Gerry Lenehan is a pedigree Simmental and Angus breeder from Co. Sligo. The Simmentals operate under the renowned herd name Rathlee and the Angus have the Tower prefix. The herd, consisting of 20 breeding females, is run by Gerry and his wife Michelle. The pedigree Angus herd started in 1988, with a cow purchased from Cathal Bohans herd. This cow bred all male progeny topping at €3,000.
A further purchase was made from the Steil Angus herd. This was a heifer, Steil Black Beauty, who went on to become All Ireland Irish Angus Reserve Senior Female Champion in 2007. All the daughters of Steil Black Beauty have been retained.
Simmental purchases have been made from some of the top herds in the country including; Hillcrest, Seaview, Glebefarm, Curaheen and Celtic. Within the herd today there are females and cow families from each of the females purchased from these herds. The farm is currently working towards a closed herd policy.
There have been numerous show successes to date including winning national titles in Tullamore with Rathlee Emma, Rathlee Natasha and Rathlee Andrea. The herd has had senior and junior champions at the premier Simmental sale as well as first prize males. It is not only in Ireland that the Rathlee herd is winning shows. A young bull sold to England, Rathlee Ben, became UK national junior male and reserve overall male champion. Pedigree animals have also been exported to Northern Ireland and Scotland. One such heifer that was exported to Scotland has gone on to breed bulls that have fetched 5 figure sums in Scotland. More recently the herd has had bulls accepted into AI.
The bulls that have left their mark on the Angus herd include BJP (Bohey Jasper) and S335 (Black Banner X1 of Idvies).
Simmental sires that excelled include S1144 (Curaheen Wakeman), TSO (Curaheen Tyson), GFY (Glebefarm Tyson), S1624 (Lisnacran Sunnyboy), REV (Raceview King) and HCC (Hillcrest Champion).
What attracted you to the WHPR program?
‘I was attracted for one main reason to WHPR. It shows what I have been doing all along in a transparent and honest way and this is backed up by weight recording and an inspection from ICBF.
My first visit went very well and was not as time consuming as I thought it would have been.
It’s very important for perspective buyers to have confidence in their purchase be it a bull or heifer.
We have a policy here if the animal would not be good enough to fit into our herd it is culled. We operate a strict culling policy. Information regarding milk, docility and breeding is very important to a buyer. In the case of a bull it can have a huge effect on their herd so it has to be right.’
To view bulls that have been weight recorded by ICBF, click the link below to go to the Stockbull Finder. This is an online sales section for bulls from WHPR herds. Search by breed and county to filter down selections!
Stock Bull Finder