Walsh on the dou­ble in Of­faly

Irish Independent - Farming - - PEDIGREE AND SALES - MARTIN RYAN

A DONE­GAL breeder main­tained a long-run­ning win­ning streak when record­ing a dou­ble suc­cess at the Ir­ish Aubrac Cat­tle Breed So­ci­ety Show and Sale at GVM Mart, Tul­lam­ore on Satur­day.

John Walsh, Rock­hill, Ballintra showed 18-month-old Ballintra Larissa to win the over­all Cham­pi­onship of the show and the April 2016-born Ballintra Lea took Re­serve Cham­pion.

Both maiden heifers are by the same sire, Des­pag­nou, with the Cham­pion out of his herd dam Ballintra Fame and the Re­serve out of Rock­hill Bunty.

Auc­tion­eer Tom Cox brought the ham­mer down at €3,200 for the Cham­pion, while the Re­serve Cham­pion made €2,800. Both were pur­chased by An­thony Kerin, Mil­town Mal­bay, Co Clare.

John Walsh also re­ceived the top price of the day in the in-calf heifer sec­tion when Ballintra Kaye sold for €3,000. The March 2015 born in-calf heifer — due to calve next Fe­bru­ary — is a full sis­ter of the Cham­pion of the show. His fourth en­try was a Jan­uary 2017 born heifer, Ballintra Madonna, which sold for €1,000.

But suc­cess is noth­ing new to the Ballintra herd, which has a trail of show suc­cesses, in­clud­ing cham­pi­onship awards six times within the past decade for the Aubrac breeder, who keeps a 50 head suck­ler cow herd and sup­plies the prog­eny to his very suc­cess­ful vict­ualler busi­ness, EWS Butch­ers, based in Done­gal town.

“The herd is all Aubrac be­cause they are a very easy breed to man­age and ma­ture early at good car­case weights, which is also good for the butcher busi­ness,” he said.

The heifers are usu­ally slaugh­tered at 500-550kg at 18-24 months and he says that “de­mand for the Aubrac beef is great”. “It is a very big seller with us — the cus­tomers love it,” he added.

James Don­nel­lan, Chair­man of the Ir­ish Aubrac Cat­tle Breed So­ci­ety, de­scribed the sale as “sat­is­fac­tory”.

“The weather had some af­fect on the prices, but the bulls sold well — in­ter­est in the breed is con­tin­u­ing to spread,” he said.

The top price for a heifer calf was €1,800 for Hazel­wood Mandy ex­hib­ited by Wil­liam P Walsh of Ballintra, Co Done­gal, while Kevin O’Brien of Tur­lough­more, Co Gal­way, re­ceived €1,500 for Tur­lough­more Lidia 2.

The high­est price for a bull was paid for 19-month-old De Buitlier Lenny, win­ner of his class, sold by Fran­cis But­ler of Cul­vin Streete, Co West­meath for €3,050.

One in three of the maiden heifers sold for be­tween €2,000 and €3,000.

Evan Walsh (above), with the over­all Re­serve Cham­pion and Cham­pion at the Ir­ish Aubrac Cat­tle Breed So­ci­ety Show and Sale at Tul­lam­ore ex­hib­ited by his un­cle, John Walsh, Rock­hill, Ballintra, Co Done­gal. They sold for a com­bined €6,000 Fran­cis But­ler...

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