Heifers sold to a top of  4960gns at last week’s Holstein NI show and sale, hosted by Taaffe Auctions at the Pedigree Sales Arena, Moira.

Topping the sale, and setting a record for an in-milk heifer at a Holstein NI show and sale at Moira, was the honourable mention award winner, Relough Shottle Blackrose 3, brought out by Ronald McLean and sons, Malcolm and Barry from Donaghmore, County Tyrone.

This two-year-old heifer is almost three weeks calved and giving 32 litres a day. She is by Picston Shottle and out of Relough Titanic Blackrose 2, which traces back to the world-renown Stookey Elm Park Blackrose ET EX96 2E GMD – All-American and All-Canadian 2yr in 1992, and 3yr in 1993; and grand champion at the Royal Winter Fair in 1995.

This super uddered heifer attracted a lot of interest from breeders around the sale ring, with the winning bid coming from Cyril and Martin Millar, Coleraine, County Londonderry.

Second highest price of the day, 3300gns, was paid to William and James Crawford, Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, for the second prize winning Ardmore Shottle Monica.

This September 2008-born heifer is a potential ninth generation of VG or Excellent. She is out of Ardmore S Matic Monica ET – who gave over 11,500kg in her fourth lactation. Calved one month, she caught the eye of David McClurg who runs the Fortvale herd based at Crossgar, County Down.

Judge, Richard Graham, Moira, awarded the supreme overall championship to William and James Crawford’s Ardmore Leman Pippen. This heifer is sired by homebred Comestar Lee son, Ardmore Leeman, and is out of an EX92-2E Comestar Outside daughter.  She came under the hammer at 3200gns, selling to Cyril and Martin Millar.

Messrs Millar also paid 3020gns to secure Ardmore Baxter Pamela, a potential fifth generation VG or EX heifer bred by William and James Crawford. She is by Emerald Acres SA T Baxter and is out of a dam which gave more than 11,200kg at 3.92% butterfat and 3.02% protein in her fifth.

Claiming the reserve championship honours was Hycrest Baxter Melody, a heifer brought out by the father and son team of Beattie and Reggie Lilburn, Dromore, County Down. Sired by Emerald Acres SA T Baxter, her dam is the EX91-2E Pinebreck Roy Melody EX91-2E which gave more than 11,600kg at 3.45% butterfat and 3.13% protein in her second. This one was snapped up by the Millars herd for 2850gns.

Following close behind at 2820gns was the first prize winning Ards Serenade Lenora from the herd of Harry Patton and sons, Wallace and Wilson, from Newtownards, County  Down.  This September 2007-born cow was sired by Picston Serenade ET, and is out of a homebred Comestar Outside dam. She gave almost 8500kg in her first lactation.  Calved just over three weeks she sold to David McClurg.

James Walker, Randalstown, County Antrim, paid out 2750gns to secure Ardmore Dictator Vixan ET, a potential sixth generation Ex heifer brought out by Willilam and James Crawford. Sired by Overside Dictator ET, she is out of Ardmore Lee Vixan Ex91, who gave more than 13,000kg in her fourth lactation.

Auctioneer, Michael Taaffe reported a complete clearance. “There was a buoyant trade for quality dairy heifers. The top heifers attracted huge interest which resulted in competitive bidding.”

Average; 34 females £2247 (Taaffe Auctions).