THE demand for British Simmental genetics abroad has seen a further export of four young Simmental bulls to an AI centre in Italy.

Three bulls from the Newbiemains herd of Jim and Patricia Goldie, Newbie Mains Farm, Annan, along with a further bull from the Auchorachan herd of D&R Durno & Sons, Auchorachan, Glenlivet, Ballindalloch, Banffshire, were exported in late September.

The bulls have been purchased by the US based Horizon Genetics and, following the first collection, the semen is destined for use in the US market with further collections destined for China.

Having initially seen videos and pictures of British Simmentals online and through social media, representatives of Horizon genetics then came to view stock at farms in England and Scotland last year.

Initially the idea had been to source embryos, but having seen the quality of the animals first-hand, the decision was taken to purchase an initial selection of young bulls.

Commenting on the criteria for selecting the bulls, Jim Goldie said: “Horizon were very much looking for strong, beefy type Simmentals that were very correct, had plenty of length, and were from good families. Colourings and markings were important, with the bulls having to have white faces, and there were also strict health requirements.”

The three Newbiemains bulls are all by different sires. Newbiemains Jax is by the homebred Newbiemains Golden Eye; Newbiemains Kiddo is by Woodhall Fantastic; with Newbiemains Knightstone being the first bull the herd has sold by herd sire Moorglen Hillbilly.

Auchorachan Johnstone, September 2018 born, is by Team Fergus 14 EX91 and is out of Auchorachan Faye VG 89. Michael Durno said, “We hope these bulls go on to do well and we are delighted that Horizon Genetics are already considering further bulls moving into the 2021 year.”

Both breeders endorsed the power of advertising good quality stock online and through social media with pictures and videos, and said that the visibility really did bring worldwide opportunities in what was a very competitive marketplace.

Mr Goldie went on to say: “This has been an exciting challenge and learning experience, and it has opened a door for UK genetics into significant markets like China and US. We’re hopeful these boys can do a sterling job for promoting British Simmental worldwide which could be great for the breed in the UK going forward.”

In addition to these bulls to Italy, recent British Simmental exports have seen embryos being sold to Australia, and females and young bulls exported to Switzerland and Germany.