A “red hot trade” was witnessed for breeding heifers at the Irish Salers Cattle Society’s annual sale at Gort Mart, Co. Galway on Saturday, October 16.

According to a statement from the society: “The consensus was drawn that this was the best selection of heifers ever displayed since the sale began 16 years ago.”

“A storming trade for quality cattle went on for almost five hours of selling, comprising over 220 lots,” the statement outlined.

In-calf heifers

The trade topped at €2,900 for an in-calf Pedigree-registered heifer ‘Clew Bay Una’, which was bred by Tom and Pat McGreal, Westport, Co. Mayo. Una was sired by Knottown Roy.

The trade for commercial in-calf heifers hit a record high of €2,560 for what was described as “a very powerful” heifer bred by Michael O’Sullivan, Co. Clare.

Stephen Kirwan, from Co. Wexford received €2,500 for a stylish Belgian Blue-sired heifer.

Another lot of particular interest from the sale was Abbeyknockmoy Vera which sold for €2,300 and was bred by Brendan Geraghty, from Tuam, Co. Galway.

The top 16 in-calf commercial heifers averaged €2,236, where a significant premium was being paid for quality lots.

Maiden heifers

Next up was maiden heifers and a top price of €2,160 was secured by Bernard Hunt, Co. Sligo for his heifer Sligo Vella.

She was sired by Halley and was snapped up by Michael and Catherine Minogue, Co. Clare.

Bernard also achieved prices of €1,960 for a Josquin-sired heifer and €1,850 for a Halley-sired heifer.

A standout heifer Ballyconneely Venus bred by Terence and Seán Sweeney, Co. Galway sold for €1,820.

Alfie and Conor Melvin from Co. Dublin secured €1,980 for a very dark-coloured, stylish 495kg commercial heifer (€4/kg).

Weanling heifers

The top-priced weanling heifer was Templeboy Annabelle, bred by Niall Hunt from Co. Sligo off Sligo Nervanna.

This stylish heifer was met in the ring with a flurry of bids before eventually selling for a very impressive €2,520.

Niall Hunt also bred Templeboy Verity by Highfield Odran. Verity fetched €1,920.

Clew Bay Valerie, a very long Knottown Roy daughter fetched €1,840, bred by Tom McGreal.

A respectable €1,840 was received by Peatsaí and Padraig Ó’Conghaile for a Belgian Blue-type daughter.

Commercial weanling heifers

Prices of note in this category include:

  • €1,560 for a dark red 345kg heifer (€4.52/kg) bred by Peatsaí and Padraig Ó’Conghaile, Co. Galway;
  • €1,540 for Tom McGreal’s heifer weighing 260kg (€5.92/kg);
  • €1,420 for a pair of red-roan Salers X Shorthorn X Simmental heifers, 382kg (€3.72/kg) bred by Brendan Ryan, Co. Galway;
  • €1,200 for a nice quality 335kg heifer (€3.58/kg) bred by Rita McGowan, Co. Donegal.

Bidding was very competitive for the real ‘true to type’ Salers heifers.

Many buyers stated that ‘the calving ability of the Salers was crucial to being able to remain in suckling on a part-time basis, while the fertility and longevity of the Salers breed were also key considerations’, according to a statement from the society.

A large number of heifers went to Northern Ireland from the sale.

Concluding, the Salers Society thanked all who supported the sale and gave a very sincere word of thanks to Gort Mart manager Bernie Fahy and her team for helping to make the sale such a success.