Maestro tops Herefords at 3,900 guineas

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Hereford bulls sold to a top price of 3,900 guineas and an average of £2,440 at the annual elite breeder’s sale in Dungannon this week.

“The top price is the best we have seen for any of the pedigree beef sales this year and this reflects the level of interest in the Hereford in Northern Ireland,” said Mervyn Richmond, of the Elite Breeders.

Trade was selective however, and reflected the difficult times in the livestock sector with the income squeeze particularly affecting dairy farmers, according to auctioneer Trevor Wylie of Dungannon Farmers Mart.

It took an exceptional young sire from the herd of Robin and James Irvine at Whitecross to set the sale alight – getting the packed gallery galvanised to produce the day’s top price of 3,900 guineas. Graceland 1 Maestro had been well admired at the pre sale parade for his style and quality and with exceptional EBVs putting him in the top 5% of the breed for growth and muscle he was pretty much the complete package, according to a delighted Robin Irvine.

Born in July 2014, he weighed in at 895 kilos on sale day and impressed the onlookers with his growth and scale. He is eligible for the Hereford Society’s Superior Carcass Incentive which promotes the top performing animals in the breedplan recording scheme.

“Maestro is another son of our very successful stock bull, Greenyards 1 Dougie. He has sired the top priced bull through the Dungannon bull sales in each of the four years since his progeny first came on the scene in 2011,” said Robin.

The pre-sale parade was viewed by a packed ringside and the expert commentary provided by Adrian Irvine was keenly followed by the prospective purchasers. Bulls to attract favourable comment from the onlookers included Mervyn Richmond’s Corraback Impulse – a stylish young sire with good length and scale. Sired by Mara Flook, impulse went on to sell for 2,600 guineas while David Smyth’s Fortview Logic from the famous Badlingham Blossom family and sired by Border Quaestar made 2,500 guineas. The overall average for 12 bulls sold was £2,440.

Next outing for the Elite Hereford Breeders will be on Monday, April 4, when a further selection of good young sires will be on offer along with a strong line up of quality females suitable for new and established breeders. Details from David Smyth on 07808 078117.