A total of 27 lots went through the heifer ring at Carnaross Mart on Tuesday, September 21, for the Sionhill Pedigree Charolais Herd Dispersal Sale.

The first lot went through the ring shortly after 8:00p.m and the sale met a clearance rate of over 90%.

Bids were coming from all directions on the night, with online activity particularly strong and many buyers securing lots from around the sales ring.

The top price on the night went to Lot 910 and 910a Sionhill Java and Sionhill Sierra, a Pedigree Charolais cow-calf pairing.

Sionhill Java was a 2014-born cow bred of the Carey’s stock bull Sionhill Commandeur. Her calf was a bull calf sired by Bova Sylvian.

The pairing sold for a grand total of €4,560.

The sale was comprised of pedigree cows with calves-at-foot, in-calf cows, heifers and yearling bulls also.

Click on a thumbnail in the gallery (below) to open up a full-size image of some animals from the Sionhill dispersal sale; once opened you can scroll sideways to see the next picture. Refer to each caption to see details of each lot, including the hammer price.

Over 20 years of work have been put into developing the genetics of the Sionhill Herd – which was owned by Ronan Carey from Killucan, Co. Westmeath.

The decision was made to disperse the herd of pedigree cows ahead of a change in farming enterprise.

Speaking to Agriland ahead of the dispersal sale, breeder Ronan Carey explained: “Over the past 20 years, the herd has been built up from using a mix of artificial insemination (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.”