The Irish Charolais Cattle Society hosted its spring premier in Elphin Mart on Saturday last, with a super trade witnessed throughout the day.
Overall, 48 of the 61 bulls present sold to an average price of €4,493. This average is up a massive €708 on the year.
In case people are of the opinion that last year’s sale isn’t a fair reflection due to the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, the average is up €623 on the 2019 sale.
Clearance rate is up to 79% from 66% recorded in 2020 and 78% in 2019.
While the highs of the €15,000 top price of the 2020 sale weren’t hit on Saturday, the sale was underpinned by much stronger middle ground demand by commercial buyers.
While numbers were back last year, only 15 bulls sold for €4,000 or more. This increased to 24 bulls at the 2019 sale.
In comparison and highlighting just how strong trade was, a massive 31 bulls sold for €4,000 or more on Saturday.
While the strong mart trade witnessed over the past 12 months is a key factor, the incentives run by the society also seem to be playing their part.
With the society having reduced costs over the past year from lack of events, rather than save, they decided to reinvest and keep the momentum going.
As part of last weekend’s sale, the society reimbursed €400 to the purchasers of the first 15 buyers of bulls to make over €4,500.
A similar incentive was run for the Christmas cracker, which again recorded one of its highest averages for a number of years.
Overall, bull prices reached a high of €8,200, with 15 bulls selling for €5,000 or more.
Leading the way
Leading trade was Cloonradoon Ricky. Bred and exhibited by Anthony McDermott, Strokestown, Co Roscommon, Ricky is a son of one of the commercial farmer’s favourite bulls Fiston, with Cavelands Fenian on the dam’s side.
Backing their own breeding, successful bidder was the National Cattle Breeding Centre (NCBC), which was the distributor of semen from both his sire and grandsire.
The January 2020-born bull boasted five stars on nearly all traits and had a beef calving figure of 6.4%.
McDermott also sold a second bull, Cloonradoon Rocky, at €5,100. This bull was again sired by Fiston, with Cloverfield Excellent and Clonoulty Andraemon also in the back breeding.
Boasting a page of stars, the January 2020-born bull was knocked down to Galway-based Patrick Burke.
The AI centre Coneyisland Genetics was also in buying form, securing Clenagh Picasso ET for €7,400.
Brought out by Michael and Barry Quinn, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare, this October 2019-born bull is a son of the old reliable Domino, with Doonally New and Pirate also on the dam’s side. Picasso carried five stars on all terminal traits.
Securing a price of €6,800 was Bostonia Robynhood ET from Brendan Feeney, Enniscrone, Co Sligo.
This February 2020-born bull is sired by Hermes, which is also the sire of popular bull Doonally New – more commonly known as CF52.
Dam of Robynhood is Drumshane Mademoiselle, which did it all in the show ring when taking championships at Tullamore, Balmoral, the Royal Highland and the Great Yorkshire.
A full brother to this bull was also recently purchased by K Genetics in Co Donegal.
While stars may not have been this bull’s forte, the buyers didn’t mind, as he heads for pedigree breeding north of the border.
Oliver Conway was next in line when he sold his bull, Scardaune Pius, at €6,200. This November 2019-born bull boasted five stars down the line, with a calving figure of just 5.1% on beef cows.
Sired by Derryowen Harvey, he is out of a Nelson-bred dam and was secured by Paddy Monaghan.
Conway also took home €5,500 for his other exhibit, Scardaune Pete. This November 2019-born son of Nippur was out of a Harvey-bred dam. With five stars on nearly every trait and a calving figure of less than 5%, he was knocked down to Ronan Gleeson.
Sale topper at the previous year’s sale Harry Noble may not have reached the same highs, but did sell his two bulls for an impressive average of €5,650.
His top lot was Noble Romeo, which hit the market at €6,100. From the same line as the €15,000 sale-topper Elite Pedigree Genetics purchased last year, he is sired by Bova AI bull Scardaune Mark. A double four-star bull, he was the pick of Finbar Hamill.
