Records were smashed on Monday evening at the Carrick Winter Fair, as close to 500 cattle passed through the Midland and Western Livestock Mart ring in a marathon sale of 14 hours.

With a thronged ringside throughout and a keen appetite from buyers for quality cattle, prices remained high right into the small hours as the sale crept into the morning.

For Ardara breeder John Kennedy, it is a sale not to be forgotten, having sold his Belgian Blue heifer calf for a record-breaking €21,500. The price beats the previous record of €18,000 set in 2021 by Seah Ramsbottom.

Junior champion

Sired by AI bull Ross Alo and with the maternal grandsire being Castleview Gringo, the classy black and white heifer had impressed in the ring at Sunday’s show, when NI-based judge Gareth Corrie tapped out Kennedy's entry for his junior Belgian Blue champion.

Born in March 2023 and weighing 445kg, bids for the heifer fluctuated between €100 and €1,900 under the hammer of auctioneer Eamon Gaffney as it came to the €20,000 mark.

Three additional bids saw the hammer eventually fall at €21,500 (€48.31/kg). See the sale of the heifer below.