Standing Room Only at Jalex Production Sale
Report by Libby Clarke
Every seat in the house was taken well in advance of Ballymena auctioneer Tom Symington stepping up into the rostrum for the Jalex Production Sale. The event had attracted fierce pre sale interest with crowds flocking from throughout Ireland and Scotland.
James and Nelson Alexander have earned the reputation of producing the very best commercials, so it was little surprise that suckler producers from near and far wanted to get in on the action selecting from the entry of 100 in calf heifers on offer.
There was a record crowd at the joint sale of Jalex Commercials and Frewstown Limousins held recently at Ballymena Mart which enjoyed spirted bidding from start to finish.
Buyer here was Derek Johnston who travelled from Newry to attend. Mr Johnston has an eye for quality purchasing the largest number of lots at the Jalex sale which earned him the ton of Corby Rock meal in addition to a number of straws of “Black N Blue Diesel”.
There were a number of lots that crossed the £2000 mark; however it is the sale average of £1775 for a 100 percent clearance that demonstrates most clearly the quality of stock on offer.
Another lot comes under the hammer of Ballymena auctioneer Tom Symington while Graham Loughrey helps spot bids in the packed ringside.
Export buyers also made their presence felt with a number selling to the south of Ireland, in addition to a consignment purchased by Neil Barclay, Harestone Farms Aberdeenshire.
Auctioneers: J A McClelland, Ballymena
Leading prices: Char £2750, Lim £2200, BB £2200, Sim £2180, (2) Lim £2100, Lim £2050, (2) Lim £2020, (5) Lim £2000, (3) Lim £1950, BB £1950, Lim £1950, Blonde £1950, (2) Lim £1920, Sim £1920, (3) Lim £1900, BB £1850, (2) Lim £1850, (3) BB £1820, Sim £1820, (2) Lim £1800
Diesel Calves Snapped Up For Export
Pedigree and commercial breeder’s just can’t get enough of the first crop of calves by the British Blue sire “Black N Blue Diesel” with a number of recent export sales reported to Farming Life.
James Alexander’s “Jalex” enterprise situated on the outskirts of Randalstown has been inundated with visitors to the farm since the beginning of the show season after their young commercial calves “Bootylicious” and “Dirty Bit” made their debut on the circuit.
This pair of youngsters first made an appearance at Armagh Show where they chalked up the Interbreed Pairs competition.
They have stormed their way to glory ever since, with “Bootylicious” securing Calf Championships at four of the main local shows in addition to Supreme Champion at Enniskillen. Not to be outdone “Dirty Bit” was Reserve Male and Reserve British Blue at the recent Summer Spectacular held at Balmoral Showgrounds.
There were a number of keen show men on the mainland following this pairs success story, and they have now been sold in a private deal to Reading based enthusiast David Hicks. They will be shown at a number of mainstream events this Autumn including Countryside Live, Agri Expo, Smithfield and both the Scottish and Welsh Winter Fairs.
Demand has also been fierce for the first pedigree calves sired by Diesel. Andrew Craig’s noted Woodview herd has recently registered sales of young stock to Aberdeenshire breeder Neil Barclay, Harestone. He also added to brood cows to his shopping list which he intends flushing to Diesel.
Diesel made just one appearance on the show scene in 2011 securing the Male Championship at Balmoral Show in May. Since then he has been hard at work in the Jalex herd which now runs between 350-400 cows.
Owner James Alexander has been delighted with how Diesel calves have performed this season. “We had high hopes of how Diesel would breed within the herd, and it is very rewarding to see that he is consistently breeding top notch stock in a number of herds in both the pure and commercial sectors.”
For more information on Black N Blue Diesel check out our sires page. Remember you can now buy your Diesel straws on line using this website, or if you prefer log onto www.semenstore.co.uk
Local sales agents for straws are:
Andrew Magowan Co. Down & Armagh. 07710525893
Davy Sloan Co. Antrim & Derry 07803251105
Chrissy Johnston Co. Tyrone & Fermanagh 07763068742
Alibaba Sired Calf Tops Show and Sale.
A Jalex bred Alibaba sired Steer was the top price Steer at Ballymena Suck Calf Show and Sale on the 24th September 2011.
The 430kg steer was origionally sold sucking its mother to long term repeat customers Mcafee Bros, Bushmills. they in turn sold the steer in Ballymena where it ws Res Champion Charolais Male and made £1410. The calf has been sold to Donald Mcpherson, Oban to be shown on the Christmas Show circuit including the Scottish Winter Fair.
Pippa Shipped to Aberdeen
Following her succes at The National Limousin Calf Spectacular, Our Carmorn Cantona Sired Heifer Pippa has been sold to Craig Hendry, Aberdeenshire.
He plans to show her at AgriExpo, Scottish Winter Fair and the Aberdeen Christmas Cracker, before reatining her as a cow.
Smooth Operator Sold For Export
Our Ross Willie son “Smooth Operator” has been sold to a leading commercial show man based in the South of England. Smooth Operator has been very successful for us on this years show circuit picking up red tickets in Antrim, Castlewellan,and Enniskillen show where he was Champion Male and the NICCEC Summer Spectacular where he was Medium weight bullock champion.
