One man who could hardly have believed his ears when his champion weanling entered the sales ring at Milford Mart, Co Donegal was local farmer, Michael Gallagher.
Although the weanling had come through a tough challenge to qualify for the most coveted rosette to be awarded at the annual show and sale. what was to follow was the icing on the cake.
The competition was keen and bidding was brisk from farmers and exporters. Granted the classy weanling had plenty of admirers and weighing in at a handsome 460kgs, had performance to date to match the looks.
As the bids hit €2,000, Michael Gallagher was not the only farmer watching the sale who was finding it hard to believe it was for real.
Then the bidding started to slow and finally the auctioneers hammer fell at €2,350 which was equivalent to €5.10/kg a record price for a weanling in the county and perhaps far beyond.
The Reserve Champion was exhibited by Bernard McBride, another local farmer, and sold for €1,500 or €3.39/kg.
Also setting a pace at the sale was Pat Wilkinson, Creeslough whose three Charolais bulls, swept the boards in the Charolais Bull Class taking the rosettes for first, second and third prizes. They averaged 432kg and sold for €1,296 each which worked out at €3.30/kg.
The other award winning exhibitors were:
Junior Heifer Pat Wilkinson, Creeslough
Senior Bull 1 Seamus Robinson 2 Nora McBride 3 William Gallagher
Junior Bull 1 David Sweeney 2. John Hegarty 3 Jim McDaid
Limousin 1 Patrick Boyle 2 John Doherty 3 Pat Wilkinson
Senior Heifer 1 Bernard McBride 2 Jim Gallagher 3 William Gallagher
Junior Heifer 1 Mary McMenamin 2 Jonathan McGinley 3 Declan McGeever
Charolais Heifer 1 Michael Gallagher 2 Stephen O'Donnell. 3 Laura Stephenson
Limousin Heifer 1 Michael Gallagher 2 Sean Brearty 3 Elaine McBride
Demand for good weanlings remains very strong with the heavy rainfall in western counties adding pressure on some farmers to lighten stocking, resulting in larger entries.
Joe Meaney from Kilrush received €1,040 for the best pair of Charolais bull weanlings weighing in at 355kgs at the Annual Weanling Show and Sale at Kilrush Mart in West Clare.
The best pair of Limousin bulls exhibited by Mark Carmody, Carrigaholt weighed 335kgs and sold for €985 and the top pair of Belgian Blue bulls exhibited by Shane O'Callaghan, Kilbaha weighed 312kgs and made €920.
Tops of the Limousin heifers, exibited by Liam Williams, Kilrush weighed 302kgs and sold for €870 while the winner of the best pair of Charolais heifers were exhibited by Joe Meaney, Kilrush and weighing 315kgs sold for €945.