Quality milking heifers and young cows met a strong demand at Holstein NI’s December show and sale, hosted by Taaffe Auctions at the Pedigree Sales Arena, Moira, where trade peaked at 3120gns with an almost complete clearance and an average of £2107 for 44 lots.
Sale leader at 3120gns was the July 2010-born Ballycairn Pello Meike exhibited by the father and son team of William and Andrew McCollum, Coleraine, Co Londonderry, who sold three heifers to average £2940 each.
Sired by the home-bred O-Bee Manfred Justice son Ballycairn Oman Pello (PLI £228) – the number six PLI bull in the UK – she is out of Ballycairn Alton Meike which gave more than 11,000kg at 3.79% butterfat and 3.22% protein in her second 305-day lactation. Buyer was Alan Neill who runs the Brackagh herd based at Portadown, County Armagh.
Also on Mr Neill’s shopping list at 2780gns was the July 2010-born Ballycairn Laomedon Etta. She is by the McCollum’s home-bred Jose son Ballycairn Laomedon and is out of Ballycairn Apina Etta which produced more than 8300kg at 4.02% butterfat and 3.17% protein in her heifer lactation.
Two lots came under the hammer at 3050gns each. First to go was Ards Alexander Sara ET, a September 2010-born entry consigned by Harry Patton and Sons, Newtownards, County Down. Sired by Golden Oaks St Alexander, she is out of Ards Shottle Sasha ET – maternal sister to the noted Ridgefield Sara Rampage Red ET (VG89-3yr). This one joins the Corryglass herd based at Fintona, County Tyrone.
David McClurg, Crossgar, County Down, paid out 3050gns to secure the November 2010-born Carrowcroft Jerzy Jean, bred by the day’s pre-sale judge Geoffrey Patton, Carrowdore, County Down. Sired by Zandenburg Jerzy, she is out of Crichel Dante Maisy 2 EX LP60 which has averaged more than 9,994kg at 4.39% butterfat and 3.43% protein in six lactations.
Next best at 2950gns was Ards Planet S Ruth 2 ET, a potential 10th generation VG and EX heifer from the Patton family’s noted Ards herd. Sired by Ensenada Taboo Planet, her dam is Ards Shottle C Ruth 3 ET. This one was snapped up by William Herron, Newtownhamilton, County Armagh.
Following close behind at 2900gns was Ards Baxter Shiraz ET, also consigned by Harry Patton and sons Wallace and Wilson. This potential 7th generation VG and EX heifer is by Emerald Acres SA T Baxter, and is out of Ridgefield Talent Sara Red ET VG89, who has sons at Genus and Cogent. She joins a County Tyrone-based herd.
Geoffrey Patton also realised 2750gns for Carrowcroft Million Avice which caught the eye of William Herron. Sired by England Ammon Million, she is out of Carrowcroft Toystory Avice – sold at Moira in September 2010 for a top price of 2800gns.
Sam and John McCormick, Bangor, County Down, sold their best at 2750gns, and traded 12 lots to level at £2074 a head. Topping the Hilltara offering at 2750gns was the April 2010-born Hilltara Bookman Edwina, which joins the Corryglass herd. Sired by the Ladino Park Talent son West Port Bookman, she is out of Hilltara Freeman Edwina.
The McCormick duo also claimed the supreme and reserve championship awards at the pre-sale show. Judge Geoffrey Patton awarded top honours to Hilltara Denzel Edwina, a June 2010-born La Presentation Denzel daughter, out of Hilltara Jamie Edwina 2 VG89. Seven weeks calved and giving 37 litres a day, she sold for 2400gns to a County Tyrone bidder. The champion was described by the judge as a tall, deep ribbed milky heifer.
Reserve champion was Hilltara Sinbad Della, a potential 6th generation VG and EX heifer by the Picston Shottle son Ards Sinbad. Three weeks calved and producing 42 litres a day, she also sold to a County Tyrone herd for 2620gns.
Ronald McLean and Sons, Donaghmore, County Tyrone, secured the honourable mention award with Relough Planet Danna, which came under the hammer at 2120gns selling to Chris Gould, Tempo, County Fermanagh. Sired by Ensenada Taboo Planet and out of a Mascol dam, she is 10 days in-milk and producing 33 litres a day.