How this stock judge gets his selections down to a T
Monaghan Charolais breeder David Erskine has been a very successful breeder and exhibitor for many years with his Fieldview Herd at Crosses noted for bringing out show champions and taking home top prices.
As he carefully assessed the animals parading the judging ring at Tullamore before deciding their order for the rosettes, the general observation from the farmers and breeders at the ringside was "he's a good judge and very fair".
Matching rosettes with prices is always a challenge because the beauty of the beast can often be in the eye of the beholder and the most fancied by the judge is often not the bidders choice under the auctioneer's hammer in the salesring.
David Erskine's record at this sale of gauging the bidders' preferences when awarding the rosettes was truly remarkable.
His selection for champion of show, Matt Ryan's Kilvilcorris Mark, topped the sale at €9,000 and the reserve champion, Islandview Mr T, was the second highest priced bull at €6,400.
But the buyers' approval of his rankings in the showring did not stop at that.
Of the 20 bulls to which he awarded first and second places in the show classes, 14 were sold under the hammer and included the top three prices of the day and five of the seven highest prices paid at the sale.