred dam by the noted Scottish Neff.
Richard Rogers, Portglenone, realised 4,200gns for the third placed Hiltonstown Impossible TSI+67 SRI+74. Born In July 2017 he is by Dermotstown Delboy, and is bred from Hiltonstown Frisky GP84. Five Hiltonstown bulls sold to average £3,192 each.
Female trade peaked at 13,000gns, paid to Jimmy McMillan, Hertfordshire, for the female champion Sterling FCUK Impuls. Bred by Boddington Estates Ltd, she is by the Auchorachan Wizard son Sterling Gino, and out of Stirling Candy’s FCUK. Placed first at the Royal Highland Show, and reserve female champion at the English National and Royal Welsh, this two-year-old heifer was bought by Backmuir Farms, Morayshire.
Brothers Shane and Paul McDonald, Tempo, sold the third placed Coolcran Iona Royal Beauty for 3,500gns. This October 2017 entry is by the 12,000gns Kilbride Farm Bantry, and out of Hillcrest Champion daughter carrying the Raceview prefix. This maiden heifer sold to Mr Ridland from Bixter on Shetland.
Suckler and dairy herd owners in Northern Ireland will have an opportunity to purchase a Simmental bull from a high health status herd at the society’s Dungannon show and sale on Friday 29th March. Watch press for further details.