Following on from an excellent show and sale in Carlisle just a week previous, the British Limousin Cattle Society’s regional show and sale took place in Ballymena on Saturday, 17 February, which saw a full clearance of the bulls on offer that reached a sale average of £5,160 (€6,024.55).

Saturday’s sale smashed new records in Ballymena, when the hammer fell for James McKay’s supreme overall champion at a whopping 17,000gns (€18,826).

Attracting the sale’s top price, and setting the new record for a Limousin bull sold at auction in Northern Ireland, was the junior and supreme overall champion Ampertaine Teus ET, bred by James McKay from Upperlands, Maghera.

The 18-month-old Ampertaine Teus was sired by the 38,000gns Ampertaine Foreman, and is out of the home-bred Goldies Fantastic daughter, Ampertaine Joy, and the winning bid came from pedigree breeder Mark McKinstry of the Ballyaulkin Herd, based at Nutt’s Corner, Co Antrim.

This hugely successful achievement for the 130-cow Ampertaine herd comes off the back of another massive achievement, when the herd secured Northern Ireland’s 24,000gns (€26,578) Limousin female record set by Ampertaine Tiara at the inaugural Ladies in Red sale, held at Ballymena just six months ago.

Teus comes from a very consistent cow family and has eight full sisters in the herd. His maternal brother Ampertaine Majestic sold for 35,000gns (€38,759) and has produced numerous bulls with five-figure price tags, including the 35,000gns Ampertaine Punch and the 25,000gns (€27,685) Glenrock Redemption.

His dam also produced the 9,000gns (€9,966) Ampertaine Phantom, as well as Ampertaine Topper, who has been retained for use in the herd.

High prices

The second-highest price of the day of 8,500gns (€9,413) was achieved by John O’Kane and sons from Garvagh, for their intermediate champion, Gleneagle Trooper. This 19-month-old bull was sired by Ampertaine Majestic, and is bred from a Mereside Lorenzo daughter, Gleneagle Polly. The intermediate champion sold to the Ballycairn Herd of Stephen McGookin from Carrickfergus.

Next best at 5,600gns (€6,201) was the reserve senior champion bred by Ian Davidson from Larne.

The 21-month-old Ballyrickard Trigger LM43 was sired by the 35,000gns October 2016 Carlisle champion, Foxhillfarm Lordofthering. His dam is a Vagabond daughter, Greenwell Emelia. The ET-bred calf sold to the Abbott family from Lisburn.

The reserve junior and reserve supreme champion Birchwood Turbo realised 5,000gns (€5,537) for the McGurk brothers from Cookstown.

This 18-month-old entry was sired by the herd’s stock bull Ampertaine Progressive, and is bred from Goldies Nicely. He was purchased by Stephen Hall from Newtownabbey.

Also selling at 5,000gns was the senior champion Lynderg Theodore from Jim Quail’s 30-cow herd at Banbridge. This 22-month-old bull is by herd sire Gleneagle Pascal, and out of the home-bred Lynderg Minelli and sold to John McGovern from Newtownbutler.

The final bull to achieve 5,000gns was 17-month-old Ashview Texas from the herd of Victor and Stephen Keys from Co Tyrone. This first prize winner was sired by Ampertaine Majestic, and is out of a Swarland Eddie daughter, Togherdoo Jan. This time the hammer fell to Christie Devine from Claudy.

Despite a relatively small entry of just under 20 bulls, the sale met a 100% rate, while the 18 bulls on offer sold to a strong average of £5,160 (€6,024.55).