There was a strong demand for Holstein bulls at the club’s December show and sale hosted by HA McIlrath and Sons at Kilrea Mart, writes Julie Hazelton.
Prices peaked at 4,500gns and auctioneer Mark Stewart confirmed a 95% clearance with 18 bulls traded to level at £2,929 each.
“Quality bulls were in demand, in fact, half of the bulls sold attracted bids in excess of 3,000gns,” he said.
Sale leader at 4,500gns was the reserve champion Prehen Froch PLI £472 from Robbie and Stuart Smith’s herd at Londonderry. Born in February 2016 he is by Cookiecutter Harper, and bred from Prehen Shot Froujke VG87 who averaged 8,771kgs at 3.86% butterfat and 3.23% protein in two 305-day lactations. His dam is a sister to two former number one GPLI cows in the UK. Buyer was N Bell from Cookstown.
Next best at 4,200gns was the champion Relough Diameter PLI £523 exhibited by Ronald McLean and Sons, Donaghmore, Dungannon. Sired by Sandy Valley I Penmanship, his dam Relough Snowduster Danna ET VG88 averaged 12,340kgs at 4.48% butterfat and 3.03% protein in two 305-day lactations. This October 2016 entry was snapped up by W McKinney from Maghera.
Following close behind at 4,100gns was the second placed Ballylagan Top Gun PLI £429 bred by David Campbell, Coleraine. Born in October 2016, he was sired by Topcroft Pesky Trix, and is bred from three generations of EX dams. His dam is now in her sixth lactation and has produced in excess of 60 tonnes of milk. This one sold to A Gordon from Portglenone.
The honourable mention award winner Drumeil Shredder came under the hammer at 3,800gns for Aidan McAfee from Aghadowey. Also by Topcroft Pesky Trix, this September 2016 entry was bred from Drumeil Aikman Shalom Red ET – the number one red and white heifer in Europe 2015, who produced 10,318kgs at 3.12% butterfat and 3.08% protein in her first lactation. Buyer was RC Reid from Glarryford.
Topcroft Pesky Trix was also behind the breeding of the McLean family’s 3,550gns Relough Database PLI £512. His dam Relough Omen Danna 9 SP VG87 averaged 10,373kgs at 4.43% butterfat and 3.36% protein in three 305-day lactations. Born in October 2016 he sold to S McCammond from Randalstown.
The pre-sale show was generously sponsored by United Feeds, and judged by William Crawford from the noted Ardmore Herd based at Brookeborough.
Other leading prices include:
3,200gns – David Campbell, Ballylagan Supera PLI £446 to M Millar, Coleraine.
3,100gns – R McLean and Sons, Relough Ringer PLI £449 to P Milligan, Tandragee.
3,000gns – G and J Booth, Beechview Desperate Dan PLI £309 to Brennan Farms, Rasharkin; and Ian and Kenny Watson, Majestic Firebird Royster PLI £547 to N Leslie, Castledawson.
Results from the judging ring:
Class 1 – and reserve champion, Robbie and Stuart Smith, Prehen Froch PLI by Cookiecutter Harper; 2, and honourable mention, Aiden McAfee, Drumeil Shredder by Topcroft Pesky Trix; 3, Robbie and Stuart Smith, Prehen Frome by De Su Battlecry.
Class 2 – 1, and champion, R McLean and Sons, Relough Diameter by Sandy Valley I Penmanship; 2, David Campbell, Ballylagan Top Gun by Topcroft Pesky Trix; 3, R McLean and Sons, Relough Ringer by Willsbro Abbott.