10 pedigree, in-calf Speckle Park cows as well as two running with the bull averaged £2,629 at a recent sale held at Ballymena Mart.

All the animals were consigned by north Antrim breeder, Richard Creith.

The sale topped £3,465, paid for a top quality a young cow. There was equally keen interest demonstrated in another young cow of a similar type; she made £3,202 in the ring.

Three of the animals in the sale were purchased by Co. Mayo Speckle Park breeder, Pat Morrison. The Castlebar man is the current secretary of the Irish Speckle Park Cattle Society.

Glen Crooks, from the Moy in Co. Tyrone, also purchased three of the animals that featured in the sale. He owns the Scollop herd.

Speckle Park

Richard Creith has been working with pedigree Speckle Park cattle since 2010 and was to the fore in introducing the breed to Northern Ireland.

His Ballylough herd is synonymous with the highest standards of Speckle Park breeding in Ireland. A number of bulls currently stand at AI studs throughout Ireland.

The opportunity to reduce herd numbers was taken simply to lessen the workload on the Creith farm.

The Speckle Park is a breed developed in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan by blending Teeswater Shorthorn, Aberdeen Angus and British White bloodlines.

Bred for beef, the Speckle Park was recognised as a breed in Canada in 2006 where it has a reputation for consistent, high-quality carcases.

The breed is renowned as a quiet, good-natured and docile breed with bulls being especially easy to manage. Cows are easy calving, normally giving birth to quite small calves.

Their unusual coats are often roaned or spotted and range from black to grey and white.

Their dark pigmentation acts as protection from the sun. They are hardy and have the ability to withstand harsh climates.

The breed has a speckled coat; the breed’s name reflects its characteristic coat colour, which is typically solid dark red down the flanks with black or red speckles on the shoulders and hindquarters.

Richard Creith

The breed has a solid white stripe down the underbelly and spine. The cattle are naturally polled.

Speckle Park cattle are very hardy. Females are easy-calving and calves have low birth weights,

The breed is also characterised by its high fertility, great udders, high milk flow, with distinct markings and the cattle are much sought after because of their consistent, high quality carcasses.

The breed provides a high-quality fine tender meat and produces a high marbling with perfect fat covering, whether fed off grass or grain.

Richard Creith commented:

“The cows are extremely hardy and have a very quite temperament. They thrive on forage – grazed grass and silage. They receive no meals at all.

“Calves are extremely healthy and very easy to manage.”