From the moment news broke that the renowned Coolnaslee Charolais herd of the late Gilbert Crawford were to be dispersed there was “unprecedented” interest from breeders right across the UK and Ireland.
It was little surprise that the sale ring at Ballymena Mart was overflowing with spectators as what was billed as one of the largest sales of its kind to be held in NI.
The packed gallery was welcomed by Jonathan Crawford, who proved he was a chip off the old block as he took to the microphone to tell the story of Coolnaslee over its thirty-year span.
His father truly loved Charolais cattle and the breeders that he met along the way.
Jonathan took the time to thank all those who joined them at the sale on behalf of the family and paid tribute to those who had assisted in the run-up to the dispersal, in particular, Stuart Wilson who had been stockman for ten years and knew the cattle inside out.
From the moment the sale kicked off, auctioneer Raymond Kennedy was in his element as the bids came fast and furious from the ringside and a large number of clients used the online facility via MartEye.
Coolnaslee Charolais Report
Prices topped at 15,000 guineas for the outstanding July-2020 born heifer, Coolnaslee Rita. Sired by the homebred bull, Coolnaslee Nico, the dam traces back to Balbithan Gilly.
There was fierce competition for this beauty, with the successful purchaser being well-known vet Claire Ferris, Millisle, Co Down.
Chasing this at 11,000 guineas was an exceptional maiden heifer snapped up by Cecil and Neil McIlwaine, Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone.
This much-admired January 2022 born heifer is sired by Dundas Einstein and out of a Goldstar Hugo2 sired dam.
Coolnaslee Oona caught the eye of Claire Ferris, who secured a number of females in the sale for her Damview herd.
This young Newhouse Bigal daughter was knocked down at 10,500 guineas. A Young, Castlederg forked out 9000 guineas for Coolnaslee Nice Girl accompanied by her heifer calf sired by Coolnaslee Pingpong.
Visitors were impressed with the calves at foot in the sale, with a number of older calves sold separately.
These included Coolnaslee Tycoon who realised 8200 guineas.
This 8-month-old son of Coolnaslee Pingpong is an exciting prospect as a stock bull and now joins V McErlaine, Armoy, Co Antrim.
According to a spokesperson, “the entire catalogue met with spirited bidding resulting in a 100% clearance to level at £5224 believed to be the highest for a sale of this kind in the province”.
“The Crawford family wish all purchasers best wishes with their Coolnaslee Charolais and will take great pride in watching how they progress in herds near and far.”