A packed house at Markethill Mart resulted in a red-hot trade at the third annual sale of in-calf heifers from Martin Tumilty, Annaclone, on Thursday 26 October.
Adding in additional competition from online buyers, a frenzy of bidding interest drove prices to a whopping average of £3,830 across 53 lots, giving a 96% clearance rate.
With a super show of suckler replacements on offer, the overwhelming majority of animals were purchased by repeat customers.
All heifers forwarded were served to proven easy-calving Limousin sires, Elderberry Galahad (EBY), Ewdenvale Ivor, Brooklands Marco and Loyal, with 40 lots carrying heifer calves as a result of a sexed semen insemination programme.
Heifers were vaccinated for BVD and Lepto, as well as being mineral bolused and scanned, with each pregnancy being sexed.
Topping the trade at £8,500 was an April 2021-born Charolais heifer exhibiting a strong Belgian Blue influence, up £4,000 from the top-priced animal last year. She is due on 21 December with a heifer calf sired by Loyal.
Hot on her heels was the next lot into the ring, a March 2021-born purebred Limousin, carrying a heifer calf sired by Ivor. Due in early January 2024, she made £6,900.
Next up at £6,800 was a May 2021-born Belgian Blue heifer. A former Allams breed champion as a calf, she is due a heifer calf on 27 November to EBY.
A roan Blue-cross Limousin heifer carrying a bull calf to Ivor and due in March 2024 sold for £5,800, while another Blue roan animal carrying a heifer to the same sire, but due on 14 December, commanded £5,700.
This was followed by £5,600 on two occasions, firstly for a Limousin-cross Blue heifer, due on 27 December to Loyal with a heifer calf, and again, for a Blue heifer carrying to EBY.
Overall, one heifer made over £8,000, another two animals made over £6,000, seven made above £5,000, three lots sold above £4,000 and 38 heifers sold for above £3,000.