Strong demand for heifers but customers scarce for bulls at Salers Pedigree Show and Sale
The French imports upon which the 'Sligo' pedigree Salers herd was established almost a quarter of a century ago continues to be a cornerstone for the success of the Gurteen herd.
When Bernard Hunt collected another top double success for his Salers herd on Saturday, it was further vindication of the quality within the breed of the bloodlines for the origin of the herd in the mid 1990s.
The 'Sligo' herd showed the Overall Champion of the Show Bull and Reserve Champion of the Show Heifer at the Salers Spring Pedigree Show and Sale at Mountrath Mart on Saturday for the winners of their respective classes, with two of three entries from the herd at the show and sale receiving rosettes.
Show judge Michael Fox from Tullamore tapped forward Sligo Rudde for Champion Bull of the show. The September 2016-born was by the sire Halley and out of the herd dam Sligo Heiti of Voltaire and Volga bloodlines.
The five-star terminal and three-star replacement bull, with five-star indices for carcass weight and docility plus four star for carcass conformation within the breed, has a five-star replacement index within all beef breeds.
He sold for €2,500 under the hammer of auctioneer Michael Farrelly, Delvin, the joint highest price for bulls sold from a small entry for the sale. The Reserve Champion Heifer was December 2015-born, Sligo Pepita, the breeding combination of Garou (s) and Sligo Hearty (d) with a four-star breed index for replacement and five star across all breeds at 43pc reliability, which sold for €2,500, the second highest heifer price.
The breeding lines of both winners go back to the foundation stock of a bull and two heifers imported from France in 1995.
The 70-cow suckler herd on the farm at Gurteen, Co Sligo are all pedigree Salers on which crossing with Charolais is widely used with no calving difficulties, a benefit of the uniqueness of the Salers which are accredited with the largest pelvis of any suckler breed.