2013 has been another very positive year for Limousin breeders in NI, not only with a good demand from both pedigree and commercial customers for quality cattle at the society sales, but the show circuit enjoyed some of the best Limousin cattle in the province.

President of the NI Limousin Cattle Club Jim Scott left with retiring President John Gordon MBE
President of the NI Limousin Cattle Club Jim Scott left with retiring President John Gordon MBE

The year commenced with the BLCS female haltered and unhaltered sale on Ballymena in Saturday 12th January where Gleneagle Ginger bred by Mr J B O’Kane, Garvagh secured the  top price of 4,300gns.

The Northern Ireland Limousin Cattle Club, in conjunction with Linden Foods of Dungannon, was delighted to announce a Limousin Carcase Competition in March to highlight the quality of locally-produced Limousin beef, with an entry of 40 carcases from both commercial and pedigree breeders.

There was a steady trade at the British Limousin Cattle Society’s Spring Bull & Female Sale held at Dungannon Farmers Mart in February. In all, 32 out of the 40 bulls found homes to achieve an 80% clearance rate with an average of £2,782 and 11 out of the 14 heifers forward sold to an average £1,756.

The Northern Ireland Limousin Cattle Club’s AGM was held at Dungannon Rugby Club on 12th March. Outgoing Chairman Derek Frew addressed a large number of members attending the meeting and highlighted another successful year for local breeders with many successes at shows and sales.

Three new members were duly elected onto the Executive Committee for a three year term, Paul Rainey, Kilrea, Derek Bell, Dungannon and Christine Loughran, Omagh. New Chairman was Henry Savage for the year of 2013/2014 with Jim Scott, Killyleagh, Co. Down taking over from John Gordon as President.

In May at Carlisle, Northern Irish bulls featured strongly throughout the pre-sale show emerging as Overall Supreme, Reserve Overall, Reserve Senior, Reserve Intermediate, and Champion and Reserve in the Junior section.  Selling at 26,000gns was the Reserve Overall Supreme Champion Gorrycam Hazard from Stephen Reel, Cullyhanna, Newry, Co. Down.

The British Limousin Cattle Society’s Show & Sale held in May at Ballymena saw a solid trade for Limousin stock with 47 bulls finding new homes. With a very good clearance rate of 83%, the 47 bulls averaged £2,778 overall. A smaller offering of females saw 9 sold at an average of £1,516.

Top price on the day was the 6,100gns bid for Scotchtown Golddigger bred by Messrs L & R Allison, Limavady, Co Derry.  This October 2011 bull is out of the homebred dam, Scotchtown Diola, and is an AI son of Virginia Andy.

Next in the Limousin calendar was Balmoral Show held at the new showgrounds, Balmoral Park. The judge, Mr Stephen Illingworth of the Glenrock Herd was presented with a 77-strong entry including 13 animals alone in the yearling heifer class from which emerged the Reserve Supreme Champion, Reserve Female Champion and Junior Limousin Champion, Artnagullion Hanna.  Bred and shown by William McAllister, Parkgate Road, Kells, Ballymena, Co Antrim, the April 2012-born Hanna is by Virginia Andy and is out of Teeshan Evanoush. Artnagullion Hanna made it an Interbreed double when winning the Junior Supreme Individual Interbreed title.

In an outstanding achievement, Milbrook Gingerspice, the January 2011-born in-calf heifer brought out by Mr William Smith, Oldcastle, Co Meath, Southern Ireland was crowned Overall Individual Interbreed Supreme Champion for the second year running at the Royal Ulster Show, Belfast.  The Interbreed title, judged on the second day, followed hard on the heels of the Supreme Limousin Championship title picked up on the opening day of the 2013 Royal Ulster Show held at its new Belfast home on Wednesday 15th May.

Milbrook Gingerspice
Milbrook Gingerspice

On the Friday, the final day at Balmoral, Milbrook Gingerspice teamed up with the Limousin Reserve Male Champion, Iveagh Gilkes, to take the Interbreed Pairs honours.  It was also Limousin one-two in the Commercial Championships judged on the second day by noted show calf producer Hugh Dunlop, Holehouse Farm, Cumnock, Ayrshire. Taking the Steer and Overall Championship was Steady Eddie, sired by Swarland Eddie, and exhibited by N & J Alexander of Randalstown and the Heifer Championship with Eddie Rock which is also by Swarland Eddie.

