THE ring was packed to the rafters at Swatragh Mart for the inaugural Northern Ireland Charolais Club even-ing sale on Friday, June 1, where 11 bulls sold to an average of £2,711 and a clearance of 79 per cent.
Leading the bull bids at 4,000gns was the pre-sale show supreme and male champion from Will Short, Beragh, County Tyrone. Ch-ampion Woodpark Magnum, who is a 16-month-old son of Deeside Gulliver and the homebred 19,000gns Doune and Dunblane champion Corrie Alan-sired Woodpark Hattie, was purchased by Noel McIlwaine, Plumbridge, County Tyrone.
Following on at 3,300gns was the 13,000gns Royal Highland Show class winner Allanfauld Hustler son Ramrad Norman, whose dam Ramrad Hayley goes back to Kilbridefarm Stuart. This January 2017-born lad consigned by Douglas Morrow, Coleraine, County Derry, caught the eye of Wilbert McLenaghan, Limavady.
Securing 2,900gns for breeder and exhibitors Michael and Gerard McShane, Articarvin, Co Tyrone, was the 17-month-old Altnaderog Nero. Nero, who is out of the Republic of Ireland-bred dam Deeleview Isabelle, who goes back to Pirate, and is sired by the 12,000gns Maerdy Fiend, went on to Ballynahinch to work for Mervin Murphy.
Next to go, this time consigned by Harold Stubbs and Alan Burleigh, Crummy, County Fermanagh, was Melvin Nathan, who earlier in the day had been tapped out third in his class by judge Gary Henderson.
This 15-month-old, sired by Whitecliffe James and out of the Dartonhall Givenchy daughter Melvin Janet, was knocked down for 2,700gns to JP and James McKeagney, Maghera.
The very next lot to sell was the reserve supreme and reserve male champion Lurgancot Narcos, who was purchased by David Thompson, Goshaden, County Derry, at 2,600gns. Rory McKeever, Kilmore, County Armagh, was the consigner of the February 2017-born Narcos, who is bred out of the Cottage Devon-sired Lurgancot Helga and by the 25,000gns Stirling intermediate champion Inver-lochy Ferdie.
Next in the trade stakes was a blue-ticket winner and 16-month-old from the aforementioned Will Short, who is again sired by Deeside Gulliver but this time out of Annagh Connie, another Corrie Alan daughter. Woodpark Maverick sold to Michael McNally, Portadown, for 2,400gns.
Just behind at 2,300gns was the class winner Fury Nevada. Sired by the Irish-bred Crossmolina Euro and bred out of the 18,000gns Perth intermediate champion Fury Action daughter Fury Diamond, the March 2017-born Nevada was bred and exhibited by Pat Hackett, Clogher, and purchased by Alan Farlow, Garvagh.
Just a few lots earlier, a 16-month-old entry from Kenneth Veitch, Lisbellaw, was sold in a 2,200gns deal to Eamon Caldwell, Claudy. Drumlone Nobleman, who placed second in his class at the pre-sale show is a son of the Southern Irish-bred Goldstar Gentleman and the Texan-sired Drumlone Isla.
A trio of bulls were knocked down at 2,000gns a piece with the first coming from Mervyn McKeown, Crossgar. Royaldowns Mercedes is sired by Rowandale Dancer who has bred over 30 progeny into the herd since 2016, while his dam is Royaldowns Daisy, a Allanfauld Velocity daughter and the 19-month-old caught the eye of William McCann, Ballymena.
Also commanding a 2,000gns bid and from the same home, but this time from Richard Fulton, Dungiven, was the very next lot, Royaldowns Mascott. The October 2016-born Mascott boasts an impressive pedigree being sired by the proven easy calving and short gestation Blelack Digger, while his dam is Royaldowns Icemaiden, a daughter of the 55,000gns Royal Show supreme champion Thrunton Voldemort.
Matching the 2,000gns price tag was Robert McWilliams’ Stranagone Memorable from Maghera.
The man behind the money on this 15,000gns Carlisle supreme champion Burradon Talisman son, was E Irwin, Coleraine. The 18-month-old Memorable’s dam Stranagone Jo, is a first-time calving daughter of Blelack Digger.
Two sets of cows and calves were exhibited by James McGuigan, Maghera, and the first set was purchased for a total of 4,160gns by Jonathan Crawford, Maghera. Mother, Carnview Henrietta ET, a five-year-old daughter of the 55,000gns Balmoral Interbreed champion Sportsmans Columbo and the 10,800gns Beechdale Uplift-sired Coolnaslee Antonia, was purchased along with her six-month-old bull calf Carnview Noah, who is sired by Whitecliffe James.
Mr McGuigan’s other cow and calf outfit were sold as a spilt lot. The six-year-old Carnview Honey ET, who is bred the same way as Henrietta, secured 1,200gns from Patsy Bradley, Maghera, and her six-month-old bull calf Carnview Nobby, who is sired by Davally Illusion, was purchased for 800gns by B McKeever, Kilmore, Co Armagh.
The top priced heifer at 1,365gns was the day’s reserve female champion Royaldowns Missy, another by the aforementioned Blelack Digger, she is out of Royaldowns Jenna who in turn is sired by the 25,000gns Stirling intermediate champion Inverlochy Ferdie. The 19-month-old Missy was bred and exhibited by Mervyn McKeown, Crossgar, and moves down to the South with purchaser Anthony Rabbett, Muff, Co Dongal.
The only other heifer on offer was another from Mervyn McKeown who had been crowned female champion in the pre-sale show and this time purchased by Michael J Quinn, Dunamore for 1,200gns. Royaldowns Millie, is a June 2016-born daughter of Rowandale Dancer and the Omagh Show champion Roundhill Ohoh-sired Royaldowns Carolanhe.
An added feature of the sale was the Northern Ireland regional qualifier for the Charolais Youth national stock judging competition.
The qualifier took place th-roughout the evening with nearly 40 competitors aged between eight and 26, taking part to try to secure one of the ten regional places on offer at the final at Seawell Grounds, Northamptonshire on July 21.
The competitors were asked to judge three classes of cattle, two classes of heifers which were kindly supplied by Robert McWilliams and Douglas Morrow, and a class of bulls kindly provided by Jonathan Crawford.
The sale judge Gary Henderson was the master judge for the competition and judging from the scores of the competitors did a good job on his placings.
Top placed in the senior section was James Rea with an impressive 147 points, while the section’s runner up was Eimear McGovern who scored 145.
The intermediate winner Mark Reid was also the evening’s top scorer who placed the whole bunch correctly achieving max-imum points of 150.
The intermediate runner up with 130 points was Ryan Doyle. The junior winner Conor Phair is just eight years old and must already know what he’s looking for as he scored 148 points, just behind on 143 was the junior runner-up Andrew Hamel.
Joining the winners at the final will be next highest placed competitors Kevin Reavey, Alan Burleigh, Andrew Dunn and Bartley Finnegan.
Averages: 11 bulls £2,711, two cows and calves £3,234, two heifers £1,347.
Auctioneers and sponsor: Swatragh Livestock Market; Joint Sponsor: CIP insurance brokers Ltd.