A highly successful Nxtgen Simmental Society sale at Carlisle, not only saw a new Northern Ireland female high of 26,000gns but also increased averages on the first two such events.

The sale which was established to make it easier for new breeders to buy foundation females, enjoyed its best trading to date with no fewer than four five-figure transactions and 13 selling at 5000gns and above.

The Scottish Farmer: Richard McCulloch's Overhill House Neva was reserve female and made 18,000gnsRichard McCulloch's Overhill House Neva was reserve female and made 18,000gns

A delighted Iain Kerr, chief executive of the Simmental Cattle Society, said it had been a phenomenal sale with record averages.

“We’ve seen a growing interest in the Simmental breed over the past two years with record averages at the February, May and October Bull Sales at Stirling and we’re also seeing increased registrations year on year,” said Mr Kerr.

“The breed is also attracting a lot of new, younger members who are keen to invest in the potential the Simmental can offer in terms of quality suckler females that can produce calves that will finish in the shortest period of time which in turn produce the highest margins.

The Scottish Farmer: Two from the Barlow family's Denizes herd sold for 10,000gns to include Denizes Melody 48Two from the Barlow family's Denizes herd sold for 10,000gns to include Denizes Melody 48

“Costs of production remain a huge pressure on all farmers but commercial men are beginning to see the round package the Simmental offers in terms of efficiency – being an ideal suckler female and terminal sire with the lowest numbers of days and costs to finishing, according to data from AHDB,” said Mr Kerr.

Topping the trade at 26,000gns was the female champion from first time consignors, brothers Shane and Paul McDonald of the 20-cow Coolcran herd from Tempo, Co Fermanagh. Their Coolcran Heidis Noreen, a 14-month-old is by the top breeding sire, Saltire Impressive, a bull that sold for 14,000gns at Stirling in 2018, but is now owned by the Denizes herd. The dam, Coolcran Ellas Heidi is by Dermotstown Delboy.

Reserve overall champion at the NI National Show as a nine-month-old, this youngster was also reserve overall at Clogher Valley and inter-breed champion calf at Fermanagh. He sold to the judge, Reece Simmers, buying for the family’s Backmuir herd from Keith, Banffshire.

The Scottish Farmer: Denizes Melody 92 also from Michael Barlow and family made 10,000gnsDenizes Melody 92 also from Michael Barlow and family made 10,000gns

“It was a good show right across the board and all the first prize winners were exceptional,” said Mr Simmers adding that he was most impressed by his choice of champion for her presence, style, length, quality, power, and square plates.

Mr Simmers also pointed out that his reserve winner was an easy runner-up. This was Richard McCulloch’s Overhill House Neva, a 20-month-old brought out by stockman Scott Gilmore and free-lance stockman, Brian Wills. Backed by the best of genetics, she is the first daughter to be sold from the 26,000gns stock bull, Pistyll Kingsman which sired the 46,000gns record priced Overhill House Neo, in October.

The dam, Overhill House Kitty Kat, is an Aultmore Goliath daughter bred from the show cow, Overhill House Eclipse. Neva was knocked down to Ryan Smith, buying for the family’s 15-cow pedigree herd at Towiemore, Keith, Banffshire.

Another Kingsman daughter from Mr McCulloch, Overhill House Ness, made 5500gns to JW Gosmore Partners of the Newton House herd from Tattenhall, Chester. This yearling which stood third in her class is out of the Mohona Fletcher-sired Overhill House Imogen which bred the 7800gns Overhill House Marley.

The Scottish Farmer: Islavale Peaches was weaned calf champion and made 9000gns for Stewart Stronach and familyIslavale Peaches was weaned calf champion and made 9000gns for Stewart Stronach and family

Michael Barlow and family’s Denizes herd from Leyland, Lancs, also had a great day selling 10 heifers to average £5754 backed up by two at 10,000gns and others at 6000gns and 4500gns.

Denizes Melody 48, a rising two-year-old by the former Highland Show champion, Blackford Galaxy, was the first to hit five figures when selling to Alex Bulmer, Coultas Farm, Great Habton, Malton. First in her class at the pre-sale show, she is out of a previous home-bred Melody by Denizes Hamish.

Hamish, a Dinton Nautical son retained for breeding that has produced sons to 20,000gns was behind the second 10,000gns heifer from the Barlows when Denizes Melody 52, from the same family, was purchased by Sam Steggles, Honingham, Norfolk. A blue rosette holder, she is out of a previous Melody by Ashland Tornado.

