The Sionhill pedigree Charolais herd is set to be auctioned off at Carnaross Mart this Tuesday, September 21, at 8:00p.m.
With over 20 years of work put into developing and improving the genetics of the Sionhill Herd, Ronan Carey from Killucan, Co. Westmeath, has made the decision to disperse the herd of pedigree cows ahead of a change in farming enterprise.
The sale is set to consist of 27 lots made up of pedigree cows with calves-at-foot, in-calf cows, heifers and yearling bulls also.
There are plenty of familiar Charolais sires to be seen in the pedigrees of breeding females up for grabs at the dispersal sale.
Some of the sires include:
- Doonally New (CF52);
- Lyonsdemense Tzar (TZA);
- Cavelands Levi;
- Fury Action.
Speaking to Agriland ahead of the upcoming sale, breeder Ronan Carey explained: “Over the past 20 years, the herd has been built up from using a mix of AI sires and stock bulls.
“In terms of how the herd has been operated, the cows have been managed in the same way as a commercial suckler herd, with very little room for cows to be pampered or receive special treatment.
“Having this mindset has left me with some great, fertile breeding cows that are fit to rear their calf with ease.”
In a breeding culture that has heightening interest and increased emphasis from suckler farmers on the Euro-star index, Ronan added: “The quality and breeding line of the female was my focus rather than the number of stars; however, in recent years we have seen how the importance of the using the Euro-star system at breeding has become increasingly relevant and this is why the younger females can be seen to have higher indices.”
When taking a look through the catalog for the upcoming sale, one sire that is a prominent sighting is Sionhill Commandeur, a French-imported stock bull which was used within the herd.
Commenting on his sourcing of Commandeur, Ronan explained, ”Back in 2011, I took a trip out to France and decided to import two in-calf heifers and a cow and calf.
“One of the heifers was in-calf to Commandeur and produced the multi-prize winning calf Sionhill Hallileo.
“After this success I had to return to France and try to bring more of his genetics into the herd.”
“He has left me with some great breeding cows that have proved their worth over the past few years.”
Previous stock bulls ran along the the herd include Blakestown Uncle Sam (a son of Blakestown Obliex) and Roughan Euro (a son of Roughan Ultimatum).
Despite the fact that the majority of the Sionhill Herd will be on offer on Tuesday evening, Ronan has admitted that a small number of females will be kept on.
“I am holding onto three yearling heifers for my three sons, Dan, Jack and Sam, in order to keep the Sionhill herd prefix alive,” he explained.
“So hopefully, in the years to come, we will be back out on the show and sale scene once again,” Ronan concluded.
For more information on the upcoming sale, check out Sionhill Charolais on Facebook.