The Northern Ireland Limousin Cattle Club hosted the first of its spring sales in Dungannon this week with averages rising by £500 (€573) across both the male and female sections. This super trade was matched with an impressive 94% clearance rate.

Rules as of yet remain unchanged with regards NI bulls attending the likes of the society sale in Carlisle being unable to return to Northern Ireland without first completing a six-month residency in Britain. This may have led to more breeders who would usually go to Carlisle opting to use Dungannon as their sale of choice this spring.

In turn, it may have also played a factor with buyers choosing to stay local to source their breeding stock this coming year. Either way, the sale boasted some of its strongest averages and clearance rate in a number of years.

Leading proceedings and selling for the top price of 6,800gns was Bernish Pirlo from Kieran McCrory. This super May 2019-born bull comes with a wealth of breeding being sired by Wilodge Cerberus with Ampertaine Elgin and Wilodge Vantastic also in the back breeding.

This line is no stranger to success with Pirlo’s two full brothers selling in Carlisle for 22,000gns and 7,500gns.

A full sister to Pirlo also secured the title of overall champion at last year’s rising stars competition before lockdown came into place. Securing the second bull through the ring was breeder Clive Richardson.

A further eight of the 32 bulls on offer hit 4,000gns or more. Leading the way was Ballyrobin Poser at 4,700gns, from Joan Gilliland. This May 2019-born bull is sired by Ampertaine Elgin and out of a Wilodge Vantastic-bred cow that goes back to Kype Spartacus. Securing this stylish bull was Messrs Ferguson.

Gilliland also sold her second bull, Ballyrobin Perno, at 4,000gns. This June 2019-born bull was also an Ampertaine Elgin out of a Vantastic cow.

The 4,200gns price tag was met on three occasions. First at the money was the Mulhollands’ bull, Deerpark Poseidon. Carrying two copies of the F94L gene, this July 2019-born bull is a son of Ampertaine Abracadabra, while the mother is out of the aforementioned Ampertaine Elgin. The dam of this stylish bull stood as NI overall champion in 2018.

Matching the price was McParland’s Power from MacParlim Genetics. Sired by the homebred Foxhillfarm Jasper son McParlands Nasper, he is out of the Ampertaine Foreman-sired dam, Cowporation Jilonka. Another carrier of the double F94L gene he was knocked down to P Hughes. Last of the bulls to hit the 4,200gns mark was Rathkeeland Peakyblinders from the Crawford Brothers. One of the younger bulls catalogued, Peakyblinders, was born in October 2019. Sired by Cavan-bred bull Powerful Irish, he is out of a daughter of the 55,000gns Grahams Samson.

First to hit the 4,100gns price tag were the Williamsons with Blackwater Phantommenace. This Lodge Hamlet son is out of Eldorado-bred dam Redland Imogen. Carrying one copy of the F94L gene and one copy of the NT821 gene, he was the pick of Messrs Selfridge.

Matching this price was Messrs Aiken with the October 2019-born bull, Carnew Prospect. This powerful bull was homebred on both sides with the sire Carnew Lionheart and dam Carnew Holly.

Selling for 4,000gns was NewhillFarm Paul from M and J McPolin. This September 2019-born bull is out of Ampertaine Metric, while the dam’s lineage contains Kaprico Eravelle and Carmorn Dauphin.

All but one of the 32 bulls on offer found new homes to an average of £3,645, up from £3,158 in 2020 with a further five bulls sold.

The female front was just as impressive, with 13 of the 15 on offer selling for £2,730. This average is up £510 on the year with an extra two heifers sold.

The leading price here was the first lot through the ring, Rathkeeland Phillipa, from the aforementioned Crawford Brothers. Selling for 5,600gns, this two-year-old heifer sold in calf due early autumn to Haltcliffe Nuinsky.

Sired herself by former Paris champion Sauvignon she is out of Gleneagle Idol daughter, Maybouy Madonnna. P Stewart secured the in-calf heifer.

Just behind this, securing a price of 5,400gns, was the 10-month-old heifer calf Johnstown Rosie. Bred and exhibited by Chris Johnston, this stylish young heifer is sired by the 70,000gns Ampertaine Magnum and is out of the herd’s best breeding cow. Up-and-coming breeder Trevor Shields, who operates the Glenmarshall Herd, secured Johnstown Rosie.

The British Limousin Society premier sale in Carlisle takes place this weekend with all eyes then turning to the Irish Limousin Cattle Society premier sale on 13 March which has a change of venue from Roscrea to Elphin.

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