Trail-blazing Charolais sells for 2,800gns at Portadown sale (1984)

A top price of 2,800 guineas and only five bulls selling under 1,000 guineas were some of the highlights of the Northern Ireland Charolais Club’s show and sale which had been held during this week in 1984 at the Automart, Portadown.
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Furious bidding from an enthusiastic gallery of both commercial beef and dairy men kept trade moving briskly.

On his first time out in the show ring, Desmond Cummins, from Omagh, received the day’s top price of 2,800 guineas for his reserve champion, Lisnacreight Ulick, an MMB Occidental son.

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Desmond, a dairy farmer, also exhibited the champion, Loughgall Uncle. It made 2,400 guineas and won the Northern Bank Trophy.

Pictured from Farming Life March 1983 - Harry Marquess, from Muckamore, who won the Farming Life Perpetual Challenge for the best pair of full French cattle, by the same sire, bred the exhibitor. Mr Marquess's, Harry, received the trophy from Farming Life editor, David McCoy. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl ArmitagePictured from Farming Life March 1983 - Harry Marquess, from Muckamore, who won the Farming Life Perpetual Challenge for the best pair of full French cattle, by the same sire, bred the exhibitor. Mr Marquess's, Harry, received the trophy from Farming Life editor, David McCoy. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl Armitage
Pictured from Farming Life March 1983 - Harry Marquess, from Muckamore, who won the Farming Life Perpetual Challenge for the best pair of full French cattle, by the same sire, bred the exhibitor. Mr Marquess's, Harry, received the trophy from Farming Life editor, David McCoy. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl Armitage

The judge, Neill Massie, from Aberdeen, described the two bulls as outstanding examples of the breed with the champion, at only 10-months-old, showing signs of developing into “a most promising herd sire”.

Farming Life noted that for a first time in the show ring such comments from the judge plus the top price and the champion and reserve champion awards were quite a debut.

Harry Marquess, from Antrim, one of the club’s most enthusiastic members, took the Farming Life Trophy for the best pair of full French cattle, by the same exhibitor, with two sons of Divity Richelieu. One of these sold for 2,500 guineas, and one at 1,560 guineas, making 4,000 guineas for the pair.

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Neil Massie commented: “Considering the prices here today many of those who went to Perth would have done better at home. It would have done the beef industry a better service to have sold them here.

Pictured from Farming Life March 1983 - Desmond Cummings, of Omagh, winner of the supreme championship. Mr Cummings received the Northern Bank Perpetual Challenge Trophy from Malcolm McNeely, of the bank's agricultural department. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl ArmitagePictured from Farming Life March 1983 - Desmond Cummings, of Omagh, winner of the supreme championship. Mr Cummings received the Northern Bank Perpetual Challenge Trophy from Malcolm McNeely, of the bank's agricultural department. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl Armitage
Pictured from Farming Life March 1983 - Desmond Cummings, of Omagh, winner of the supreme championship. Mr Cummings received the Northern Bank Perpetual Challenge Trophy from Malcolm McNeely, of the bank's agricultural department. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl Armitage

“Now that trade is soaring again I feel that breeders’ should use the extra money to get new blood lines. I know the import restrictions are frightening but the breed could use some new blood.”

Mr Massie also commented on the champion heifer, an MMB Apollon daughter which was exhibited by Loftus Lucy, of Enniskillen.

Beechmount Sonya was sold for 1,600 guineas and won the Allied Irish Banks Trophy for the best animal of opposite sex to the champion, bred by the exhibitor.

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Auctioneer Tom Clarke commented: “This is the best response from a gallery of buyers at a Charolais sale since the early 70s. We could have sold more quality bulls if we had them but buyers were not prepared to take an interest in the lesser quality animal.”

