Local Simmental breeders, Shane and Paul McDonald from Tempo, have claimed the Northern Ireland Simmental Female Record with their October, 2022-born heifer Coolcran Heidi's Noreen, which sold for 26,000gns at the Next Generation sale of Simmental Females and Weaned Calves at Harrison and Hetherington’s Borderway Mart, Carlisle.

Coolcran Heidis Noreen had won the Overall Supreme Female Championship in front of the judge, Reece Simmers, from the noted Backmuir herd, Keith, Banffshire.

At the sale, the opening bid of 10,000gns set the tone for some spirited bidding, with Mr. Simmers backing up his judging by purchasing the Champion.

Coolcran Heidis Noreen, which had secured a number of show titles through the summer in Northern Ireland, is by the AI sire Saltire Impressive, and is out of Coolcran Ellas Heidi.

Commenting afterwards, the judge and buyer, Mr. Simmers, said: “This was just a tremendous heifer with great style, presence, and quality.

“She is long and clean with a great top line and good plates.

“Every angle you looked at her, she was just full of class and very feminine. Coming to the sale, we had no real thought to buying, but this was just a complete Simmental heifer of a quality that you don’t see very often.

“She was a clear Champion in my eyes, and we’re delighted to have been able to buy her.”

The 26,000gns was a new record for a NI Simmental female, and was also a new Next Gen Sale, and Simmental centre record.

With four animals on the day making over 10,000gns, the 34 served/maiden heifers sold averaged £5,583.53, up by £363 on the year, and again, a new record average for the sale.

Three weaned heifer calves averaged £5,180, and the one cow and calf in the catalogue made £6,300.

The sale saw some strong bidding for the quality lots on offer from a combination of existing and new breeders.

Shane and Paul McDonald said that Friday, December 1, was a special day they will always remember for the rest of their lives.

Speaking after the sale, Shane McDonald said: “Coolcran Heidi’s Noreen was just a stand-out calf from birth, and from one of the main family lines in the herd.

“She was a calf that had the potential to develop into something special, and she always caught the eye of any visitors to the herd.

“Following attending the first Next Gen Sale in 2021, we had liked the format and the idea behind it.

“As such, we were very keen to support it if we could, and with something we felt was top-drawer.

“After a very successful summer show season, and very strong interest in Noreen, we decided to enter her.

“For her to make 26,000gns, and to set a new NI Simmental female, is just something we could never have anticipated.

“We’re delighted that she’s gone to such a noted herd as Backmuir, and we wish them every success with her,” he added.

The Coolcran herd was established in 2006 and presently comprises 20 breeding females.

The herd’s previous top price had been 7,000gns for Coolcran Dazzler, the Intermediate Champion at Stirling in February, 2014.