2011 has been a very positive year for Limousin breeders in Northern Irelandnot only with a good demand from both pedigree and commercial customers for quality cattle at the society sales, but also on the show circuit.
The year commenced with a female haltered and un-haltered sale in Ballymena on Saturday 15th January achieving a 93% clearance rate. Twenty-eight females averaged 1,595gns. Top price of the day went to a cow and calf unit Limo Viva, bred at the Greenmount Herd, for 6,500gns. Reserve top price of the day was also brought forward by the Greenmount Herd with Limo Emu, a heifer born in 2009 sired by Wilodge Vantastic which sold for 3,400gns.
Then came the 14th February BLCS Show & Sale in Dungannon which was judged by Alan Clyde from the Clydesdale Herd. The sale achieved a total clearance rate of 96% with only two bulls not finding a home. Forty bulls sold for an average price of 2,607gns. Overall Champion, Rathconville Esquire exhibited by Paul Brown achieved a record breaking 8,000gns. His success continued when he realised 17,000gns and 10,000gns inCarlislethat same month. Second top price of the day went to the Junior Champion, Lisbracken Eddie bred by Messrs W&J Lynch which sold for 5,600gns. Furthermore, Reserve Junior Champion Culnagechan Eliminator, bred by D Hume, sold for 5,500gns.
In March the Club held its 31stAGM and welcomed Iain Kerr (Chief Executive of BLCS) and Jim Bloom (BLCS Chairman) as guest speakers. Joan Gilliland was duly elected as chairperson by members of the Executive Committee and took the chair for the first general meeting of 2011. Newly elected committee members for 2011 comprised David Kenwell, Cahir McAuley and Henry Savage. At the meeting, Iain Kerr commended the club on how they promote theLimousin breed and stated that 20% of the Society’s memberships derived from the region ofNorthern Ireland. Also, a total of 3,000 calves fromNorthern Ireland had been registered in 2010 amounting to 14% of all UK registrations.
At the meeting, Jim Quail (NI representative on BLCS Council) presented a special award in the memory of the late Victor Woods for the most promising young breeder of 2010. This was awarded to Kim Steele-Nicholson for her achievements in stock-judging, cattle handling and presentation for show and bull sales.
To follow, on the 28th March at the BLCS Show & Sale in Dungannon, judged by John Adams from the Fedneyhouse Herd, Limousin bulls averaged 2,400gns and females averaged 1,720gns. Leading price at 4,200gns went to both the Overall Champion and Overall Reserve Champion. Overall Champion, Eniver Eoin, was brought forward by Michael McKeefry and Overall Reserve Champion was Culnagechan Engineer, bred by Derek Hume. Furthermore Raymond Crawford achieved 3,100gns for the top priced Overall Female Champion, Erne Ely. Another healthy price of 3,000gns went to Lynderg Estelle, Overall Reserve Female Champion, brought forward by Jim Quail.
In May at Carlisle James McKay set a new record-breaking price for a Limousin bull sold from Northern Ireland when Ampertaine Elgin realised 32,000gns. John & Paul Rainey also had a successful trip achieving 24,000gns and 11,500gns.
Next in the Limousin calendar was Balmoral Show, judged by well-known Northern Ireland Limousin breeder Alistair Graham who runs the Madden Herd, and again our breeders did the club proud taking Individual Interbreed Champion, Junior Male Interbreed Champion, Reserve Interbreed Group of Three, Reserve Interbreed Pairs and Commercial Champion and Reserve. Overall Limousin Champion went to William Smith, visiting breeder from theRepublicofIreland, exhibiting Milbrook Celine, a 2007 born cow sired by Greensons Gigolo. The Reserve Overall Champion & Reserve Female Champion Trueman Euphonium was exhibited by Henry Savage and Sons.
This event marked the launch of the 40th Anniversary of the BLCS. To highlight the occasion Iain Kerr & Jim Bloom joined the Executive Committee and members of the Northern Ireland Club for a champagne reception and photo shoot at the Limousin Stand in Balmoral Showgrounds.
The Club then held a General Meeting in Dungannon Rugby Club on 15th June, welcoming guest speaker Niall McConnell from Omni Systems to discuss the benefits of installing cameras on-farm for calving.
The All-Ireland Heifer & Bull Derby, judged by Brian Jones from the Bailea Herd, was held in July at Castlewellan Show. For the first time the Heifer Derby was won by aNorthern Irelandbreeder, Raymond Crawford exhibiting Erne Ezabel. Northern Ireland’s success continued with Michael Loughran & Family taking the Bull Derby with Millgate Fame. Standing in second place was Bryan McElroy exhibiting Bridgeford Floyd, and in third place Barney O’Kane exhibiting Keadyview Francis. The success of all our competitors in this competition resulted in the Northern Ireland Club picking up the Club points shield for the fifth consecutive year.
This year the British Limousin Society celebrated their 40th Anniversary. To mark the occasion, fourNorthern Ireland breeders travelled to Carlisle to compete in the National Limousin Show. Henry Savage & Sons experienced an outstanding achievement winning Overall Champion of the show with their heifer Trueman Euphonium, a Wilodge Vantastic daughter. Raymond Crawford was also successful winning Reserve Senior Male Champion with Sylvandene Defoe.
