I’m delighted to report that Kilsunny has completely sold out of beef breeding bulls. Our very last bull, the 15 month old Hereford bull, Kilsunny Mozart was exhibited at the multi-breed bull sales at Kilkenny on Wednesday last. There was no pre-sale show at this sale and each bull was sold in the sales ring on his merits. Mozart looked really, really well after a comprehensive grooming and clipping session at home on the day prior to the sale. He had been shown extensively on last year’s summer show circuit and had collected a few 1st prizes there and he had really developed into a big, powerful bull in the meantime. He had plenty of admirers on the day and he sold for €2700 (the second highest price in the Hereford section) which was a fantastic achievement. He was one of the youngest bulls offered for sale and to come out with the second best price of the day was far better than we had anticipated. It was also brilliant to get the last of the beef bulls sold and we can now draw a line under the beef sales for another year. On the dairy side, we’ve got one Friesian bull left to sell and we’ll carry him over for the Autumn season if he’s not sold by the end of the month.
In addition to reporting on the Kilkenny bull sales, I also travelled up to Carrick-On-Shannon over the weekend for the final big pedigree bull and heifer sales there. At this time of year, most farmers have already purchased their stock bulls and the pedigree sale circuit is generally winding down. This sale proved to be the exception with some excellent prices across all lots, including a top price of €5000 for a yearling Aberdeen-Angus bull. I also got the opportunity to photograph the launch of the 2017 All-Ireland Aberdeen-Angus championships that took place at Carrick-On-Shannon too. I’ve been involved with the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association in a PR capacity for a few years now and the All-Ireland finals is always the highlight of the entire year. This year’s showpiece event takes place at Newry Show on Saturday, June 24th and anyone with even a passing interest in Aberdeen-Angus cattle should definitely make the trip. The very best of Aberdeen-Angus cattle, from both sides of the border, will compete on the day and it promises to be a wonderful spectacle.
We also attended the annual Bandon summer show on Sunday, which marked our very first show of the year. We exhibited three Hereford cattle – a yearling heifer and a bull and heifer calf. The calves did themselves justice and behaved very well for their first day out. No matter how quiet an animal is at home, you’re never 100% sure how they’ll react on a first day out at a big show with all the noise, distractions and endless opportunities to be spooked or frightened. Thankfully, all went well and the heifer calf took a 2nd placing from a tough class of six calves whilst the bull managed a 5th place out of seven. It’s really early in the season for young calves of that age and they should both push on and develop into their full potential as the summer progresses. Meanwhile, our yearling heifer, Kilsunny Lass Matilda, exceeded all of our expectations by winning an extremely tough class of 8 senior heifers (of which she was the youngest exhibit) before going on to take the overall female championship and then finishing up as the reserve supreme Hereford champion of the show! It was a tremendous result and a wonderful start to the 2017 show campaign for her. I’m obviously biased but I did think she looked stunning on the day and we couldn’t have been happier to be heading back to Kilsunny with that kind of result from our first show of the year.
This coming weekend, the Kilsunny show team will be travelling to the annual Midleton show where we’ll be trying to replicate our good form all over again. Check back with me next to see how we do this time around!
Pictured below is Kilsunny Lass Matilda, female champion & reserve Hereford champion at Bandon.