Raphoe Livestock Mart, Co Donegal, held its annual fatstock show and sale on Friday 3 December, which saw some of the best commercial fatstock cattle from the region out in force.
The sale always acts as a kickstart to the festive period and while the tinsel sparkled around the ring, the real quality shone within it.
Butchers, factory agents and Northern buyers all helped to drive the trade on the day.
The supreme champion of the show, which was first placed in the best heifer no teeth class, was a March 2020-born Belgian Blue heifer sired by Imperial and out of a purebred Lanzac and CF52-bred Charolais cow.
Exhibited by Joshua Millar, the hammer finally fell for the 840kg heifer at €5,100 (€6.07/kg) purchased by Jonathan Hannigan.
Reserve champion was a February 2020-born Limouisn-cross bullock which also won his class of the best bullock no teeth.
Weighing 830kg and from Victor and Luke Barnett, he sold for €2,900 (€3.49/kg) to Gary Scott on behalf of C&J Meats.
Taking the housewife’s choice title was the €2,950 (€4.92/kg) Charolais heifer from Leroy Barnett. The 600kg April 2020-born animal was purchased by EWS Butchers.
Other class winners included a 845kg Belgian Blue from Oran Gill, winning the best heifer two or more teeth – the October 2019-born heifer sold to Dolan Brothers Livestock Exporters.
An 895kg September 2019-born Limousin from Mark Smith took first place in the best bullock two or more teeth class, going on to sell for €2,640 (€2.95/kg) also to Dolan Brothers Livestock Exporters.
Fat cows were also met with a huge trade, with an average price in excess of €2.50/kg. The first-, second- and third-placed fat cows were all from Conor McGee, with a top price of €3,600 for the second-placed 2015-born Limousin-cross cow weighing 1,175kg (€3.06/kg).
The first-placed 2016-born Charolais cow weighed 1,095kg and sold for €3,380 (€3.09/kg).
Commenting on the sale, mart manager Ann Harkin said that “the superb standard of stock being bred and shown in this area is known far and wide.
“There was a great trade on the day for quality lots, which is great to see farmers being rewarded for what is the result of many years of breeding and hard work.”