Mr Campbell Houston, right, manager, Ulster Bank, Banbridge, presents a sponsorship cheque to Mr Joe Caddoo (second right), vice president of the Northern Ireland British Friesian Breeders’ Club (NIBFBC). Included from left are, Mr Norman Hamilton with Mr Caddoo’s supreme champion, Mr Stephen Smith, agricultural adviser, Ulster Bank, Mr Edwin Bryson, auctioneer, and Mr Wilbert Rankin, president NIBFBC, at the show and sale held at Banbridge in January 1984. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl ArmitageMr Campbell Houston, right, manager, Ulster Bank, Banbridge, presents a sponsorship cheque to Mr Joe Caddoo (second right), vice president of the Northern Ireland British Friesian Breeders’ Club (NIBFBC). Included from left are, Mr Norman Hamilton with Mr Caddoo’s supreme champion, Mr Stephen Smith, agricultural adviser, Ulster Bank, Mr Edwin Bryson, auctioneer, and Mr Wilbert Rankin, president NIBFBC, at the show and sale held at Banbridge in January 1984. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl Armitage
Mr Campbell Houston, right, manager, Ulster Bank, Banbridge, presents a sponsorship cheque to Mr Joe Caddoo (second right), vice president of the Northern Ireland British Friesian Breeders’ Club (NIBFBC). Included from left are, Mr Norman Hamilton with Mr Caddoo’s supreme champion, Mr Stephen Smith, agricultural adviser, Ulster Bank, Mr Edwin Bryson, auctioneer, and Mr Wilbert Rankin, president NIBFBC, at the show and sale held at Banbridge in January 1984. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl Armitage

Averages: 24 bulls averaged £1,535.63, compared with an average of £952.13 for 31 bulls at the same sale in 1983.

Two cows averaged £792.75 – and three heifers averaged £1,309 compared to an average of £889 for the three heifers offered at this sale in 1983.

It was also noteworthy, said Farming Life, that the four bulls offered by Harry Marquess, all of which were grandsons of Impeccable averaged £1,622.

Class results:

Mr Alan Patterson from Donaghadee with the second reserve champion, Herdstown Dinah 8th at the Northern Ireland British Friesian Breeders’ Club show and sale which was held at Banbridge in January 1984. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl ArmitageMr Alan Patterson from Donaghadee with the second reserve champion, Herdstown Dinah 8th at the Northern Ireland British Friesian Breeders’ Club show and sale which was held at Banbridge in January 1984. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl Armitage
Mr Alan Patterson from Donaghadee with the second reserve champion, Herdstown Dinah 8th at the Northern Ireland British Friesian Breeders’ Club show and sale which was held at Banbridge in January 1984. Picture: Farming Life archives/Darryl Armitage
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Bull, born between July 1, 1982, and February 10, 1983: 1, I Blakely, Rathfriland; 2, B McAllister, Ballymena; 3, R Simpson and Sons, Lambeg.

Bull, born between February 21, 1983, and March 20, 1983: 1, D Gummins, Omagh; 2, Mrs M E Adams, Broughshane; 3, R Alexander, Omagh.

Bull, born between March 21, 1983, and May 28, 1983: 1, D Cummins, Omagh; 2, H Marquess, Antrim; 3, T Meegan, Clogher.

Heifer: 1, Loftus Lucy, Enniskillen; 2, W Kelly, Strabane; 3, T Meegan, Clogher.

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Leading prices, in guineas, included: 2,800 guineas, D Cummins, Omagh (to J J Robinson, Donemana); 2,500 guineas, H Marquess, Antrim (Brían Mullan, Coleraine); 2,400 guineas, D Cummins (N McClelland, Coleraine); 1,900 guineas, L Blakely, Rathfriland (Ronald Mackey, Londonderry); 1,900 guineas, George Allen, Portadown (A Hughes, Keady); 1,850 guineas, Noel Linton, Dromore (R Taggart, Ballymena); 1,600 guineas, Loftus Lucy, Enniskillen (Ivan Robinson, Ballygowan); 1,560 guineas, H Marquess (S Watterson, Cookstown); 1,500 guineas, Mrs M E Adams, Broughshane (James Coleman, Glarryford); 1,440 guineas, Joe Linton, Armagh (Miss M Irvine, Templepatrick); 1,440 guineas, T Meegan, Clogher (M Workman, Larne); 1,400 guineas, W J Cummings, Ballyclare (P McVeery, Newry).