The sale of elite haltered cattle took place in Ballybofey and Stranorlar Mart on Saturday 11 November. With 140 lots entered for the sale, there were just shy of 120 cattle in attendance.
The stock in the sale ranged in all sorts of colour, shapes and sizes with plenty of choice on offer for those in attendance and online.
An extremely strong online presence, coupled with a packed ringside, led to an impressive 95% clearance rate with 30 lots selling for €3,000 or more.
Leading the way
Leading the way in the sales ring were Michael Lynch and Evelyn McGinley with their February 2023-born heifer, Vanilla Ice.
Vanilla Ice was a Limousin-cross heifer calf sired by Elite Ice Cream and was bred from a pedigree Belgian Blue cow.
She sold weighing 458kg for €9,500.
It was also a great day for Galway man Derrick Forde who secured the second highest price of the day when his June 2022-born Belgian Blue-cross heifer sold for €7,300.
The young heifer that weighed in at 618kg on the day was sired by BB2247 and carried bloodlines from the renowned Limousin sire, Rocky.
Derrick also featured in the top price rankings with a Limousin-cross heifer and, this time, it was a February 2023-born Trueman Idol-cross Empire heifer that did the deed when she sold for €5,500.
Sticking with Galway stock, it was Emmet Wynne, also from Corrandulla, who secured the next highest price on the day. Emmet’s January 2023-born Limousin-cross heifer sired by Ampertaine Inferno out of a pedigree Belgian Blue cow sold for €6,800.
John Harkin from Letterkenny, Co Donegal, stepped up to scoop the next leading price at Saturday’s sale when his March 2023-born Limousin-cross heifer weighing 442kg sold for €5,800.
In the in-calf breeding heifer section of the sale, it was Kieran McGee from Pettigo, Co Donegal, who led the way securing not only the top price, but the two highest prices on the day.
Up first was Kieran’s April 2021-born Simmental-cross in-calf heifer that sold for €5,300.
The perfectly marked heifer was scanned carrying a heifer calf to the easy-calving Belgian Blue sire, De Beaytfoux.
Kieran continued his success in the ring when his April 2021-born Charolais-cross heifer, due to calve in December of this year with a heifer calf to the Limousin sire EBY, sold for €4,800.
Back to the 2023-born Belgian Blue-cross heifers, and it was local man James Bradley from Ballybofey, Co Donegal, who was the first of four breeders on the day who scooped €4,800. James’s January 2023-born heifer was sired by NOX (BB5223) and was bred from a five-star Salers dam.
In the same category, Letterkenny man Cillian Bonner was the second breeder to secure €4,800 for his March 2023-born heifer.
The fourth heifer to secure this price was an April 2022-born Belgian Blue-cross breeding heifer from the herd of John and Claire McCloskey from Carndonagh, Co Donegal.
The first of four cattle to achieve €4,200 on Saturday came very early in the day when Lot 9 from the herd of Kieran McGee from Co Donegal hit the ring. The March 2023-born bull calf was sired by the red-and-white Belgian Blue bull Chocolat d’Ochamps and his full sister sold at the elite sale in May for €8,400.
Also selling for €4,200 was the March 2023-born Limousin-cross MBP heifer weighing 500kg from the herd of Sean Hughes from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.
Off the back of a hugely successful timed auction last weekend, Pearse McNamee from Convoy, Co Donegal, returned to the sales ring on Saturday with his March 2023-born Belgian Blue-cross heifer. The NOX-sired heifer also secured €4,200 on the day.
There were also three lots to secure €4,000 at Saturday’s sale, with the first two coming one after the next. The Belgian Blue-cross heifer calves were bred by Richard Irwin and Patrick Teague, both from Co Donegal, and the third was a Belgian Blue-cross breeding heifer out of an ADX cow bred by Jonathan Hannigan, also from Co Donegal.