The seventh annual All-Ireland Limousin Heifer & Bull Derby took place at Castlewellan Agricultural Show on Saturday 13th July with honours shared between Northern Irish and Southern Irish breeders.

From a 36-strong entry from the two regions, Judge Mr Dougie McBeath, Stirling had the task of judging four classes comprising two bull and two heifer classes. Overall Bull Derby Champion was the January 2012-born Lynderg Hero, bred by Mr J Quail, Banbridge. Later in the day, he went on to win the Limousin Championship and Overall Interbreed Championship in the Castlewellan Show classes.

Moving on to the Heifer Derby, it was Ardnacrusha Hilarious bred by Mr D Moloney, Ardnacrusha, Co  Clare who won the Heifer Derby Championship.  This stylish October 2012-born heifer is sired by Wilodge Vantastic and is out of French dam Etoile.

The NI Limousin Cattle Club were delighted to see a tremendous turnout of the Limousin breed at the NI Junior Limousin Championship held at Antrim Show on Saturday 27th July.

Judge, Gary Swindlehurst, from Procters Farms, Clitheroe selected Gorrycam Hunter bred by Stephen Reel, Cullyhanna, Newry as his Bull Champion.  This stylish July 2012 born bull holds remarkable blood lines and is sired by Cloughhead Umpire and bred from a homebred dam Gorrycam Dolly, a Sympa daughter.

From an equally strong class of females, Claragh Heidi was the judge’s pick and put forward as Female Champion.  This May 2012 born heifer bred and owned by John Rainey, Kilrea and possessed great style and presence. Again this heifer displayed terrific bloodlines sired by the 50,000gns Wilodge Cerberus, and bred from dam Haltcliffe Avon, a Sympa daughter out of the French cow Rafale.

During the summer months, the pedigree herd competition was judged by Mr Peter Henshall, Lockerbie and the Commercial Herd Competition was judged by Mr Paddy Kinney, Nuttscorner.

The Suckled Calf Sales were held in five local markets Ballymena, Swatragh, Enniskillen, Hilltown and Markethill over the month of October.  Top price achieved was 2,800gns going to V McMullan at Ballymena Mart. Thanks to longstanding sponsors Ulster Bank Ltd, Zoetis Ltd, Fane Valley, Willow Vetinary Clinic Portadown and Hampton Hewitt, Markethill Livestock Sales.

Northern Irish breeders were again to the fore when consigning four of the ten five-figure prices in Carlisle at the October Sale. These included the 28,000gns sale leader Gorrycam Hunter from Stephen Reel as well as bulls at 12,000gns together with two at 11,000gns

The British Limousin Cattle Society Autumn Show & Sale held at Ballymena Mart on in November realised a top price of 3,400gns for the Limousin maiden heifer Robineed Hotpants bred by Messrs D & D Robinson, Irvinestown.  With a Beef Value of LM+27, this August 2012-born heifer is sired by Carmorn Copilot and is out of the homebred dam Robineed Crystal who carries Ronick Hawk bloodlines. In the bulls, a largely commercial trade saw 22 bulls sold to an average of £2,007 for two more bulls sold on the year.

The Allams Christmas Fatstock Show & Sale, held later the same month at the Balmoral Showgrounds, Belfast saw Limousin entries take the top award and secure a string of Championship titles under Judge Mr John Currie, Scotland.  Securing the Supreme Championship was the Limousin-cross heifer Eddie Rocket sired by Swarland Eddie, bred and exhibited by James Alexander, Randalstown. With an array of awards under her belt through the summer and winter show circuits, she tipped the scales at 650kg kilos and was hotly pursued in the sale ring with the hammer finally falling at £5,000 to the partnership of Barry Gallagher & Kieran McGee, Donegal. The ever-popular Ulster Housewife’s Choice Championship was won by  Robert Millar Moneymore with Duchess, a May 2012-born crossbred heifer sired by Normande Adventurer (by Ravageur). This heifer weighed in at 570kg and fetched £4,400 to Farmview Meats, Castlereagh, Belfast.

