Markethill Mart in Co Armagh held its annual Christmas Cracker on Thursday 9 December, with a superb show of 340 cattle forwarded.

During the pre-show judging, the champion animal tapped out by judge Keith Williamson was a 282kg Limousin bull calf, which sold for £1,800 (€2,117).

The title of reserve champion was awarded to an outstanding 484kg Charolais heifer.

Commanding plenty of pre-sale buying interest, the heifer went on to top the sale with the hammer falling at £4,900 (€5,764).

This February-born Charolais bullock, weighing 400kg, sold for £1,000 (€1,176).

Taking home the prize of champion breeding heifer and the Declan Rice Memorial Cup was a Limousin-sired animal weighing 424kg. Again, the heifer attracted plenty of buying interest and went on to sell for £3,800 (€4,470).

A strong ringside of buyers were in competitive mood for quality stock throughout the sale and in the bullock ring, the trade saw cattle selling to a top price of £1,900 for a 416kg Limousin animal.

This April-born Charolais bullok, weighing 368kg, sold for £1,080 (€1,270).

A big run of quality continental March- to May-born calves weighing 300kg to 350kg sold upwards from £1,000, with a good run above £900 for animals just under the 300kg mark.

Heifers were a superb trade, with multiple lots with show and breeding potential also commanding in excess of the £1,000 mark.

Other lots

The reserve champion was this 484kg Charolais heifer, which sold for £4,900 (€5,764).

The overall champion was this 282kg Limousin bull calf, which sold for £1,800 (€2,117).

This June-born Charolais heifer, weighing 286kg, sold for £870 (€1,023).