The big day has arrived for a major agricultural fundraiser – the Hooves 4 Hospice sale – which gets underway today (Saturday, May 22).

As the name suggests, proceeds raised from this calf sale will go to provide a level three hospice for the midlands region.

The sale will take place this morning at 11:00a.m in Carrigallen Mart, Co. Leitrim, with online bids accepted through LSL Auctions.

Speaking to Agriland yesterday (Friday, May 21) while gathering calves from donor farms, one of the organisers, Eugene Fitzpatrick, said:

“It’s our first year doing this, taking it on; we’re not in a group as such – we’re just representing farmers from Longford. We’d hope to get some support from round the area as well.

On the timing of the event, he explained: “We heard of Hooves 4 Hospice and, with Covid and everything else, it was kind of left sitting on the back burner for a while – so we said we’d try and get something done this year.

“It had been in the pipeline but we weren’t really in contact with each other over Covid and we couldn’t really organise anything.

“So, once restrictions started to lift a little bit, it was easier to get something done and build a bit of momentum now that people are back able to go into marts. It’s a little bit easier to advertise and get the word out there too.”

In terms of animals that will be going under the hammer on the day, Eugene said:

“It’s a mix of calves from Friesian bulls, Friesian heifers and all continental-type breeds as well, male and female. Numbers at the moment; I think there will definitely be in the region of 30 calves – if not close to 40.

“We’re getting nice support. Kiernan Milling is sponsoring the event with the help of Carrigallen Mart as well. It is online as well as on site,” Eugene concluded.