Ampertaine Tiara tops trade at Ladies in Red sale in Ballymena

By Julie Hazelton

Records were shattered at the Northern Ireland Limousin Cattle Club’s inaugural Ladies in Red show and sale, conducted by Harrison and Hetherington in conjunction with JA McClelland and Sons at Ballymena Mart.

Prices peaked at 24,000gns, surpassing the 22,000gns breed record for a female sold at an official society auction in Northern Ireland. Twenty-three heifers averaged £6,263, and eight lots were sold for export to herds in England, Scotland and Ireland.

Pictured at the Ladies in Red sale,  from left: Judge Mary Cormack, Hereford;  James McKay, owner of junior and supreme champion Ampertaine Tiara sold for 24,000gns, with Kevin Corry, Norbrook, sponsor, and handler Allen Shortt; Shane and Joe McGeehan, Fivemiletown, owners of the reserve junior and reserve supreme champion Slieve Tess, sold for 12,000gns.; and handler Jake Robson. Picture: Agri-Images

Topping trade was the junior and supreme overall champion Ampertaine Tiara bred by James McKay from Maghera. The eleven-month-old heifer was described by judge Mary Cormack from the Rougemont Herd in Hereford, as a very worthy winner.

Ladies in Red judge Mary Cormack from Hereford. Picture: Agri-Images

“The overall champion is an exceptional heifer! She is packed with meat, oozes femininity, and has great length and depth, and a good second thigh.”

James McKay’s record breaking 24,000gns Ampertaine Tiara was the junior and supreme overall champion at the Ladies in Red sale in Ballymena. Picture: Agri-Images

Sired by the 40,000gns Ampertaine Opportunity, her dam is the Plumtree Fantastic daughter, Ampertaine Neve. Tiara’s full brother, Ampertaine Superstition, was senior male champion at Carlisle in May and sold for 27,000gns.

Ampertaine Tiara attracted considerable attention from online and ringside bidders. The successful 24,000gns bid came from Paul Tippetts, owner of the noted Wilodge Herd based at Shifnal in Shropshire.

The breed’s previous 22,000gns record was achieved by Ampertaine Sherry at the British Limousin Cattle Society’s 50th Anniversary sale in Northern Ireland in August 2022.

James McKay had a ‘good day at the office’, selling four Ampertaine females to average £9,319 per head.

The catalogue was packed with many of the breed’s sought-after and proven bloodlines, and all heifers were pre-sale selected on-farm by Carlisle auctioneer James Little.

Second highest bid of day 12,000gns was paid to father and son, John and Shane McGeehan, Fivemiletown, for their reserve junior and reserve supreme champion Slieve Tess.

The McGeehan family realised 12,000gns for the reserve junior and reserve supreme champion Slieve Tess. Picture: Agri-Images

She stood second in her class to the champion, and is a Trueman Idol daughter bred from Slieve Porsche.

Mary Cormack added:” It has been a fantastic show with a strong line-up of Limousin heifers. For me the youngsters really stood out, and the reserve champion is another exceptional heifer. She is feminine, clean through the front, and has great conformation.”

The reserve champion also sold for export to England, and is destined to join the Hartmoor prefix owned by HG Perkins and Sons at Radstock, Bath.

The same bidders paid 5,000gns to secure the fourth prize winning Slieve Tasha. Another from the McGeehan’s herd, she is by Loosebeare Fantastic, and bred from Slieve Ota – one of 20-cows in the herd.

Also selling for export, this time to Ben Whiting’s Bottleshall Herd in Colchester, Essex, was the 10,500gns senior champion Trueman Tapiola consigned by Henry Savage and Sons, Newry.

Born in April 2022, she is by the 20,000gns Telfers Munster, and is out of the home-bred Ampertaine Elgin daughter, Trueman Layla. Twelve-months ago her full sister, Trueman Serenata sold for 22,000gns at the society’s 50th Anniversary sale in Carlisle.

Following close behind at 10,000gns was the Savage family’s first placed Trueman Tigerlily. Another by Telfers Munster, her dam is the Mereside Lorenzo daughter, Trueman Newtownjohn. Buyer was Seamus Branniff from Ballynahinch.

Henry Savage had a successful day, selling four daughters of the herd’s stock bull, Telfers Munster, to average £8,269 per head. His offering also included the second placed Trueman Tinaturner, sold for 6,800gns to pedigree herd owner Bobby Jones from Skerries, Dublin.

The Ladies in Red senior champion was Trueman Tapiola bred by Henry Savage and Sons, and exhibited by Tara O’Brien; while the reserve was Rathkeeland Twilight exhibited by Stephen Crawford. Included are NI Limousin Club chairman Brian McAuley; judge Mary Cormack, Hereford; and sponsor Kevin Corry, Norbrook. Picture: Agri-Images

The first lot into the salering, Lynderg Sarah from Jim Quail, Banbridge, attracted a bid of 6,500gns from Darragh McCourt, Edenross Herd, Rostrevor. This March 2021 heifer was sired by Telfers Munster, and is out the home-bred Lynderg Noleen.

