Prices generally were disappointing at the Royal Dublin Society’s spring bull sale at Ballsbridge last week and only a handful of Ulster exhibitors received prices which came up to expectations.
A top price of 2,100 guineas was paid by the Eire Department of Agriculture for the reserve champion Hereford entered by Mr Michael Campbell of Strokestown, County Roscommon, but this was an exceptional bid, and only a few other animals made more than 600 guineas.
Two Ulster breeders, Mr Robert Mulligan of Brague, Banbridge, and Mr John Purvis of Ballymultrae, Magherafelt, were the sellers of bulls which made 500 guineas.
Mr Mulligan’s only entry, an 11 month old Friesian bull, Brague Spotlight, was bought by Lismore Estates Ltd, Waterford, and Mr Purvis’s 15 month old Shorthorn bull, Salterstown Pirate, was sold to an Eire Artificial Insemination centre.
Mr Purvis was pleased with the bidding but somewhat disheartened by the judging. “I thought my bull should have fared better in the championship class,” he said. “The fairly high price the animal obtained seems to bear out my opinion.
Highest priced Aberdeen Angus was Saintfield breeder Mr R A McBride’s bull, Ballyhemlin Gambler which made 450 guineas. Mr James Comyn of Tara, County Meath, was the buyer.
Mr John Gabbie, Ballynahinch, sold Ballymaglave Batman to Bandon Artificial Insemination station for 360 guineas and, also in the Aberdeen Angus section, Sir George Clarke, of Ballygowan, gave 310 guineas for the supreme champion, Mr Fred Short’s bull, Rocket of Aughnagill.
Most prominent Northern buyer was Mr Jack Morrison of Armoy, Ballymoney, who purchased a first prize winning Hereford for 475 guineas.
In the Friesian salesring, bidding was slow to get off the ground and Mr David Heenan’s first prize winning bull, Barbican Rejoice, one of the first animals on offer, was knocked down for a somewhat disappointing 350 guineas.
Commented Mr Heenan: “It was undoubtedly a big disadvantage coming into the ring so early before trade had time to sharpen up.”
Mr William Wallace of Braniel, Castlereagh, had a 19 month old Friesian bull, Braniel Uniform, on offer but withdrew the animal after only a few minutes in the salesring.
Mr Wallace described trade as “very erratic” and he later sold the animal privately for 200 guineas.