Record price for Herefords

The Hereford breed has emerged as a serious contender in the NI beef industry and this was reflected in the intense interest and very strong trade for quality bulls at this weeks’ Elite Breeders sale.

New record prices were set at the Dungannon event as Hereford bulls from Robin Irvine’s Graceland herd sold for 5,200 and 5,000 guineas while heifers sold to 3,000 guineas for Adrian and Sandra Irvine and 2,900 guineas for Mrs P Mc Clenaghan.

Record breaker ' Robin Irvine parades Graceland 1 Kojak at the Elite Breeders sale where he sold for the top price of 5,200 guineas.

Record breaker ' Robin Irvine parades Graceland 1 Kojak at the Elite Breeders sale where he sold for the top price of 5,200 guineas.

Mervyn Richmond from the Elite Breeders group was delighted with the trade. He said: “The yard was packed with people and there was a real buzz of anticipation as prospective buyers jostled to view the stock on offer. There was keen competition for the best animals and it was encouraging to see buyers prepared to pay for quality.”

The sale started strongly with 3,000 guineas paid for the first animal into the ring, a big strong two year old from John Conlons’ Drumatee herd at Markethill. This was followed by the first Graceland entry, again at 3,000 guineas with the same price paid for the first of the Corraback bulls from Mervyn Richmond. Another Corraback bull changed hands at 3,000 guineas but it was Corraback Holster at 3,300 guineas which produced the top price from the Richmond’s offering.

The pace changed with the entry of lot 7 into the ring – Graceland 1 Keynote, described as an exceptional young bull with real power and character had many admirers in the pre-sale viewing. His impressive set of EBV’s qualifies for Superior Carcass Sire status and a cash incentive of up to £500 from the Hereford Cattle Society. Bidding opened at 3,000 guineas and rose rapidly before auctioneer Trevor Wylie brought the hammer down at 5,000 guineas.

Hot on his heels at lot 8 was Graceland 1 Kojak, another son of Greenyards Dougie, the Graceland herd sire. A favourite with the pre sale pundits, Kojak attracted a number of hopeful bidders and after a prolonged battle was knocked down for the top price of the day at 5,200 guineas.

The yard was packed with people and there was a real buzz of anticipation as prospective buyers jostled to view the stock on offer. There was keen competition for the best animals and it was encouraging to see buyers prepared to pay for quality

Mervyn Richmond

David Smyth made 2,900 guineas for Magheraknock 1 Kudos with the same price paid for Graceland 1 Kevin from Robin Irvine. The youngest bull in the sale, Annaghbeg 1Alpha from M & L Moore and one of the stars of the recent calf show was admired for his impressive growth and sold for 2,800 guineas.

Heifer trade followed pattern of the bulls with quality animals in keen demand. Top price of 3,000 guineas was paid to A & S Irvine for Pallas 1 Eva, a stylish young heifer carrying the service of Wirruna Daffy. Two well grown heifers from the Brookfield herd owned by Mrs P Mc Clenaghan, a relatively new breeder from Holywood sold at 2,900 guineas and 2,600 guineas.

The Elite Breeders group are indebted to Bank of Ireland, R & J Lyness Feeds and A1 Transport for their continued support for this event.