The first in the catalogue from the 90-cow herd made 6000gns. Denizes Rosie 3, a three-year-old again by Hamish and bred from another home-bred Tornado daughter, sold with her second calf, a four-month-old heifer by Grangewood Baron, to Messrs Airey, Little Urswick, Ulverston.

Stewart Stronach and family’s Islavale herd from Keith, was another in the money, selling their weaned calf champion for 9000gns and another at 7000gns.

Their champion, Islavale Peaches, an eight-month-old heifer is the first to be sold from the retained stock bull, Islavale Lucifer, an Ex93-classified son of the Ex93 Corskie Highlander. The dam is the Ranfurly Confederate Ex94 daughter, Islavale Honeypot VG86. Junior female and junior overall champion at the Stars of the Future calf show, Peaches sold to the Burns family who run pedigree Aberdeen-Angus and Highland cattle at Tippetcraig, Bonnybridge.

Another backed by Excellent classifications on both sides, Islavale Ashley 9, a blue ticket holder made 7000gns to James Anderson and Son, Headshaw, Lauder. This October 2022-born heifer is by the Ex90-rated Coose Lincoln and backed by two generations of Ex-classified cows with the grand-dam being the Ex95 Islavale Ashley 3.

The top price for Jim and Patricia Goldie’s Newbiemains herd from Annan, was 7000gns given for the August 2021-born Newbiemains Mariah. This second prize winner is by the Woodhall Fantastic Ex94 son, Newbiemains Jetset, a bull retained for breeding that has produced sons to 8000gns. The dam, Woodhall Fidelity Ex93, a Curaheen Commanche daughter bought privately, bred Newbiemains Illicit VG85 whose son stands in an AI station in Italy. Mariah was sold to L Renshaw and I Brassington, Church Broughton, Derbyshire.

The Scottish Farmer: Coolcran Heidis Noreen sold for a new NI female record of 26,000gns for Shane and Paul McDonaldCoolcran Heidis Noreen sold for a new NI female record of 26,000gns for Shane and Paul McDonald

Just behind, Gavin Brown, Penicuik, sold his third prize winner, Springfield Nita, a 20-month-old heifer for 6000gns to Philiphaugh Estate, Selkirk. She is by Islavale Jabba and out of Springfield Goldie, a Popes Barclay daughter out of the 13-year-old foundation cow, Woodhall Beautiful. Nita sold served to Bighill Plato, a bull purchased at Tullamore in May for €12,000 in partnership with Newbiemains.

The same sire was behind a 5000gns sale from Mr Brown, when Springfield Night Shade, a 16-month-old red ticket holder out of the Shiloh Freedom daughter, Springfield Imogen, sold to the Burns family, Tippetcraig.

After a good day in the sale ring, Richard McCulloch went to 6000gns to buy back some of his own genetics in Lindsay and Robert Currie’s first prize heifer, Braegarrie Nigella, a 15-month-old from Pinclanty, Girvan. First in her class at the Agri Expo at Carlisle, this Overhill House Link-sired entry is out of the Teviot Bouncer's daughter, Braegarrie Helga.

Just behind, on 5500gns, Skerrington Faith 4, a polled heifer from William Young, Skerrington Mains, Kilmarnock, sold to A Bulmer, who took several back home to Malpas. She is backed by home-bred genetics on both sides being sired by the PHS Polled Worldwide son, Skerrington King Kong, and out of a previous Faith by the show bull, Sowenna Aristocrat.

Another heading home with the judge, Reece Simmers, at 5000gns was RJ Grenham’s Boars Head Karina 10, which sold in calf to Blackford Galaxy. This April 2021-born heifer from Boars Head, Crowborough, is by Islavale Jammydodger.

Other Leading Prices

Heifers – 4500gns – MA Barlow and Sons’ Denizes Cadette 44, by Denizes Hamish, to A Bulmer, Great Habton.

4000gns – J and P Goldie’s Newbiemains Miss Flo, by Newbiemains Jet, in calf, to A Bulmer; MA Barlow and Sons’ Denizes Trixie Belle, 22, by Denizes Hamish, to A Bulmer; WG Macpherson’s Blackford Nalla, by Glenturk Legend, to A Bulmer; WG Macpherson’s Blackford Naida, by Glenturk Legend to Messrs Scrivens, Shrewley, Warwickshire; JW Gosmore Partners’ Newton House Posh, by Lissadell Mr Mularkey, to Messrs Burns, Tippetcraig.

Auctioneers: Harrison and Hetherington.

Averages: 34 served/maiden heifers, £5583.53 (+£376.26 for 12 more sold); three heifer calves, £5180.00 (+£1421 for two less).