The old adage that good cattle are an easy sell was certainly true at the annual Christmas fatstock sale in Keady Mart on 24 November, with a superb trade for slaughter fit animals throughout.
Specialist finishers packed the ringside, along with butchers and wholesalers, resulting in intense bidding competition which regularly pushed prices above the £2,000 barrier for heavy-fleshed stores.
Cattle quality was exceptional across the sale yard and in the pre-sale show, an April 2021-born Charolais heifer from Gareth Hughes, Ballymacnab was tapped out as supreme champion.
Weighing 690kg, the animal sold for £2,500 and heads to Yorkshire having been purchased by renowned butcher, Tony Kitson.
The reserve champion was also an April 2021-born Charolais heifer weighing 690kg, forwarded by Malachy Dillon on this occasion with the hammer falling at £2,450.
Topping the day’s trading at £3,350 was the housewife’s champion, a December 2021-born Limousin heifer from Trevor McClure, Markethill, and again purchased by Kitson butchers.
Outside of the main prizewinners, heavy-fleshed heifers in slaughter-fit condition generally sold from £2,000 to £2,250. Standout prices saw a 1,025kg Charolais heifer making £2,790 with £2,270 paid for an 830kg Blue animal.
Limousin heifers sold to £2,220 for an 805kg lot. Other notable prices for lighter heifers saw a 700kg Blue animal making £2,100, with a 690kg Charolais make £2,100 and a 695kg Limousin sell for £2,070.
The champion male was a 785kg Limousin, born in May 2021 and saw the hammer fall at £2,600. That was followed with the reserve male champion, which topped the bullock trade at £2,620 for a 790kg Limousin born in January 2022.
Other leading prices saw bullocks making £2,580 for a 750kg Limousin with £2,290 paid for a 700kg Charolais.
A small entry of suckler-bred Angus bullocks were highly sought after with prices peaking at £2,150 for an August 2021-born animal weighing 700kg.