The annual Irish Charolais Cattle Society Christmas Cracker bull sale took place in Elphin last Saturday.

The sale is the pinnacle of the year in the Charolais world, with big competition first of all to get into the sale and then compete for the rosettes, and more importantly the money that’s spent around the ring.

The 2023 cracker didn’t disappoint, with a record average of €5,581 for 70 bulls sold on the day resulting in an 85% clearance. Four of the bulls in the sale sold for over €10,000, with a further 20 bulls selling for over €6,000.

Top call on the day went to the fourth youngest bull in the yard from Mayo breeder Padraig Egan. His November 2022 born bull Cloonglasna11 Tarzan, who stood second, was clapped out reserve junior champion in the pre-sale sow by judge Iain Millar from the Lochend Charolais herd in Scotland.

The Neptune son was out of a Cloverfield Excellent dam and came to Elphin on the back of some big wins on the summer 2023 show circuit. After a marathon bidding spree between an English buyer and a Donegal breeder, he was eventually knocked down to the English buyer at €16,200.

The intermediate champion was the next highest price in the sale, with Sagesse Timothy from well known father and son team, Brendan and Niall Canning form Co. Sligo taking home €12,100.

The September 2022 born Balmyle Vagabond son also had a big showing career behind him, having being crowned overall Charolais champion at the 2023 National Livestock Show in Tullamore last August.

Making up the top 3 prices was Offaly man Peter Spollen with his bull Ballydownan The Rock ET. The September 2022 born son of Doonally New went back to Texan Gie cow and was knocked down at €10,300 to a local Elphin suckler to weanling producer.

The final bull to hit the €10,000 mark was Dhuish Thunder from Cavan man Gerard McIntyre. The October 2022 born son of Lapon went back to a Crossmolina Jupiter cow. Thunder also picked up a red rosette in the pre-sale show.

For more on last weekend’s Irish Charolais Cattle Society Christmas Cracker show and sale of bulls pick up a copy of this week’s Irish Farmers Journal, in shops on Thursday morning.