Complete clearance as Limousin bulls average £5,160 at Ballymena

By Julie Hazelton

Records were shattered at the British Limousin Cattle Society’s regional show and sale in Ballymena when the supreme overall champion came under the hammer of auctioneer Graham Loughery at 17,000gns.

Attracting the sale’s top price, and setting a new record for a Limousin bull sold at auction in Northern Ireland, was the junior and supreme overall champion Ampertaine Teus ET bred by James McKay from Upperlands, Maghera.

James McKay’s junior and supreme overall champion Ampertaine Teus sold for an NI record of 17,000gns. 

The 130-cow Ampertaine herd also holds Northern Ireland’s 24,000gns Limousin female record, achieved by Ampertaine Tiara at the inaugural Ladies in Red sale, held at Ballymena six months ago.

Judge Matthew Jordan, who runs the 80-cow Longhirst Herd in conjunction with an arable enterprise at The Brocks in Northumberland, described the supreme champion as a stand-out bull with great breed character. “He is a growthy bull with fantastic power, a good carcase and superb locomotion.”

Ballymena Limousin judge Matthew Jordan from Longhirst Herd, Northumberland.

The eighteen-month-old Ampertaine Teus was sired by the 38,000gns Ampertaine Foreman, and is out of the home-bred Goldies Fantastic daughter Ampertaine Joy.

Teus come from a very consistent cow family and has eight full sisters in the herd. His maternal brother Ampertaine Majestic sold for 35,000gns, and has produced numerous bulls with five-figure price tags, including the 35,000gns Ampertaine Punch and the 25,000gns Glenrock Redemption. His dam also produced the 9,000gns Ampertaine Phantom, as well as Ampertaine Topper who has been retained for use in the herd.

With a beef value of LM56 and two copies of the F94L myostatin gene, he attracted strong interest from ringside and online bidders. The securing bid came from pedigree breeder Mark McKinstry, owner of the Ballyaulkin Herd based at Nutt’s Corner, County Antrim.

Second highest price of the day 8,500gns was paid to John O’Kane and Sons from Garvagh, for their intermediate champion Gleneagle Trooper. This nineteen-month-old entry was sired by Ampertaine Majestic, and is bred from the Mereside Lorenzo daughter Gleneagle Polly – one of 15 cows in the herd.

Intermediate champion Gleneagle Trooper sold at 8,500gns for John O’Kane and Sons.

The Polly family is a very consistent female line, with several bulls sold to pedigree herds. The intermediate champion sold to the 60-cow Ballycairn Herd owned by Stephen McGookin from Carrickfergus.

Matthew Jordan added: “This is a well-balanced and growthy bull with good length. He is ideal for pedigree breeding.”

Next best at 5,600gns was the reserve senior champion bred by Ian Davidson from Larne. The twenty-one-month-old Ballyrickard Trigger LM43 was sired by the 35,000gns October 2016 Carlisle champion Foxhillfarm Lordofthering. His dam is the Vagabond daughter Greenwell Emelia. The ET-bred calf has F94L and NT821 myostatin genes and sold to A Abbott from Lisburn.

Ian Davidson’s reserve senior champion Ballyrickard Trigger sold for 5,600gns.

The reserve junior and reserve supreme champion Birchwood Turbo realised 5,000gns for McGurk Bros, Marty, Ronan and Stephen from Cookstown. This eighteen-month-old entry was sired by the herd’s stock bull Ampertaine Progressive, and is bred from Goldies Nicely. He has F94L and Q204X genes and was purchased by Stephen Hall from Newtownabbey.

“Another fantastic bull with great breed character and style. He has good conformation and is square over the plates,” added the judge.

Also selling at 5,000gns was the senior champion Lynderg Theodore from Jim Quail’s 30-cow herd at Banbridge. This twenty-two-month-old bull is by herd sire Gleneagle Pascal, and out of the home-bred Lynderg Minelli. He has F94L and NT821 genes and sold to John McGovern from Newtownbutler.

Senior champion Lynderg Theodore realised 5,000gns for Jim Quail.

The seventeen-month-old Ashview Texas realised 5,000gns for Victor and Stephen Keys, Dromore, County Tyrone. This first prize winner was sired by Ampertaine Majestic, and is out of the Swarland Eddie daughter Togherdoo Jan. Buyer was Christie Devine from Claudy.

Matthew Jordan said he thoroughly enjoyed making a return trip to Northern Ireland to judge the sale. “There was a good standard of bulls on parade, and although there weren’t massive numbers forward, the quality and consistency in each class was very good.”

Commenting on the sale NI Limousin Club chairman Brian McAuley said: ”Following on from the society’s tremendous sale in Carlisle, it was encouraging to see a strong demand for bulls in Ballymena, resulting in a top price of 17,000gns and a complete clearance.

“Farmers are looking for easy calving, fast growing, early finishing genetics with a lower carbon footprint. The Limousin breed can provide these sought-after traits, and is now looked upon as a ‘green breed’ which is ideal for today’s changing beef market.

Brian McAuley concluded: “I would like to thank JA McClelland and Sons Ltd for conducting the sale, Countryside Services for its generous sponsorship, and Matthew Jordan for doing an excellent job in the showring.”

Sale average: 18 bulls at £5,160 (100%)

Birchwood Turbo the reserve junior and reserve supreme champion from Messrs McGurk

Results from the showring…


Supreme Champion: James McKay, Ampertaine Teus; Reserve: McGurk Bros, Birchwood Turbo.

Senior Champion: Jim Quail, Lynderg Theodore; Reserve: Ian Davidson, Ballyrickard Trigger.

Intermediate Champion: John O’Kane and Sons, Gleneagle Tropper; Reserve: Michael Diamond, Pointhouse Tornado.

Junior Champion: James McKay, Ampertaine Teus; Reserve: R and R McGurk, Birchwood Turbo.

First prize Ashview Texas sold at 5,000gns for Victor and Stephen Keys


Class 1, Senior bull – 1, Jim Quail, Lynderg Theodore by Gleneagle Pascal; 2, Joseph Breen, Montiaghs Tobias by Montiaghs Paddy.

Class 2, Senior Bull – 1, Ian Davidson, Ballyrickard Trigger by Foxhillfarm Lordofthering; 2, RS Clyde, Clydevalley Toby by Clydevalley Power; 3, RS Clyde, Clydevalley Tixer by Clydevalley Mains.

Class 3, Intermediate bull – 1, Michael Diamond, Pointhouse Tornado by Goldies Jackpot; 2, John O’Kane and Sons, Gleneagle Tausus by Gleneagle Pascal; 3, Messrs J and J Aiken, Carnew Tonka by Carnew Rambo; 4, RAG Savage, Aghadolgan Thor by Lowerffrydd Empire.

Class 4, Intermediate bull – 1, John O’Kane and Sons, Gleneagle Trooper by Ampertaine Majestic; 2, RAG Savage, Aghadolgan Texas by Ampertaine Magnum; 3, Trevor Shields, Sunnyside Tequilla by Lodge Hamlet; 4, RS Clyde, Clydevalley Tonka by Clydevalley Power.

Class 5, Junior bull – 1, James McKay, Ampertaine Teus by Ampertaine Foreman; 2, McGurk Bros, Birchwood Turbo by Ampertaine Progressive; 3, Niall Quinn, Keenaught Thurles by Grahams Nashville.

Class 6, Junior bull – 1, Victor and Stephen Keys, Ashview Texas by Ampertaine Majestic; 2, James McKay, Ampertaine Toronto.