We hope he picks up a few more red tickets in the fat stock shows on the mainland…
Rockafella snapped up by MacPherson’s
We are delighted to announce that the Macpherson Family, Oban, Scotland has purchased our Hightown Cassius sired steer Rockafella. Born in October ’10 this Steer has stood Male Champion at both the Niccec Summer Spectacular in August and the Limousin Calf show in September as well as Reserve Champion in Clogher Valley Show. He was also Reserve Supreme Champion at the NICCEC Summer Spectacular which was judged by Mike Alford.
This is the second purchase by the MacPherson Family, following on from the steer “Black Magic” that was Supreme Male Champion at the Scottish Winter Fair in 2010.
2 Black N Blue Diesel Sired Calves Exported To England.
We have had great fun this year showing out best 2 Black N Blue sired calves, Bootylicious and Dirtybit, but hey are now leaving the Jalex Herd.
Farmer and Commercial Cattle Show man David Hicks, Reading, England, has been keeping track of the pairs progress all year on my website and on my Facebook page and after Bootylicious was placed Supreme Champion at Enniskillen show we done a deal and he secured both calves to join his show team for future showing at the Christmas shows.
We hope that David has as much fun and success with the calves as we have had. We will be there of-course to cheer him on.
Black N Blue Diesel semen is available through Semenstore or you can order it here.
New Limousin Blood introduced to the Jalex Herd
We had a successful days buying at the recent Autumn show and sale of Limousin bulls in Carlisle on the 15/10/11 when we picked up 4 new limousin bulls.
The 1st bull was Greenbridge Firecracker, a very stylish and correct Tonka son out of a Regal Dam. He is a long, clean, light boned bull and should be very suitable for bulling heifers.
We then bought a Cloughead Umpire Son from the renowned Haltcliffe herd of Messers Ridley, this easy fleshing, stylish, light boned bull out of Brontemoor Sue, a Haltcliffe Olympus daughter will also be used on heifers.
Our next purchase was the much admired Elrick Frenchman from the Massie family. This very powerful young bull, sired by Wilodge Vantastic stood Intermediate Champion at the pre sale show, this bull has a world of power with a terrific top and a fantastic width across his plates, his breeding also includes Ryedale Paragon and Ronick Gains. We think this bull, is ideally suited for going to our Blue cows to produce replacement heifers and quality weighty steers.
Our final and most expensive purchase of the day was a super Glenrock Spartacus son, Beulah Ferrari bred by the Price Family. We admired this bull in the show on Friday where he stood second to the Reserve Overall Champion. He is a very long, clean bull, with a serious width the whole way down his back and the best set of plates i have seen on any animal since purchasing Swarland Eddie. His Dam Beulah is sired by Rocky. We think this bull will be ideal for breeding the sort of heifer that we are aiming for here at the Jalex Herd with weight gain, easy fleshing, nicely muscled but still very square. This bull was purchased in Partnership with Allison Bros, Limavady of the Scotchtown Limousin Herd.
As with all farmers with their new purchases we look forward to getting these new bulls home to the yard and seeing what they contribute to the herd.
I have now got a few older bulls to sell due to no other reason than i have so many heifers kept from them, these include our main limousin sire the French bred TIVOLI as well as Coolistown Aran. have a look through our Limousin sires page for more details.
Buck is home to Buck!
Exciting new Simmental Sire, “Curaheen Buck” has been introduced to the Jalex Herd.
We had heard about this yong bull sometime ago and we are delighted that we got to accquire him at the Roscommon Simmental sale on Saturday 5th November 2011.
From the same stable and related to our last Simmental Bull, Curaheen Wutang” we have high hopes for this bull and we are looking forward to see what this bull adds to the herd
Jalex stock – Wanted Dead & Alive!
The name of the game in our business is to produce the very best cattle to satisfy butcher’s requirements. We get a real kick out of selecting which bull goes to which cow, and literally cannot wait to see what the end result will be like. It’s a constant learning curve, and we have been quietly pleased with the progress the team at Jalex have made. Our show teams each year give us plenty of crack and it is great to see them feature well both at home and across the water.
Our recent trip to Smithfield saw our Limousin steer “Rockafella” hit the headlines securing the reserve supreme male championship for Donald McPherson & Sons, Oban. We were delighted to have contact from the buyer of Rockafella who was totally blown away with how well he killed out and most importantly with the texture and flavour of his meat The buyers were L Brown & Sons who are high profile meat wholesalers based in Lincoln, Miranda Brown is a familiar face around prime stock events regularly adding some of the top cattle to her shopping list. She emailed us a couple of photos of Rockafella and commented on her purchase as follows
“He graded E4L and weighed 363.6 kilos at 544 kgs on show day this leaves him dying at 66.9% KO. A good covering and when quartered the meat was an excellent colour and very tender.
Rockerfella oozed quality in the ring when l bought him he was just special and he certainly did’nt disappoint when he was killed.”
It’s very satisfying to have bred and produced an animal that has ticked all the boxes from start to finish – and it’s results like this that will keep us ploughing on with what we enjoy.
Rockafella at Browns abattoir before being delivered to local butcher.