Martbids, the Irish Farmers Journal's online bidding platform, has announced that it will be partnering with Clogher Mart, Co Tyrone, for a September Select Aberdeen Angus timed auction next month.
The sale will take place from Friday 16 September until Monday 19 September and will consist of a select entry of 20-plus females from some of the top Aberdeen Angus herds in Northern Ireland.
The sale will also include a number of embryos from some of the best breeding cows in the herds.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Clogher Mart manager Robert Simpson said: “We are delighted to be chosen as the sale partner for this prestigious sale and look forward to speaking to prospective purchasers over the next few weeks.
"We are currently arranging a number of viewing days for people to see the sale animals and the rest of the herds prior to the sale.”
The Drummeer Aberdeen Angus Herd
The Drummeer herd of Pedigree Aberdeen Angus was founded in 2005 and currently stands with 15 pedigree brood cows. The herd is owned by Alan and Naomi Morrison, who are based in Co Fermanagh.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal ahead of the sale, Alan said: “The cows are of moderate frame, therefore leaving them low input and easy to maintain.
"The genetics consist of traditional and modern bloodlines, with a small infusion of Australian sires.
"The herd has enjoyed numerous successes at local and national shows. The herd’s first outing to RUAS Balmoral Show was in 2007 with the herd’s first homebred heifer. This heifer claimed junior and reserve breed champion at the age of nine months. This heifer was the foundation of our Pollyanna family.
"Another of the herd’s most successful cow families is the Blackbird line. Heifers from the Blackbird family have gained the same achievements at RUAS Balmoral Shows. Descendants from this Blackbird family are included in the sale.
"The September select sale will provide the opportunity for someone to purchase a Blackbird for the very first time, as they will be the first ever Blackbirds to be offered for sale."
Baronagh Aberdeen Angus
The Baronagh Aberdeen Angus herd of Victor and Stephen Wallace, Garvagh, has been in existence for over 45 years.
Winners of the NI Aberdeen Angus Club 2019 Large Herd competition, it is a 100-cow pedigree herd principally selling stock direct from home.
Over the years, they have supplied foundation females to several pedigree start-up herds across NI and have exported breeding females to six European countries.
The herd's foundation females included cows purchased from The Laurels, Ballyshannon, Gilkey and a sister to Patrick of Breaffy. Commenting on the sale, Stephen Wallace said: “Over the years, we have built up strong breeding lines of cattle who are proven in a commercially run system.
"Our focus has been to maintain breed character and produce functional all-round females with good locomotion, easy calving and milkiness.
"Herd sires over the years included Castle of Mey Esquire, Cambusbarron Punch (Perth reserve champion, twice Balmoral champion), Maine Dragon, Wedderlie Blackdown (Stirling champion), Woodvale Kool Papa, Tonley Kalou, McCornick Dual and Easton Greys Everest.
"Two homebred sires who show through in many of our modern females are Baronagh Prince William and Baronagh Euro (sire of an all-Ireland champion)."
The Lana herd
The Lana herd, owned by Alan and Lana Cheney, was founded in 1997.
The Cheney family wanted a native breed which would thrive off grass and Aberdeen Angus fitted the bill perfectly.
Foundation females for the herd came from the Strule herd and these have been added to over the years with females from other top herds in Ireland and the UK.
The herd now extends to 50 breeding females, with Alan specifying that cows must be easily fleshed and able to thrive on poor-quality land, with no concentrate feeding summer or winter.
Stock bulls have been purchased from top herds in Scotland and England and are chosen on breed character, carcase length, easy fleshing and easy calving to produce bulls to suit the local market.
Although showing is not a high priority for the herd, Alan has bred breed champions on a number of occasions at Clogher Valley, Omagh and Enniskillen shows, the most recent in 2019 in Enniskillen.
He has also bred Dungannon society sale champions and NI Calf Show champions over the years.
The entire herd has been performance recorded for approximately 20 years and is a member of the AFBI herd health scheme.
Commenting on the sale, Alan said: “Heifers chosen for this sale would normally have been retained for our own use and have been chosen from our best cow families. They are easy fleshing, easy calving and functional heifers, which we believe will be an asset to any pedigree herd.”
The Clogher Valley Herd
The Clogher Valley herd from Fivemiletown, owned by Ian and Gillian Browne, was formed in 2009 with the purchase of Drumboy Corina at the dispersal sale of Arian McElroy’s Lough Erne Herd.
Additional females were then purchased at Carrick-on-Shannon sales and privately from the late David Adams.
The herd's first showing at the society February sale in Dungannon was a success, with Clogher Valley Emperor L071 being made champion. Other successes included the NI Aberdeen Angus Club’s small herd winner in 2019 and awards at local agricultural shows.
In late 2019, the herd expanded significantly with the purchase of the Strule herd of the late Jim Jack, former society president, and his wife May, who were retiring from farming at that time.
Commenting on the sale, Ian said: “We currently run around 120 breeding pedigree females and the herd, although not showing, is based on a low input, commercially run farm where emphasis is placed on top Angus genetics, longevity and good working milky, medium-sized cows.
"Two of our stock bulls are former winners of NIAAC herds stock bull competition, with the other having been awarded third prize.
"All young bulls and females are sold at home to new and repeat customers and animals not suitable for breeding sold to a local butcher where the meat is dry aged and sold as pure grass-fed Angus beef.”
Further details, including catalogue, photos and videos of all animals presented for sale, will be available shortly. Prospective purchasers must register on martbids.ie in advance of the sale and obtain bidding permission from Clogher Mart.
For more details on the sale, stay tuned to www.farmersjournal.ie.