The British Simmental Cattle Society released its sire rankings for the most pedigree progeny registered in 2023. At the top of this list proudly stands Saltire Impressive, owned by M A Barlow and Sons in Lancashire. There were 84 calves registered by Saltire Impressive in the British Simmental herdbook in 2023.

Saltire Impressive

Bred by J&G Houliston, in North Berwick, Saltire Impressive sold for 14,000gns at Stirling in 2018 to the Ballymoney herd of Mrs MH Kilpatrick, Banbridge, Co Down. With a good track record of breeding behind him in both the pedigree and commercial sectors, Saltire Impressive was purchased by the Barlows in a private deal in 2022 for use in their high-profile 80-cow Denizes herd. Saltire Impressive is sired by Woodhall Ferrari 14 and in 2023 AI progeny from this pillar have included Coolcran Heidi’s Noreen, the 26,000gns, top price heifer at the Next Generation Sale III, whilst Hiltonstown Matrix sold for 20,000gns at the February 2023 bull sale.

On home turf

Here in Ireland, semen of Saltire Impressive is available through Elite Pedigree Generics in Northern Ireland. There were 40 calves registered off the bull in 2022 in the Irish herdbook, with a further 36 registered at the end of 2023.

Like many other bulls, Saltire Impressive has fallen short with ICBF evaluations having fallen from a four-star replacement bull in March 2023 to a two-star replacement bull in November 2023. Currently these figures are 52% reliable, according to ICBF, so will they fall again? Only time will tell.

Irish bulls at work

Both Northern and Southern Ireland have featured well when it comes to breeding in the top sires list, with Irish bred bulls ranking as follows:

  • Fifth: Curaheen Bandit, bred by David Wall, Co Dublin.
  • Seventh: Coose Lincoln, bred by John and Ronan Tuohy, Co Clare.
  • Eighth: Coose Jericho, bred by John and Ronan Tuohy, Co Clare.
  • Ninth: Rathnashan Magnum, bred by Nigel Hogan, Co Carlow.
  • Fourteenth: Clonagh Latin Lover, bred by Garrett and Lyndsey Behan, Co Laois.
  • Seventeenth: Coolcran Instagram, bred by the McDonald family, Co Fermanagh.
  • Eighteenth: Rathnashan Maple Syrup bred by Nigel Hogan, Co Carlow.