Harry’s second exhibit, Noble Partner, sold for €5,200. This November 2019-born bull is a son of Doonally New, with Cottage Devon and Major also in the back breeding.
This was one of five bulls purchased on the day by Welsh buyer Owain Llyr, who is a keen buyer of top Irish genetics.
Also selling for the €6,100 price tag was Blackroad Rocco from Kerry breeder John Culloty. This five-star terminal bull was a son of Doonally New and out of a Pirate-bred dam. Rocco heads north with Peadar McKenna.
Hitting the mark
Hitting the €6,000 mark was Jim Geoghegan with Lisnagre Parker ET. This November 2019-born bull is a son of Pirate, with Major, Jupiter and the famous Ballydownan Simone on the dam’s side. With five stars on the terminal index, he was the pick of Patrick Dillon.
Local breeder Gerard Beirne sold his bull Caldragh Pat ET for €5,800. This 15-month-old son of Pottlereagh Mark is out of a Doonally New-bred dam.
Pat had five stars on the terminal index and a beef cow calving figure of only 3.6%. He was secured by Stephen Fallon.
The best of Borrisoleigh-based Matt Ryan’s offerings was Kilvilcorris Pablo, which sold for €5,600. Sired by stock bull Bunratty Mike Tyson and out of a Pirate-bred dam, he also heads across the water with Owain Llyr.
Three bulls hit the €5,000 price tag. First at the money was Doneagl breeder Pat McClean with Roughan Pat.
This September 2019-born bull is sired by the herd’s former stock bull Roughan Gibraltar, with the dam out of Roughan Verygood.
With five stars on both the terminal and replacement indices, he was knocked down to Robert Peoples.
Matching the money was fellow Lifford breeder John Alan McCandless with his bull Hillhouse14 Padraig. This November 2019-born bull is a son of popular Cavelands Fenian and is out of a Laheens Jason-bred dam. Padraig was purchased by the aforementioned Owain Llyr.
Last to hit the €5,000 mark was Corralara Ramsey from Michael and Mary McGowan, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Roscommon. This 12-month-old bull was sired by Doonally New and was the choice of Val Keane.
The female trade proved even stronger than the bulls, with the average price exceeding €4,800. This average is up over €1,200 on the year, with 12 of the 17 on offer meeting their reserve.
The buyers of the first five heifers to sell for in excess of €4,000 were also reimbursed €400 by the society. One point to note is that all females were purchased by southern Irish buyers.
Topping the females was a call of €8,000. This was paid for the June 2019-born Roughan Pandora from Pat McClean, Lifford, Co Donegal.
Sired by French bull Roughan Dix De Coe, she goes back on a Roughan Echo-bred dam. Pandora was the pick of Bernadette Dunne.
McClean also sold his second heifer, Roughan Pippa, at €5,400. This June 2019-born heifer is sired by Roughan London and had Sesame and Anneskeagh October on the dam’s side. She was the choice of Noel Hyland.
Also selling well was the December 2018-born Glenree Olive, which hit the market at €7,400.
This daughter of Nelson is out of a Cottage Devon-bred dam and sold in-calf to Whitecliffe James. She was brought out by John Anthony O’Grady and was secured by the McGovern family in Sligo.
Austin Garvey from Drumsna secured two heifers at €6,500 and €6,000. The higher of these was paid for Dalehill Ophelia from Basil and Victoria Kells, Killeshandra, Co Cavan.
This September 2018-born heifer was sired by Fiston and is out of a Cottage Devon-bred cow. She sold in-calf to Tonnalaura Oh Man.
Garvey’s second investment was in Geremy McGonigle’s heifer Whinfort Phoebe. This five-star daughter of Bourgogne goes back to a Nippur-bred dam.
Also hitting the €6,000 price tag was Macecrump Paulina from Michael Lally, Belmullet, Co Mayo.
This 17-month-old heifer is a direct daughter of Major, with Pirate and Gicomte on the dam’s side. Paulina was secured by Oisin Cassidy.