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Friday 19 April 2019

Cork dairy herd sweeps the boards

Bulls from John O'Callaghan's Mountfarna herd were multiple winners and price toppers at the first Holstein Friesian sale of the year, reports Martin Ryan

John O'Callaghan of Farnivane, Bandon scored a double with the Champion and Reserve Champion Holstein Friesians; he is pictured with Niall Kelly, Michael O'Callaghan and Rickey Barrett, judge.
John O'Callaghan of Farnivane, Bandon scored a double with the Champion and Reserve Champion Holstein Friesians; he is pictured with Niall Kelly, Michael O'Callaghan and Rickey Barrett, judge.

Martin Ryan

The Mountfarna Holsteins herd scored a double championship success in the showring, had a clean sweep of a show class and capped the day off as price toppers in the sale ring at the first Holstein Friesian pedigree sale of 2019.

It was a superb opening to the season for John O'Callaghan of Farnivane, Bandon at the Kilkenny Agricultural Society 102nd Annual Mixed Breeds Bull Show and Sale in Cillín Hill Mart where he retained the championship.

Mountfarna Aristocrat was judged overall breed Champion of the Show by Rickey Barrett, who awarded the reserve championship to Mountfarna Hilton, maintaining the order in which he had placed them in the opening class where third place was filled by Mountfarna Almighty.

Customers for Holstein bulls vindicated the judge's decision with the champion becoming the sale price topper at €3,800, and the reserve champion finding a new home at €3,700 - the second highest price for the breed on the day under the hammer of auctioneer Colin Johnson. The third prizewinner sold for €3,100 while a fourth entry from the herd, Mountfarna Charlie, sold for €2,500.The Mountfarna bulls averaged €3,277 which topped the sale average for Holstein Friesian by €500, helping the breed to emerge with the highest breed average at the multi-breed sale.

Daniel Healy of Mylane, Ovens, Co Cork with his father Michael Denis’s Holstein bull, Mylawn Marvellous, at the Multi-breed Bull Show and Sale at Kilkenny.
Daniel Healy of Mylane, Ovens, Co Cork with his father Michael Denis’s Holstein bull, Mylawn Marvellous, at the Multi-breed Bull Show and Sale at Kilkenny.

The Cork dairy herd has been consistently breeding excellent stock over many years.

The champion, Mountfarnan Aristocrat's grand-dam, Mountfarna Ross Ruth has topped 10,000kg at 4.25pc bf and 3.39pc pr in her seventh lactation and his dam, Mountfarna Dave Ruth, produced 8,150kg at 4.56pc bf and 3.48pc pr in her second lactation. Mountfarna Hilton's dam, Mountfarna Spk Wendy, yielded 14,005kg in her fifth lactation at 4.59pc bf and 3.49pc pr with an EBI of €55 for Hilton. Four bulls from the herd have been entered for the IHFA Premier Show and Sale at Nenagh Mart tomorrow where they will be in contention with bulls from some of the leading herds in the country.

Overall, there was a 44pc clearance, which was on par with the sale in 2018, while the average price of €2,786 was marginally lower than last year. However, the leading price of the day at €3,800 was back €700 on 2018.

Two other bulls sold for €3,100 each. Michael Ryan of Tullamaine, Fethard, Co Tipperary sold his first prizewinner, Sliabhnambon 4, a January 2018-born with an EBI of €80, and John Hanly of Heathview Farm, Horse & Jockey, Thurles, Co Tipperary sold his second prizewinner in the class, Freighduff Chad 3, at the same price.

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The black and white dairy breed retained its position of 2018, topping the breed averages at the sale - and showing that confidence in the dairy sector is holding firm.

Michael J Nolan of Ballyneggin, Turlough, Castlebar, Co Mayo with his Hereford champion, Tullyfarm Leader and judge Joe Maher.
Michael J Nolan of Ballyneggin, Turlough, Castlebar, Co Mayo with his Hereford champion, Tullyfarm Leader and judge Joe Maher.

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