A selection of some of the best young cattle in Northern Ireland were assembled in Clogher Mart on Friday night for the Northern Ireland Commercial Cattle club special sale of young stock.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, this event had to be run without a show this year, with the sale taking place both ringside and online on MartBids.

The Young Stars sale has built up a reputation for top-class stock and the 2021 event didn’t disappoint.

With 41 entries, the sale catered for all breeds and allowed breeders from all corners of Northern Ireland to show off top-quality stock.

Roan breeding heifers led the way and, with a strong presence of bidders online as well as a socially distanced ringside, an almost 100% clearance was achieved.

A red roan Limousin-bred heifer stole the show. Born in April 2020 and weighing 440kg from Brian Hall, she sold for 3,200gns to Conor McVeigh, Co Armagh.

Hall’s run didn’t end there, as his second entry, also a Limousin x, this time a 475kg blue roan, sold for 2,500gns.

This 475kg Limousin-sired heifer sold for 2,550gns, from B Hall. / Bo Davidson

This 515kg Limousin-sired heifer sold for 1,350gns, from F. Keown.

This 530kg Charolais-sired bullock born in May 2020 sold for 1,760gns, from A. Veitch.

This 415kg Charolais-sired heifer sold for 2,400gns, From S. McGeehan. / Bo Davidson.

This 480kg Charolais-sired heifer sold for 2,550gns, from N Quinn. / Bo Davidson

This 475kg Limousin-sired heifer sold for 2,550gns, from B Hall. / Bo Davidson

After a strong trade for breeding heifers, the Quinn family sold their Charolais-bred roan heifer for 2,500gns followed by 1,800gns for his 375kg dark red Limousin heifer.

The sale saw a super trade for steers and bull calves, with a smaller male entry than the heifers. The male calves topped out at 1,800gns for a Limousin sired by TVR from Allison Callion which was purchased by Darren Mullan from Co Armagh.

The strong trade continued for these male calves, with Fermanagh man Alan Veitch selling his bullock weighing 500kg for 1,760gns to Patrick Tomney.

There were some other eye-catching prices on the night:

  • Laura Irvine’s 485kg British blue-sired heifer sold for 1,700gns.
  • David Boles’ 395kg Shorthorn-bred heifer and sold for 1,300gns.
  • Richard Law’s 380kg Charolais heifer sold for 1,860gns.
  • This 265kg Belgian Blue-sired heifer sold for 1,020gns, from I Irvine.

    This 560kg Limousin-sired bull calf sold for 1,800gns. / Bo Davidson.

    This 380kg Limousin-sired heifer sold for 2,000gns, from McKee Brothers. / Bo Davidson

    The sale saw 28% of cattle sold online. The sale averaged 1,587gns, with 38 out of the 41 animals sold, giving a clearance rate of 92%.

    Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal after the sale, the Northern Ireland Commercial Cattle Club’s Elizabeth Rodgers said: “With the uncertain times regarding summer shows, there still was a keen interest from buyers to pick up that something special animal to bring to fatstock sales as end of year, we hope to have this event back to a show and sale next year.”

    Clogher Valley Livestock Market manager Robert Simpson said: “The sale went brilliantly, and I would like to thank the NI Commercial Cattle Club for hosting their sale with us here in Clogher.”