Northern Irelands breeders’ success did not end here as another strong team of Limousin bulls travelled to Carlisle in October. Here Michael Loughran & Family exhibited and sold Millgate Fame which sold for a top price of 32,000gns. They now share the record price for a bull sold fromNorthern Irelandwith James McKay. Brian McAuley was also successful with Larkhill Firmount, which sold for 22,000gns, and Paul Brown took Senior Champion with Rathconville Flynn which realised 12,000gns.
The Club then held their final General Meeting of the year in Dungannon Rugby Club on 18th October. Guest speaker, Veterinary Surgeon Mairead O’Grady from Intervet Schering-Plough, gave our members detailed advice on preventing and treating pneumonia.
BLCS’s autumn show and sale in Dungannon, judged by Owen Crawford, a commercial breeder from Kircubbin, on 7th November, saw Senior Male a& Overall Champion Millgate Fantastic, exhibited by Michael Loughran & Family, selling for a top price of 4,500gns. Second top price went to the Reserve Junior Male Champion Albian Fieldsman, owned by DT Johnston, which sold for 3,800gns. Furthermore, leading the female trade at 3,500gns was Croobview Flo, bred by Messrs J & D Jardine, which was sold toS Richardson,CountyLeitrim. Six heifers in all from the sale went toSouthern Ireland.
Every year the club sponsors Suckled Calf Sales acrossNorthern Ireland, supporting a total of five sales this year: Ballymena, Hilltown, Newtownhamilton, Swatragh and Enniskillen. There was outstanding, steady trade forLimousincalves across the board. Top price of the sales was achieved in Swatragh when the Overall Champion heifer, born in 2011, and bred by Vincent Mullan, made a staggering 2,000gns for a weight of 332kilos.
2011 came to a close with the annual club dinner held in the Rosspark Hotel in Kells. This event highlighted members’ achievements in 2011, and revealed the results of the prestigious herd competition, judged by John McElerney (President of the Irish Limousin Society).
We must not forget the Northern Ireland Young Limousin Breeders’ Club. They celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Young Handlers’ Competition & Calf Spectacular this year. Furthermore, they hosted the Anglo-Irish Stockjudging Competition. This year’s Northern Ireland Stockjudging teams comprised of Marcus Berry, William McElroy, Lynsey Lawrence, Phelim Savage and Adam McGookin who were selected from training nights organised by the Club. These training nights were kindly hosted by Jim Quail, Lynderg Herd, Mark McKinstry, Ballyaulkin Herd and Henry Savage, Trueman Herd. The Club is very proud of its young breeders and we wish them every success in the future.
A vital ingredient to the success of Club events, sales and competitions are the judges and breeders who participate. The club is sincerely indebted to them all.
Finally I would like to acknowledge the honour bestowed on our esteemed member, Sam Coleman, in taking on the Presidency of BLCS and to offer a special thanks to the Northern Ireland Limousin Club’s President John Gordon, Club Secretary Heather Hume, and the Executive Committee for their support, hard-work and dedication to the Club in 2011. In closing, I would like to wish our members a prosperous 2012.
N.I HERD COMPETITION 2011- Sponsored by McQuillan Envirocare Ltd
Judge : John McInerney
Best Home Bred Heifer under 2 years
|1st||Trueman Estelle||H Savage|
|2nd||Ballyrobin Fascati||J Gilliland|
|3rd||Culnagechan Eyecatcher||D Hume|
|Best “F” registered young bull|
|1st||Ampertaine Foreman||J McKay|
|2nd||Culnagechan Fantastic||D Hume|
|3rd||Heathmount Foreman||McKinney Bros|
|Best Cow Family|
|1st||Carmorn Penny||F McAuley|
|2nd||Trueman Song||H Savage|
|3rd||Robbstown Elizabel||J Gilliland|
|Best Group of “G” reg calves|
|Best Group of “G” reg calves by one Stock Bull|
|1st||Culnaghechan – Carmorn Copilot||D Hume|
|2nd||Heathmount – Bailea Bullion||McKinney Bros|
|3rd||Glarryford – Teeshan Elmo||R Coleman|
|1st||Bailea Bullion||McKinney Bros|
|2nd||Carmorn Cantona||D Frew|
|3rd||Teeshan Elmo||R Coleman|
|Sponsors Ulster Bank Ltd and Teemore Engineering awarded trophies to the winners of the All Ireland Derby 2011|
|Derby Bull Cup – M Loughran, Millgate Fame|
|Derby Heifer Cup to R Crawford, Erne EzabelNorthern Bank Show Team trophy to R Crawford.|
|Gordon Bull –(Most Championships) – R Crawford|
|Irish Limousin Bull (Top Price Animal) – J McKay for Ampertaine Elgin and M Loughran for Millgate Fame, both bulls realising 32,000gns|
|Special Chairperson’s Award – Bryan McElroy for his dedication and hard work during his term as Chair from 2005-2011|
|CHAIRMAN’s CRYSTAL VASE – to Vice Chairperson, Christine Loughran in recognition for all her help during 2011|