The Irish Simmental Cattle Society returned to action with its spring premier sale in Roscommon having had to cancel last year’s premier due to COVID-19.
The sale attracted an entry of 49 bulls and 22 heifers. However, a strong demand at home meant that numbers were back to 29 bulls and 15 heifers on the day.
The on-farm sales of some of the top lots on offer certainly caused frustration for some buyers and no doubt reduced the amount of top-end buyers logging on to bid.
That said, prices proved very strong and a number of select animals still achieved top-end prices.
Overall, the average price for bulls rose by over €1,000 on the 2019 figure to settle at just shy of €4,000.
This stands as the highest average recorded at the sale for a long time and while the number of bulls sold was back to 19 from 30 sold in 2019, it is still one higher than the same sale in 2018.
As mentioned, there were a number of standout prices throughout the day, including the €12,500 high-seller Lissadell Mr Mullarkey VIP.
This bull was bred by Kieran and Paul Mullarkey, Co Sligo, and was secured by Newton House Farm in the UK.
Sired by Dermotstown Delboy, the 12-month-old bull is out of Corbally Eires VIP, which also bred AI bull Lissadell Jackpot VIP and heifers to €8,000.
Another son of Eires VIP, Lissadell King VIP, stood junior champion at the last society spring premier in 2019 before selling for one of the day’s top prices.
Mr Mullarkey VIP carried five stars on the terminal index, four stars on the replacement index and a breed average beef cow calving figure of 3.6%.
Second-best price was Fearna Legend P ET, which hit the market at €7,200. This September 2019-born bull was bred and exhibited by Gerry Neenan, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo.
Sired by Dovea AI bull Curaheen Gunshot, his dam line is Raceview King from the famous Fearna Regal. Full brothers to this powerful bull secured numerous top prices and championships.
With five stars on all terminal traits, he was knocked down to Joe Wilson for his Ballinlare Farm Simmnetal herd in Newry, Co Down.
Next best was a call of €5,100 for Treen Mark from Myles McHale, Castlebar, Co Mayo. This January 2020-born bull’s pedigree contains Curaheen Gunshot, Cloondroon Calling and Hillcrest Jerome. Carrying five stars on nearly all traits, he was the pick of Cavan-based Brian Murphy.
Top of Garrett Behan’s outfit was Clonagh Lucky Hansome Lad, which sold for €5,000. This big, powerful bull is a son of Manor Park Hansome, which also bred the €52,000 high-seller at the society’s autumn premier.
His dam Clonagh Hazel Eyes is equally as impressive, being a three-time national champion and a daughter of Simmental ‘miss world’, Clonagh Darling Eyes.
With five stars on the terminal index, he was secured by a Northern Irish buyer.
Fellow Laois breeders Barry and Brian Fleming were next in line when they sold their bull Theswan Levi for €4,100.
Sired by Keeldrum Capone 11, Levi’s lineage also contains Curaheen Vio and Starline Decision. Born September 2019, he carried five stars on the terminal index and four stars on the replacement. Successful bidder here was Paul Sammon from Co Tipperary.
Female numbers present were back on previous years, largely down to the fact that no breeder decided to host a draft sale.
In total, 11 of the 15 heifers offered for sale traded, with an average price of €2,390 recorded.
This average is up from €2,000 at the 2019 sales, with the majority of breeders now looking to the autumn premier with their best lots.
Leading female trade was the youngest heifer in the catalogue, Dungimmon Maizy, which sold for €2,950. This rising yearling heifer was brought out by Martin Sheridan, Mountnugent, Co Cavan, and is a daughter of the €12,500 Clonagh Just a Dream and Hillcrest Jewel. She was secured by Declan Rouse, Co Sligo.
The second-top female price of €2,600 was hit on three occasions. First at the money was Barry and John Duffy from Co Monaghan with Duff Lone Star.
This November 2019-born heifer’s pedigree includes Glebefarm Tyson, Islavale Cracker and Kilbride Farm Newry.
Matching the money was Curaheen Earp daughter Mainview Lady Honey.
Bred by Monaghan-based Stephen Treanor, this 15-month-old heifer is out of a Dermotstown Delboy-bred dam.
Last to hit the price tag was Bridgemount Luna from William O’Riordan, Rathcormac, Co Cork.
Again 15 months old, this heifer’s lineage includes Kilbride Farm Delboy and Samark Superman.