Elphin Mart was humming on Saturday as the highlight in the Charolais year took place, the famous Christmas Cracker bull sale.
It has built up a strong reputation down through the years of attracting the best bulls and the best buyers and this year’s trade didn’t disappoint.
With 98 bulls across nine different classes and then three championships, judging was a difficult task for Northumberland breeder Chris Curry. Curry runs a herd of 40 pedigree Charolais cows under the Burradon herd prefix.
Judging was swift and decisive and it was his junior champion, Garra Rockey ET, that hit the top price on the day. This October 2020-born bull from Galway breeder David Watts was sired by Maerdy Sinndar and is out of Kilcumeragh Dorothee, a cow imported from France by Brendan Canning.
Rockey is a full brother to the Bova AI bull Sagesse Pierre and attracted a lot of interest in the pre-sale show.
After a marathon bidding session, he was eventually knocked down at €19,000 to Jonathon Watson from the famous Tweedale pedigree herd in England.
@irishcharolais Christmas cracker in Elphin. Lot 78, the junior champion, an October 2020 born son of Maerdy Sinndar out of an Ulster cow sells for a massive €19000. Top price of sale so far!!! @FJBeef @FJ_Pedigree @farmersjournal pic.twitter.com/qZEk0iho1u— Adam Woods (@ajwwoods) December 4, 2021
Four bulls crossed the €12,000 mark in what proved to be a very successful sale for the Irish Charolais Cattle Society.
Martin Ryan’s August 2020-born bull claimed the intermediate championship in the pre-sale show and again attracted a lot of interest around the show ring. Goldstar Roger is by Doonally New (CF52) and out of a French imported cow, Goldstar Grenadine, by Diamant RJ.
He boasts an impressive set of figures, with a terminal index of €162, a carcase weight figure of +46.8kg and a calving figure of +7.3%.
After a flurry of bids, he was eventually knocked down to a Northern Ireland-based suckler farmer at €12,600.
@irishcharolais Christmas cracker sale in Elphin: Martin Ryan’s intermediate champion by CF52 hits the hammer at €12,600 to a NI customer. Real solid trade all day here, with 3 bulls over €12,000 .@FJ_Pedigree @farmersjournal @FJBeef pic.twitter.com/KOkkXXu9bj— Adam Woods (@ajwwoods) December 4, 2021
Also hitting the €12,600 price tag was Tullaghan Remarkabull ET from Michael Daniel Daly, Tullaghan, Co Leitrim.
No stranger to the show ring, this August 2020-born bull had picked up a second prize at the national Charolais show in September and he picked up another second prize in a strong class of bulls in the pre-sale show.
By Doonally New (CF52) and out of a Domino dam, he has a terminal index of €178, a carcase weight figure of +48.4kg and a calving figure of 8.3%
@farmersjournal at the @irishcharolais Christmas Cracker sale in Elphin: Lot 54, a September 2020’born son of Texan Gie hits €8200 for Paul Burke, Sligo. @FJ_Pedigree @FJBeef pic.twitter.com/0SfXNHIrpO— Adam Woods (@ajwwoods) December 4, 2021
The senior champion of the day was the next bull in the big money.
Tonroe Realmacoy is by Tweedale Lookout and out of a homebed Thrunton Voldemort-bred cow.
Realmacoy has a five-star terminal index of €164, a carcase weight figure of +51.1kg and a calving figure of 9.9%. He was knocked down to a Co Louth suckler farmer at €12,000.
For a full sale report including photos of the top-priced bulls in the sale pick up a copy of this week’s Irish Farmers Journal, in shops Thursday.