A bull described as 'the ultimate example of the modern Simmental breed' and which has been brought to England from Northern Ireland to improve one of the UK’s top herds, is now available for widespread use through artificial insemination.
The bull is Kilbride Farm Comber 11 and he joins Cogent Breeding's Signature Beef range after taking both the championship and the top price of 20,000gns at last autumn’s Stirling Bull Sales.
First seen by Cogent's beef specialist, Boomer Birch on the Robson family's County Antrim farm on which he was bred, he says: "He just took my breath away – he was the best Simmental bull I had seen for a long, long time."
Commenting that his victory at Stirling 'came as no surprise', he adds: "There were over 150 bulls entered that day and he was the clear winner."
Purchased by breeders and meat wholesalers Jimmy and Vikki Wood who pass marketing rights for the bull on to Cogent, they say they too were attracted by Comber’s remarkable conformation.
"He's a thoroughly modern example of the Simmental breed, with plenty of length, width and depth of loin but with exceptional muscle and cleanness through the middle that leaves no waste on his carcase," says Vikki Wood.
Purchased for the family's Popes herd in Preston, Lancs, Mrs Wood adds: "We are trying hard to breed a more balanced animal with a better shape, but without losing the milk, mothering ability and docility for which the Simmental is renowned."
Also attracted by Comber’s depth of pedigree, she adds: "Through his dam, Eunice 67V, he comes from the strongest cow family in the Kilbride herd, while both his sire – Cairnview Snazzy – and his grandsire – Seaview Prince Charming – are prolific breeders of bulls that have been sold at high prices in Perth, Stirling, throughout Northern Ireland and elsewhere."
High EBVs (Estimated Breeding Values) bring additional strengths to a remarkable bull who stands in the top five per cent of the Simmental breed for Retail Beef Yield, Terminal Production Index and Self Replacing Index.
Also a breed leader for Eye Muscle Area and with an exceptionally good score for Fat Depth, he brings further breed-leading figures for Calving Ease - both direct and in his daughters.
"It all stacks up to make him both an outstanding breeder of replacement females for the suckler herd, but also an exceptional terminal sire," says Birch.
"And all of this makes us very excited at the prospect of his progeny when they start to hit the ground later this year."