Northern interest lifts Charolais sale - Kilduff Nikita tops lively heifer trade at €7,500 in Tullamore
Strong demand from Northern Ireland breeders boosted demand at the Irish Charolais Cattle Society elite show and sale of heifers at GVM Mart, Tullamore on Saturday.
The lively trade was a reversal of the seasonal general trend, with both the prices paid and clearance rate showing a big improvement on recent pedigree sales.
By the end of the day more than a quarter of the heifers sold were destined for export to their new homes, among them the two highest prices of the sale, for which the same breeder paid a total of €14,500.
Nigel and Gail Matchett, of Portadown, Co Armagh are among the best-known and most successful Charolais breeders in Northern Ireland and leading exhibitors of show winners and price leaders.
A week earlier Nigel was in Tullamore to judge the classes at the Irish Charolais Cattle Society show and sale of bulls, and on Saturday he became the leading bidder for the senior champion of the show and for the reserve junior champion, for which he paid €7,000 and €7,500 respectively.
The senior champion of the show was awarded to Summervilla Niki, exhibited by Tony O'Donnell, of Ballysundriven, Elphin, Co Roscommon on her first day out in a show ring.
The April 2017-born heifer, four star on the breed replacement index, was bred by Cavelands Fenian and the dam Kildallogue Heather in a small herd of pedigree Charolais on the farm.
Kieran O'Donnell, handler of the champion in the show ring, explained: "Between my college study and work we didn't have an opportunity to show her during the year."
But what a day it was, winning the first ever championship for the herd.
The reserve junior heifer, Kilduff Nikita, the price-topper of the day, was exhibited by Robert John Dunne, of Corporation Lands, Belturbet, Co Cavan, who also exhibited Kilduff Nola, the second in the same show class.
There was a rousing round of applause when auctioneer Tom Cox brought the hammer down for Nikita at €7,500, while Nola later sold to a new home in Co Roscommon at €2,500.
Breeders from Northern Ireland paid an average of €3,954 for 11 heifers, which was 30pc up on the average for the balance of the animals sold.
There was an overall clearance of 73pc at an average of €3,284, with only 16 heifers leaving the sale ring without finding a new home - some of which had been strongly bid for.
While clearance was down 9pc on last year and prices on average back €500 there was general approval of the sale success, and vindication of the society decision a couple of years ago to launch the elite heifer show and sale as an addition to the schedule - previously, the heifers formed part of the Christmas cracker show and Sale at Elphin in December.
Show judge Chris Curry, chairman of the British Carolais Society, tapped forward 14-month-old Tullaghan Nova for junior champion.
Exhibited by Michael Daniel Daly, of Wardhouse, Tullaghan, Co Leitrim, the champion's sire is Domino, and her dam Tullaghan Cleo, who has produced a number of previous champions and is now being used for flushing.
She sold for the third highest price at €6,800, destined for a new home in Co Clare.
Reserve senior champion sash was awarded to August 2016-born Glenree Matilda from the herd of John Anthony O'Grady, of Creggane, Glenamaddy, Co Galway.
She was bred by Royal Exelent (s) and Royal Adeline (d) and sold for the fourth highest price at €5,100, heading for Roscrea, Co Tipperary as her new home.
Jerry & Kay O'Keeffe, of Woodlawn, Grange, Knocklong, Co Limerick, received €4,700 for Grangewood North.
Ciaran Daly, of Tawnytallan, Tullaghan, Leitrim, Co Leitrim sold Tawny Mermaid for €4,500 and Tawny Naya for €3,900.
Gerard Beirne, of Tullyloyd, Elphin, received €4,000 for Tullyloyd Nora.
David Erskine, of Crosses, Monaghan, was paid €4,000 for Fieldview Natalia.
Richard Hackett, of Coolistigue, Clonlara, Co Clare received €4,000 for Limkiln Nicole.
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