The Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) embraced a new location for this year's premier show and sale, which was held in GVM Mart Kilmallock, Co Limerick, on Wednesday 27 March.

There were 16 bulls forward for sale, which met an 85% clearance rate.

There was also 63 heifers, including a consignment of 30 heifers from Tom Lynch from Ballingarry, Co Limerick.

Bull trade

The pre-sale show was judged by renowned Cork breeder Rickey Barrett of the Laurelelm Holstein Herd, who found his overall champion in a full brother to the 2023 champion Mountfarna Gulliver.

Rickey Barrett, Marie McInerney, Rachel and Emma McNamara, Claire and Bill Hannon, Lena McNamara, Michael McNamara and Richard Hamillton with champion, reserve champion and honourable mention heifer winners at the premier heifer sale in Kilmallock. /Shanon Kinahan

Gulliver was a September 2022-born bull sired by Welcome Silver Griff ET out of the high-yielding homebred cow Mountfarna Armour Prester, bred from the herd of John O’Callaghan from Bandon, Co Cork.

He was bred by seven generations of VG or EX and sold for €4,000.

Reserve male champion was awarded to James Kelly from Drogheda, Co Louth, for his September 2022-born bull Monamore Exhibit.

Reserve male champion was awarded to James Kelly from Drogheda, Co Louth, for his September 2022-born bull Monamore Exhibit. / Shanon Kinahan

Exhibit was sired by Westcoast Yamaska and was bred from another high-yielding homebred cow Monamore Ellymae 51.

With a massive EBI of €223, auctioneer Denis Barrett dropped the hammer at €3,300.

The Monamore team enjoyed further success in the sales ring with their first-prizewinning October 2022-born bull Monamore Runway that sold for €4,200.

Runway was sired by Tisaxon Trooper and was bred from Monamore Peskys Fifi, who is herself classified EX92.

Top price came just a little bit later when Barrett sang Radney Kentucky out of the ring at an impressive €4,800.

Paul Hannon and Michael McNamara sharing a laugh after the female judging at the IHFA premier heifer sale. / Shanon Kinahan

Bred by Henry O’Keeffe from Charleville, Co Cork, the January 2023-born bull was one of the youngest in the sale and boasted an impressive EBI of €276.

Kentucky was sired by Gortcreen Sebastian and was bred from the VG87 classified cow Radney Steve Triempress and was tapped forward as the honourable mention alongside the champion and reserve champion in the pre-sale show.

O’Keeffe struck gold once again with his second January 2023-born entry Radney Alaska that sold for the second-highest price of €4,700.

This time with an EBI of €282, the young bull was sired by Saintbrigid Frank Joseph and was bred from Radney Yry Deborah.

Premier heifers

The premier heifer sale trade was topped by the Lisnalty herd of Paul Hannon and family from Crecora, Co Limerick, with their January 2022-born heifer Lisnalty Artist Zandra, who classified VG87.

Dennis Barrett from Co Cork was the auctioneer for the IHFA premier sale in Kilmallock on Wednesday. / Shanon Kinahan

The Stone-Front Artist ET daughter was bred from the EX91 dam Woodmarsh Mogul Zandra, who had a massive yield of just under 13,000 litres last year and Zandra herself is projected to yield 9,165l in her first lactation.

She was tapped forward by judge Rickey Barrett as the female champion in the pre-sale show earlier in the day and sold to a Co Cork breeder for an impressive top female price of €4,150.

The reserve champion in the female section saw Michael McNamara and his family from Newtownshandrum, Co Cork, secure €2,600 for their January 2022-born heifer Barna Pepper Archie.

Archie was sired by Delaberge Pepper VG86 and had an EBI of €140. She was bred from Barna Archie Grey VG89 and came from a long line of VG or EX dams.

The McNamara family sold the reserve champion heifer for the second-highest price of €2,600 and the proceeds of the sale were all being kindly donated by the McNamara family to Milford Hospice in memory of their late wife and mother Liz McNamara.

A gentle and kind soul gone before her time, Liz thoroughly enjoyed attending shows and sales with her family and would have been very proud of the sale.