Bringing the official British Limousin Cattle Society Sale year to a close was the Red Ladies Derby followed by the Weaned Calf Sale held at Carlisle’s Borderway Market in December. Henry Savage & Sons, Altnamackin, Newry secured 5,000gns for the March 2012-born Trueman Holly who had earlier stood second in her class to the day’s Overall Champion. She was purchased by HJ & A Francis & Son for their Cain pedigree herd at Penllwyn, Llanfyllin, Powys with the same vendor and buyer combination seeing Trueman Harmonica also sold for 5,000gns.

The Young Breeders Club continues to be a very important element of the NI Limousin Club. Kim Steele-Nicholson, Antrim won the Victor Woods Trophy 2012/13. The NI Young Limousin breeders shone at the YLBC Stockjudging at Cheshire Show this year, taking runner-up spot in two of the three classes.

Ruth Hamill, Dunmurry was runner up in the individual overall class, a tremendous achievement for the twelve-year-old, just behind Jess Simms, Northwich from the North West Midlands & North Wales region who took the overall title. The North West Midlands & N Wales region also won the Junior Team title but hot on their heels was the NI team in the form of Andrew Hamill (10), Dunmurry and Adam McGookin, Carrickfergus taking second place.

In late summer the Young Breeders competed in the Anglo-Irish Stockjuding Competition held at Cappamore Show held in the South of Ireland and the team acquitted themselves admirably.

The Young Limousin Breeders’ Club held its inaugural Young Handlers’ Championship at Borderway Mart, Carlisle on the evening prior to the British Limousin Cattle Society’s Red Ladies Derby & Weaned Calf Sale. Taking the Overall title was the Junior class winner Ruth Hamill, with brother Andrew Hamill achieving 4th and James Scott the winner of the highly-commended award in his first Young Handlers Championship for battling on through a tough class.

Northern Ireland Limousin Cattle Breeders Club

Herd Competition Results for 2013

Judge : Peter Henshall

Small Herd
1st Bernish Mr K McCrory
2nd Titchburn Donal Murray
3rd Robineed David & Dale Robinson
Medium Herd
1st Trueman Henry Savage
2nd Lynderg Mr J A Quail
3rd Larkhill Mr B McAuley
3rd Ballyrobin Miss J Gilliland
Large Herd        
1st Ampertaine Messrs WJ & J McKay
2nd Culnagechan Mr D Hume
3rd Millgate Mr M Loughran
Best Heifer Calf under 2 years
1st Chinauley Indie Albert Finney
2nd Ampertaine Hotproperty Messrs WJ & J McKay
3rd Trueman Honey Henry Savage
Best H reg Bull
1st Lynderg Hero Mr JA Quail
2nd Gorrycam Hunter Mr S Reel
3rd Titchburn Heros Donal Murray
Best Cow Family
1st Hollybank Oprah Henry Savage
2nd Kype Sharon Messrs WJ & J McKay
3rd Kendrom Angel David & Dale Robinson
Best Group I Reg Calves by one Bull
1st Carmorn Copilot Mr D Hume
2nd Electeur Mr JA Quail
3rd Norman Ely Mr M Loughran
Best Group I Reg Calves
1st Chinauley Albert Finney
2nd Bernish Mr K McCrory
3rd Culnagechan Mr D Hume
Best Stockbull
1st Iveagh Gilkes Mr D Hume
2nd Lynderg Hero Mr JA Quail
3rd Goldies Hallmark C & F McAuley
Best New Entrants
  Millgate Mr M Loughran
Small Herd
1st V McMullan, Swatragh  
2nd A Ross, Newtownards  
3rd W Martin, Broughshane  
Large Herd
1st G Corrie, Newtownards  
2nd J Alexander, Randalstown  
3rd S Moore, Crumlin  
Best Steer – Large Herd
1st G Corrie  
2nd J Alexander  
3rd S Moore  
Best Heifer – Large Herd
1st J Alexander  
2nd J Alexander  
3rd G Corrie  
Best Steer – Small Herd
1st V McMullan  
2nd W Ross  
3rd R Millar  
Best Heifer – Small Herd
1st V McMullan  
2nd W Ross  
3rd W Martin