By Julie Hazelton

There was brisk bidding from commercial buyers resulting in a 13,000gns Northern Ireland record at the British Limousin Society’s regional show and sale, held at Ballymena Mart.

The May Day sale attracted a large crowd who witnessed a 98% clearance with 39 bulls traded to level at £5,230, an increase of £1,391 on last year’s sale.

Claiming the headlines in both the show and sale rings was the much-admired Slieve Sportyman bred by the father and son team of John and Shane McGeehan from Fivemiltown, County Tyrone.

This nineteen-month-old bull caught the eye of Scottish judge Blair Duffton to claim the intermediate, male and supreme overall championship plaudits generously sponsored by Steele Farm Supplies.

Mr Duffton who runs a 750-cow commercial suckler enterprise at Huntly in Aberdeenshire, praised the quality of Limousin cattle on parade. “It has been an impressive show, with good quality bulls at the top end of every class. The overall champion is a tremendous well-balanced bull. He is very correct, has a great back-end, and shows great potential.”

Shattering the breed’s previous record for a bull sold at auction in Northern Ireland, Slieve Sportyman also sets a new herd record for the McGeehan’s. Carrying F94L and Q204X myostatin genes, he was sired by the 32,000gns Ampertaine Elgin, and is out of a home-bred dam by the 50,000gns Wilodge Cereberus.

His dam Slieve Jen is one of the most prolific ET donor cows in the herd, breeding many high-priced progeny. Her first son Slieve Nando sold at Carlisle for 11,000gns.

After spirited bidding he came under the gavel of auctioneer Graham Loughrey, selling to pedigree and commercial herd owner Gareth Corrie from Newtownards.


Second highest bid of the day 11,000gns, was paid to first-time exhibitors Sean and Anita McKeown from Toomebridge, for the July 2021 born Seanita Superhero. Sired by the 11,000gns Ampertaine Nugent, he is the result of an embryo from Carmorn Mammamia gifted by Anita’s father, Francis McAuley.

Established three years ago the Seanita Herd comprises of six breeding females. Sean, Anita, and two-year-old daughter Ellie, were delighted with the outcome of the sale. This bull has two copies of the Q204X gene and sold to Robert Workman from Kilwaughter near Larne.

11000gns Seanita Superhero from Messrs S&A McKeown

Next best at 10,000gn was Rahoney Shadrach who picked up the senior, reserve male and reserve supreme championship awards. Bred by Howard McFarland, Trillick, he is by the 35,000gns Carlisle intermediate and supreme champion (2018) Ampertaine Majestic. His dam Rahoney Jem is a daughter of the home-bred 23,000gns Rahoney Geoffrey, reserve overall champion at Carlisle in 2013.  This August 2021 bull has two copies of the F94L gene, and was snapped up by Ross Millar from Newtownstewart, County Tyrone.

Judge Blair Duffton added: “The reserve champion is another fine example of the breed. He is a strong, well-balanced bull with a tremendous body and backend, and has the potential to breed very good cross-bred calves.”

10,000gns Rahoney Shadrach from Messrs H&D McFarland

The reserve senior champion Ballyrobin Skyfall attracted a bid of 7,200gns for Joan Gilliland, and niece Kim Montgomery, Antrim. Almost two-years-old, this stylish bull is by the 22,000gns Gunnerfleet Lion, and bred from Ballyrobin Nina – one of 20 cows in the herd. He boasts two copies of the F94L myostatin gene, and sold to Robert McNabney from Broughshane.

7200gns Ballyrobin Skyfall from Miss J Gilliland

Cranmoney Ted, the first bull to sell from Mark and Mairead McCartan’s Crossgar-based herd, attracted a bid of 6,500gns. He has F94L and Q204X genes and sold to G Hackett, Clogher.

This fifteen-month-old entry stood first in his class and also scooped the junior championship. He was sired by Claddagh McCabe, and is an ET son of Cranmoney Redlady. His full sister Cranmoney Tess stood second in the junior heifer class at the NI Young Limousin Breeders’ Calf Show at Dungannon in March.

6500gns Cranmoney Ted from Mr M McCartan

The third placed Ballyrickard Skeletor bred by Ian Davidson, Larne, sold for 6,000gns. Born in September 2021, he is a son of the £40,000 Plumtree Fantasic, and is out of the Bavardage daughter, Royal County Nova. This bull has double F94L genes, and was purchased by Paul Whyte from Maghera.


John O’Kane and Sons, Garvagh, sold the third placed Glenagle Stellar for 5,800gns. Born in October 2021 he has F94L and Q204X genes, and is a Sympa son out of an embryo from Ampertaine Ikea. Buyer was Gabriel Emerson from Cushendall.

Also selling at 5,800gns was the reserve intermediate champion Ballyrobin Sambuca. Born in November 2021 he has double F94L genes, and was sired by Whinfellpark Lomu. His dam is the Wilodge Vantastic daughter, Ballyrobin Frascati. The winning bid came from James O’Rawe, Gracehill, Ballymena.

Joan Gilliland and Kim Montgomery sold five bulls from the Ballyrobin Herd to average £5,712 per head.

Female trade peaked at 5,500gns, paid to Howard McFarland for the female champion Rahoney Serena. Sired by Whinfellpark Lomu, she was born in December 2021, and is out of a home-bred dam by Plumtree Fantastic. This heifer was snapped up by Gareth Corrie for his Drumhilla Herd.

5500gns Rahoney Serena from Messrs H&D McFarland

The first placed Spage Stella sold at 3,200gns for Paul Campbell, Carnlough. This April 2021 heifer is a daughter of Plumtree Fantastic, and out of Spage Jullie by Procters Cavalier. She also joins Gareth Corrie’s herd.

Limousin females achieved an 88% clearance, with 14 heifers selling to average £2,648 each, an increase of £784.