The Hereford breed has emerged as a serious contender in the NI beef industry and this was reflected in the intense interest and very strong trade for quality bulls at this weeks’ Elite Breeders sale.
New record prices were set at the Dungannon event as Hereford bulls from Robin Irvine’s Graceland herd sold for 5,200 and 5,000 guineas while heifers sold to 3,000 guineas for Adrian and Sandra Irvine and 2,900 guineas for Mrs P McClenaghan.
Mervyn Richmond from the Elite Breeders group was delighted with the trade “The yard was packed with people and there was a real buzz of anticipation as prospective buyers jostled to view the stock on offer. There was keen competition for the best animals and it was encouraging to see buyers prepared to pay for quality”
The sale started strongly with 3,000 guineas paid for the first animal into the ring, a big strong two year old from John Conlons’ Drumatee herd at Markethill. This was followed by the first Graceland entry, again at 3,000 guineas with the same price paid for the first of the Corraback bulls from Mervyn Richmond. Another Corraback bull changed hands at 3,000 guineas but it was Corraback Holster at 3,300 guineas which produced the top price from the Richmond’s offering.
The pace changed with the entry of lot 7 into the ring – Graceland 1 Keynote, described as an exceptional young bull with real power and character had many admirers in the pre-sale viewing. His impressive set of EBV’s qualifies for Superior Carcass Sire status and a cash incentive of up to £500 from the Hereford Cattle Society. Bidding opened at 3,000 guineas and rose rapidly before auctioneer Trevor Wylie brought the hammer down at 5,000 guineas.
Hot on his heels at lot 8 was Graceland 1 Kojak, another son of Greenyards Dougie, the Graceland herd sire. A favourite with the pre sale pundits, Kojak attracted a number of hopeful bidders and after a prolonged battle was knocked down for the top price of the day at 5,200 guineas.
David Smyth made 2,900 guineas for Magheraknock 1 Kudos with the same price paid for Graceland 1 Kevin from Robin Irvine. The youngest bull in the sale, Annaghbeg 1Alpha from M & L Moore and one of the stars of the recent calf show was admired for his impressive growth and sold for 2,800 guineas.
Heifer trade followed pattern of the bulls with quality animals in keen demand. Top price of 3,000 guineas was paid to A & S Irvine for Pallas 1 Eva, a stylish young heifer carrying the service of Wirruna Daffy. Two well grown heifers from the Brookfield herd owned by Mrs P Mc Clenaghan, a relatively new breeder from Holywood sold at 2,900 guineas and 2,600 guineas.
The Elite Breeders group are indebted to Bank of Ireland, R & J Lyness Feeds and A1 Transport for their continued support for this event.
Mr William (Willie) Branagan the well-known Co Westmeath Hereford breeder from Clonleam, Delvin and proprietor of the Clonleam pedigree Hereford herd has been elected Chairman of the Irish Hereford Breed Society for a third consecutive three year term. In a break with precedent and tradition the appointment by the Society’s council is made at a time of expansion in demand for the breed which has been enjoying some considerable success in recent years. The maximum term of office held by any previous chairman is two three year terms.
Demand for Hereford bulls is growing in both dairy and beef herds as beef producers strive to meet demand for quality assured Hereford cross beef required to satisfy growing demand for the Hereford branded beef programs the Society is involved in. These outlets have proven a lucrative source of income for beef producers with premium prices available for suitable stock.
2014 has seen an increase of 19.7% in Hereford cross calves born with a similar increase in demand through AI over the same period. Demand for pedigree breeding heifers has seen a marked growth in demand with many new entrants to membership of the Society.
The Society holds it first show and sale of 2015 at Tullamore on Tuesday March 24th next. This promises to be an ideal opportunity for prospective purchasers to select from a line of quality stock.
The inaugural National Hereford Calf Show was held this past Saturday at the GVM Arena, Tullamore. This is a new event for the 2014 show calendar and was supported by over 40 exhibitors from all corners of Ireland resulting in a final entry of in excess of 80 calves. The spectator area was full to capacity with visitors from all over Ireland in attendance. It was also a pleasure to welcome additional visitors from Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Denmark. A special thank you is extended to all the sponsors who supported the event and made it possible.
