THE March 2021 born Islavale Magnum, from WS Stronach, Berryleys Farm, Keith, Banffshire, sold for
28,000gns to fire the Sim-mental bull trade to a new breed record sale average of £7,559, up by a remarkable £1,597 on the year, at the breed’s October Sale held at United Auctions, Stirling, on Tuesday, October 19.
With commercial producers com-
peting fiercely with pedigree breeders for the quality bulls on offer, two bulls made over 20,000gns with 10 in all over the 10,000gns mark and 29 at 5000gns and more. The total Simmental sale gross on the day came to £366,315.
A tremendous team of Islavale bulls broke new ground for this prolific Simmental herd with the 28,000gns topping the previous sale best of 24,000gns and seven bulls in all selling to an incredible average of £13,500, with five of the bulls breaking the five-figure mark.
The sale leader, Islavale Magnum, is by the noted AI sire Team Celtic and is the first calf at sale out of Islavale Harper, who herself had stood as the Senior Champion as a yearling heifer at Stars of the Future in 2017. Combining a depth of pedigree with performance figures showing +14 for Maternal (milk), this classy dark red bull was purchased for the Delfur pedigree herd of Delfur Farms, Rothes, Aberlour.
Commenting on behalf of Delfur Farms, which runs a 120-cow herd, new herd manager Garry Patterson said: “This is a big investment for the future, but we were looking for a bull that will put a serious stamp on the herd and help us to take that next step. I thought Magnum was a standout bull the minute I saw him, and with his breeding along with his figures he’s just the full package.
“We wanted a bull which will click with our females, breathe new life into the herd, and to take that next step. We very much think and hope that Magnum’s daughters will have the potential to do that and produce some first quality bulls at the same time.”
The 28,000gns top price surpassed the Islavale herd’s previous top sale mark of 24,000gns, and the average for the seven bulls sold smashed the previous best for a herd that has been consistently at the top end of Simmental sales over a number of years.
Speaking after the sale, and commenting on the bulls they are breeding, Stewart Stronach said: “We breed the type of Simmental bulls that we like and what we think meet the needs of the market. Our aim is to breed correct, big square bulls, good on their plates with plenty of length, free flowing in their locomotion, and with character, style and presence.
“Our main aim is breeding first quality Simmental bulls for commercial producers and with sales to pedigree breeders a real bonus on top. We’re really delighted with this trade and hope and trust that the bulls sold go on to do well in their new herds.”
In addition to the 28,000gns top price, further Islavale bulls sold on the day for 18,000gns; 13,000gns; 10,000gns x 2; 6000gns; and 5000gns.
Selling at 20,000gns was Denizes Monty from MA Barlow and Sons, Four Oaks, Ulnes, Nr Leyland, Lancashire. On the previous day this January 2021 born bull placed first in his class, before moving on to secure the Senior Championship and the Overall Supreme Championship in the pre-sale show and in front of the judge Chris Martindale, who runs the noted Forsdale herd at Coedfa, Oswestry, Shropshire.
Commenting on his Champion, Mr Martindale said: “What a modern Simmental bull this is. He’s clean throughout, has a super top line, has width shoulder to shoulder, and a back end to die for.
“The breed is known for its maternal traits of milk, fertility, and calving ease. A bull like this will retain those advantages and by adding terminal traits just gives you something very modern that ticks all the boxes for breeders and commercial beef producers.”
The Supreme Champion went to Northern Ireland when being purchased by Mr HJW and JC Moore for their noted Omorga pedigree herd at Beragh, Omagh. They said: “I’ve seen this bull as a calf and through the summer and he’s just a very modern Simmental. I feel he’s the whole package with the breeding behind him, top figures, full of shape but with style and class. Monty brings new breeding to the herd, and I’m delighted to have bought him.”
Denizes Monty is by the noted Denizes Hamish, who had pre-viously sired bulls up to 9500gns (with his first 12 sons at Stirling averaging 7500gns), and is out of the herd’s highly noted Auroch Eve. Monty is out of Denizes Trixi-Belle 6th, who herself is the mother of Denizes Impressive, the sire of the sale’s Reserve Supreme, Popes Matchmaker. Through the summer Denizes Monty had stood as Junior Male and Reserve Male at the Royal Highland Show, and he was sold with strong performance figures for calving ease, gestation length, and maternal (milk).
Speaking after the sale, British Simmental Cattle Society General Manager Iain Kerr said: “It’s great to see a Simmental sale with an average of over £7500gns, a new record mark, and continuing a series of strong sales and averages for the breed over this past year.
“There were breeders buying bulls today, but the trade was underpinned by commercial pro-ducers competing for the bulls of their choice and willing to pay five figure prices.
“The Simmental is a maternal mainstay of the UK suckler herd and the efficiency of females in milk, fertility and easy calving, combined with growthy, fast finishing progeny is just adding up for commercial producers.
“We would have liked to have seen more bulls sold but there was a strong demand for the quality lots of offer and we have to be mindful of the continued move to spring calving, and farmers taking time to consider at present in a very cost-conscious moment for the industry.”
The Junior Champion came in the shape of Islavale Mint, who went on to sell for 18,000gns to Crudie Farming Company, Crudie Farm, Arbroath, which runs the 45 cow Crudie pedigree herd alongside a predominantly Simmental com-mercial herd of 120 cows, and with 30 Blue Greys.
The April 2021 born Islavale Mint is by the noted herd sire Corskie Highlander, who has previously had calves up to 15,000gns, and is out of Islavale Amber 5 VG 86, an Islavale Echo daughter.
Immediately recouping a little of their outlay on the top price purchase was Delfur Farms, Rothes, Aberlour, when they made 16,000gns for Delfur Maverick, the second prize bull in the third class of the day. March 2021 born, Delfur Maverick is sired by the 10,000gns Woodhall Instinct 17, a previous Stirling Junior Champion, and is out of the Auchorachan ACDC sired Delfur Denise, one of the top and easiest calving lines in the herd.
A small but high-quality offering of Simmental females averaged £3,045 for the eight sold. Topping the lots at 6000gns was the stylish Springfield Minstrel from Gavin Brown, Penicuik, Midlothian. A 15-month-old heifer out of Woodhall Cheeky and sired by Islavale Jabba, Springfield Minstrel was purchased by JH and VG Wood, Dutton, Lancashire, for their noted Popes herd. Commenting, Vikki Wood said: “This is just a dark red heifer with a lot of class and the type of female that we feel we could breed from for progeny aimed at the Stirling market.”
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