The Ballinahinch Limousin herd was established over 30 years ago, and, on 22 October, will host a full dispersal in Carnew Mart at 6pm. The herd was established by Shay Cullen in 1987 and has been a prominent name in Limousin circles since since its establishment.

Speaking ahead of the sale, Cullen said he got into the breed as he saw an opportunity for a part-time farmer such as himself to be able to farm a continental animal that was easy to handle and calve, but that had what the changing market in Ireland wanted then and now – a good lean muscled animal.

Throughout the early 1990s he purchased from both the Pelletstown and Luttrellstown herds which were two of the leading names in Ireland during the time.

International flavour

Cullen said: “I was always looking to improve both the maternal and terminal figures in my own herd by buying in the best cows I could and using the top AI bulls to compliment these. I have always had a keen interest regarding the Limousin genetics and have used both French AI bulls: On-Dit, Neuf and Mas Du Clo to name a few, and English AI bulls such as Sympa, Umpire, Willodge Tonka and Cerebrus.

"As well as including these genetics within the herd, I have also tried to promote the Irish-bred bulls and have had some wonderful stock bulls over the years including Carwin Guru, Ardnacrusha Philip, Ballinerrin Remy and currently Tomriland Kit”.

Sale successes

This keen eye to breeding and emphasising the traits and requirements of a demanding market has paid off for this small pedigree herd which has had some great days at both summer shows and Limousin premier sales. In October 2019 both of the herds entries in the Roscrea premier sale were sold to pedigree herds in Northern Ireland at €5,800 and €4,800 respectively.

Shay’s most notable success to date was with Ballinahinch Alexandria, who won her class at the Beef Expo in 2008 and went on to sell for €12,400, which was the highest priced female that year. Her first calf for her new owner, Rathconville Eugene, by Rocky, later sold at Carlisle to the Ronnick herd for £17,000.

Selling up

Over the last few years Shay’s off farm work commitments have increased and he has taken the tough decision to disperse the herd.

“Unfortunately time is the one commodity we never have enough off, and the time has come to make this decision as hard as it is. However, I know that my stock are genuine breeding stock and will be a quality addition to whatever herd they end up in.”

The sale will comprise of nine cows with calves at foot, 10 in-calf cows, six in-calf heifer, six maiden heifers, seven young bulls and the aforementioned stock bull Tomriland Kit.

Also included are three Shorthorn cross Limousin first calvers with calves at foot, three embryos and a selection of semen from various Limousin sires.

Bidding will be conducted both ringside and online through LSL Carnew. The catalouge can be found on the Carnew Mart website.