The October 2021 born Tullyglush Sariffa, bred by PJ McDonald from Tynan, and consigned by Andrew Hamill, Belfast, sold for 5,800gns. This second prize winner is a Plumtree Fantastic daughter, and is out of Tullyglush Peggysue. She sold to the Dunkirk herd owned by A Murphy from Waringstown.

Herbie and Stephen Crawford, Maguiresbridge, sold two first prize winning heifers for 5,000gns each.

First to sell was the reserve senior champion Rathkeeland Twilight, who was snapped up by J Cairns from Broughshane. This seventeen-month-old was sired by Plumtree Fantastic, and is out of the Culnagechan Lazio daughter, Rathkeeland Phoenix.

The thirteen-month-old Rathkeeland Tamsin is an Ironstone Gandi daughter, bred from Erne Intel. This one sold to pedigree breeder Paul Kernan from Armagh.

NI Limousin Cattle Club chairman Brian McAuley thanked everyone who had contributed to the success of the sale. “Special thanks to judge Mary Cormack, Ballymena Mart, and our new sponsor Norbrook Laboratories, represented by Kevin Corry.”

Spectators around the showring at the Ladies in Red show and sale in Ballymena. Picture: Agri-Images

Results from the showring…

Supreme Champion: James McKay, Ampertaine Tiara. Reserve: John and Shane McGeehan, Slieve Tess.

Senior Champion: Henry Savage and Sons, Trueman Tapiola. Reserve: Crawford Bros, Rathkeeland Twilight.

Junior Champion: James McKay, Ampertaine Tiara. Reserve: John and Shane McGeehan, Slieve Tess.


Class 1, Senior female, born 28/03/21 to 01/10/21 – 1, Jim Quail, Lynderg Sarah by Telfers Munster; 2, Andrew Hamill, Tullyglush Sariffa by Plumtree Fantastic; 3, P Murphy, Carrickaldreen Superjen by Rocky; 4, Jim Quail, Lynderg Simone by Lynderg Prince.

Class 2, Senior female, born 17/11/21 to 06/12/21 – 1, Brian and Cahir McAuley, Larkhill Sofia by Whinfellpark Lomu; 2, D and B McCaffrey, Backfarm Sky by Westpit Omaha; 3, Jim Quail, Lynderg Sylvie by Lynderg Dimitri; 4, Jim Quail, Lynderg Shelagh by Gleneagle Pascal.

Class 3, Senior female, born 13/02/22 to 01/03/22 – 1, Crawford Bros, Rathkeeland Twilight by Plumtree Fantastic; 2, Trevor Shields, Glenmarshal Topaz by Goldies Jackpot; 3, Trevor Shields, Glenmarshal Timeless by Goldies Jackpot; 4, P Murphy, Carrickaldreen Trixie by Telfers Munster.

Class 4, Senior female, born 03/04/22 to 20/04/22 – 1, Henry Savage and Sons, Trueman Tapiola by Telfers Munster; 2, Trevor Shields, Glenmarshal Treasure by Whinfellpark Lomu; 3, Henry Savage and Sons, Trueman Trudi by Telfers Munster; 4, Trevor Shields, Glenmarshal Toffee by Ampertaine Elgin.

Class 5, Junior female, born 01/05/22 to 26/05/22 – 1, Henry Savage and Sons, Trueman Tigerlily by Telfers Munster; 2, Henry Savage and Sons, Trueman Tinaturner by Telfers Munster; 3, Samuel and Alistair Gordon by Moneydarragh Tiamaria by Ampertaine Foreman; 4, John and Shane McGeehan, Slieve Tasha by Loosebeare Fantastic.

Class 6, Junior female, born 04/06/22 to 25/07/22 – 1, Crawford Bros, Rathkeeland Tamsin by Ironstone Gandi; 2, Crawford Bros, Rathkeeland Tigeress by Gunnerfleet Lion; 3, Niall Quinn, Keenaught Tyrella by Huntershall Odyssey; 4, Crawford Bros, Rathkeeland Tangerine by Haltcliffe Nijinsky.

Class 7, Junior female, born 20/08/22 to 31/08/22 – 1, James McKay, Ampertaine Topclass by Milbrook Playboy; 2, MJ Conway, Craigatoke Tipsy, by Foxhillfarm Ourbest; 3, MJ Conway by Craigatoke Tina by Foxhillfarm Ourbest.

Class 8, Junior female, born 11/09/22 to 10/12/22 – 1, James McKay, Ampertaine Tiara by Ampertaine Opportunity; 2, John and Shane McGeehan, Slieve Tess by Trueman Idol; 3, Crawford Bros, Rathkeeland Tesla by Gunnerfleet Lion; 4, Barney O’Kane and Sons, Keadyview Tillie by Claragh Neymar.

Keeping an eye on the judging at the Ladies in Red Limousin show and sale. Picture: Agri-Images