Clonakilty heifer Carrigroe Pearl turned heads at Carrick-on-Shannon show

Gallaway Princess, champion heifer at the show
Gallaway Princess, champion heifer at the show

Martin Ryan

A West Cork Angus breeder was rewarded for travelling almost the length of the country to Carrick-on-Shannon, with “the best heifer ever bred” in his herd as she became the sale price-topper, retaining the leading price ranking for the herd for the second consecutive year.

President of the Irish Angus Cattle Society John Appelbe’s Carrigroe Pearl heifer turned out to be the ‘real pearl’ at the society’s Elite Show and Sale at the Showgrounds, Carrick-on-Shannon recently when she topped the overall trade at €5,800 in strong overall demand for heifers.

The successful breeding of the sire Rathosheen Hugo has become a cornerstone in the production of progeny in the herd that the breeders are clamouring for.

It was a 700km round trip from Clonakilty with the 14-month-old heifer, bred by the sire Birches Lord Heath and out of the dam Carrigroe Lady Joker, in the herd at Carrigroe House, Clonakilty.

She found a new home with a young pedigree breeder in a neighbouring area to the sale venue after a lively round of bidding before she was knocked down by auctioneer Francis McGowan.

Carrigroe Pearl, a five-star heifer on the replacement index both within the breed and across all breeds, is regarded by her breeder John Appelbe as “one of the best heifers ever bred” in his Carrigroe herd in West Cork.

Reserve champion heifer Lecarrow Polly
Reserve champion heifer Lecarrow Polly

Her dam Carrigroe Lady Joker is currently the highest replacement index Angus cow in the country and her paternal grandmother is Birches Lady Heather, the Royal Ulster winner 2014, Ulster Champion 2014 and Reserve Supreme All-Ireland Champion 2016, with other championship successes “too numerous to mention”, according to her breeder.

Pearl’s maternal sire is the famous Rathosheen Hugo and the combination of her genes is a mix of high index and show champions.

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A 27-month-old heifer, Carrigroe New Star, by the sire Rathosheen Hugo, also met with strong demand at the sale, selling for €3,550, while August 2017-born bull Carrigroe Profit  added his own measure to the profit of the trip when he sold for €2,500 at the earlier sale of bulls on Saturday.

At the 2017 Elite Show and Sale, Carrigroe M Evening Tinge, a December 2015-born heifer, bred out of Carrigroe Lady Heather by the sire Rathosheen Hugo was the sale-topper at €4,750 for the herd.

The second highest price of the sale was paid for Bernard Kerin’s heifer Kerins Perkemi, sold for €4,800. She was bred by Bunlahy Kojak and the dam Kerins Kemi in the herd at Carnaree, Ballymote, Co Sligo. The 15-month-old heifer was the reserve Junior Female Champion at the National Livestock Show at Tullamore last September.

Show judge Derek Lovell awarded the Heifer Championship of the Show to Gallaway Princess, exhibited by Pauline McKiernan from Augharan, Carrigallen, Co Leitrim.

The September 2017-born heifer is by the sire Cornamuckla Lord Hardy and the dam Gallaway Macella, and was making her first appearance in a show ring.

The five-star replacement index heifer, both within the breed and across all breeds, sold for €3,100.

The reserve Champion of the Show was eight-month-old Lecarrow Polly, exhibited by Patrick Murphy from Puntabeg, Charlestown, Claremorris, Co Mayo, which sold for €4,000.

It was also a very successful show and sale for Patrick Regan from Cloonmore, Ballyfarna, Claremorris, Co Mayo, who sold three heifers from his Loughlynn herd for a total of €7,600.

His first prizewinner, Loughlynn Pretty Lady, sold for €3,150 and Loughlynn Partner, second prizewinner in her class, made €2,300, while Loughlynn Princess sold for €2,150.

Within the higher range of the prices also was Moydrum Primrose from the Moydrum Castle Pedigree Angus Herd of Michael and Oliver Flanagan of Athlone, which sold for €3,550, and Newbridge Paradise, exhibited by Edel McCawley of Cornamucklagh North, Dowra, Co Leitrim, which sold for €3,300.

The heifers recorded a good clearance at an average of €3,011, ranking among the more successful sales for heifers of the season.

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