The show attracted a number of calves that had enjoyed a significant amount of success during the summer show season as well as many animals making their debut on the show circuit. As a result, the quality and standard of calves in each class was superb and the event was a spectacular showcase of Irish Herefords and a great exhibition of Hereford cattle.
The day kicked off with the young stockperson classes. This section was judged by Irish Hereford Breed Society President Ivor Deverell. Each young handler was judged on their ability to show and parade their animal and was also evaluated on their knowledge of the breed and their calf. The junior section was won by Sarah Murray with Leah Mullen coming in second position. The senior section was won by Catherine Smyth with Ciaran Kinahan and Colin Anderson taking second and third prize respectively. Each of the young handlers were presented with a rosette and special medal many of them were back in action in the show ring later in the day leading calves in the main show classes.
The female section comprised of four classes and fielded a very strong entry of top quality young heifers. The overall Female Championship was awarded to the winner of the senior heifer calf class Gouldingpoll 1 Duchess 591 exhibited by Matthew Goulding. This quality heifer is no stranger to success having previously placed as the Reserve All Ireland Heifer Calf of the Year at the National Hereford Show in Tullamore last August in addition to winning many more prizes on the Munster show circuit. Judge Andrew Hughes described his Female Champion as “an extremely well balanced and correct young heifer” and had no hesitation in placing her at the top of the championship line-up.
The Reserve Female Champion came from the Corlismore Polled Herefords of Sean McKiernan with the young calf Corlismore Poll 1 Lady 748. Lady 748 took 1st prize in the keenly contested senior 2014 born class. The judge complimented this heifer on her “size for age” and she fought off stiff competition from many of the older heifers to take the Reserve Female championship.
Other 1st prize winners on the day included the 2014 National Hereford Show Female Champion, Knockmountagh Cindy exhibited by John & Eamon McKiernan, who won the junior Autumn 2013 class. The youngest calf of the entire show, Gageboro Niamh 2, won the junior class in the female section for breeders Niall Daly & Lisa Holloway.
The male section was particularly well supported with a large entry in each of the four classes with one class attracting an entry of 23 bulls, 18 of which were present on the day. The Male Championship was awarded to Eamon & John McKiernan with the winner of the first bull class of the day – Knockmountagh Master. This bull was a prolific winner of many prizes during the summer circuit and capped off a tremendous year for his owners by taking home the overall Male Championship. Judge Andrew Hughes was praised his Champion for his “strength and power” and added that he was a very deserving champion of the show.
The Reserve Male championship was won by Moyclare Mariner for owner Michael Molloy. This superbly fleshed young calf has also enjoyed much success on the summer show circuit and is sired by the noted stock bull Brocca Saviour. The Judge also commented on the exceptional muscling of the bull for his age.
The senior 2014 born bull calf class was won by Sean McKiernan’s Colismorepoll 1 Hustler 747 who is sired by the former two-time National Hereford Show Champion Grianan Firecracker. The last of the show classes was won by Rossmore Kestrel for owner Cathal Flynn. This bull deserves particular recognition as he fought off stiff competition from a large number of quality bull calves in what Judge Andrew Hughes described as the show’s “most difficult class to judge”.
Class 1: Heifer born between 01.09.2013 – 31.10.2013
All roads lead to Tullamore for the National Hereford Calf Show on Saturday November 22nd next.
The event hosted by the Irish Hereford Society’s North Leinster branch takes place at the GVM Show Arena with judging set to kick off with the Young Handler classes at 10.30am. Well known UK judge Andrew Hughes travels over for the event and welcomes the opportunity to adjudicate on the large entry of 82 animals.
Stock from regular show exhibitors will feature alongside those from many newly formed herds which are expected to make their mark and stake a claim to the top positions.
This is the first such Hereford event to be held and is made possible through the work a a dedicated organising committee and the generosity of sponsors who have given tremendous support in what are challenging times. A sincere thank you to all involved.
This promises to be a very enjoyable day out for all the family and a great opportunity to view the younger Hereford genetics coming on stream.
Preparations are well in hand for a National Hereford Calf show to be held at the GVM Cattle Display Arena, Tullamore. The date selected for the event which will be held under the auspices of the Irish Hereford Breed Society North Leinster Branch is Saturday November 22nd2014. Generous sponsorship is currently being put in place. The branch and its members are to be commended on this very welcome initiative at a time of increasing interest in the breed.