During the weeks of October the NI Limousin Cattle Club together with longstanding sponsor Ulster Bank Ltd held various Limousin suck calf shows and sales in five locations across the province.
The first wave of the calves on offer was at Ballymena Mart and this saw judge Brendan McAlister pick his overall champion as heifer calf bred by Vincent McMullan, Swatragh top Limousin prices at £2,000. This young heifer sired by Ampertaine Gigilo weighed in at 250 kilos and averaged out at £8 per kilo.
M & R Simpson, Broughshane’s heifer weighed in at 290 kilos and sold at £1,000. Bullocks saw Stuart Hall, Larne’s bullock sell for £890 for 260kilos averaging £3.42 and P & J O’Kane, Carnlough making £815 for 250 kilos bullock averaging £3.26. Ballymena Mart reported that overall there was a great turnout of calves attracting tremendous bidding resulting in the dearest trade of the year with buyers appreciating the top quality of calves on offer.
Following on were the evening shows and sales of Hilltown and Markethill and reports were similar to Ballymena with turnout of calves of over 700 calves at each mart. Hilltown saw top price of £1,000 and Markethill £1120.
Markethill’s champion caught judge Gareth Corrie’s eye and was bred by C Richardson, Annaghmore weighing in at 420 kilos and sold for £1120 whilst reserve champion bred by H Cartmill, Rathcarbarry, weighed in at 480 kilos sold for £930. Best pen of heifers went to C Lappin, Poyntzpass, with 51 heifers averaging 278 kilos and gaining 237p per kilo. Best pen of bullocks with 23 bulls averaged 312 kilos and gained an average of 258p per kilo.
Club chairman Henry Savage confirmed that there was a great turnout of quality spring born calves displaying great growth and it was confirmed with very steady averages with top averages of 336p per kilo and 314p per kilo gained on the night.
Swatragh market’s judge Johnny Neill saw overall champion take top price of £1,640. This heifer is bred by Sean O’Kane, Dunloy weighed in at 292 kilos gaining an average price of 562p per kilo. Following in reserve spot was young N Quinn, Dungannon with his heifer weighing 404kg and £980. Market manager Paul Coyle reported that numbers were slightly down on the year, but again had good steady trade on the day for the quality Limousin calves brought forward by sellers.
Finally, Enniskillen saw champion and reserve champion calves being sold for £900. Winning champion spot, which was judged by Denzil Johnston, was Mr C Cutter’s bull calf weighing in 372kgs at an average 241p per kilo and Calum Smyton’s heifer weighing at 313kg at 287p per kilo. Other prize winning calves were presented by Mr J McGeehan, Mr M Scott, Kathleen Woods and M Leonard who combined gained a prizewinning overall average price of 285p per kilo.
NI Limousin Cattle Club would like to thank all breeders for participating in the shows; sponsors Ulster Bank Ltd and their representatives who attended the shows; all the judges for their time and all the marts for hosting the events.