An impressive 16 bulls – including sale-topper Derry bull Ampertaine Majestic – fetched five-figure sums at Carlisle’s British Limousin sale on Saturday (May 5).

A total of 117 bulls sold for an average of £6,523.46 (€7,500) with a solid clearance rate of 80%.

The sale saw buyers honing in on bulls with strong calving ease and good performance figures. Trade was also given a boost by some stylish “breeders’ bulls” which caught the eye of the pedigree audience.

While 16 bulls made it into five figures, a further 65 made between 4,000gns and 9,000gns.

The bull sale came hard on the heels of the Limousin female sale the previous evening, which saw a top price of 26,000gns and near full clearance. A total of 75 lots made a combined £272,000 (€310,600).

The two sales together saw 192 Limousin animals sell for just over £1 million (€1.1 million).

Sale topper

The pre-sale show was judged by Dougie McBeath, Springsett Herd.

Leading the day’s trade at 35,000gns was the Intermediate and Overall Champion in the pre-sale show in the shape of Ampertaine Majestic from WJ & J McKay, Co. Derry.

The December 2016 born bull is by the Wilodge Vantastic son, Plumtree Fantastic, and out of Ampertaine Joy – a maternal sister to 13,000gns Ampertaine Interest.

He’ll be making his way back to Northern Ireland to buyer Gareth Corrie’s herd in Newtownards, Co. Down.

It marks the second year in a row that the McKay family has led the trade at this fixture at Carlisle, having sold Ampertaine Mozart at the sale top of 100,000gns last year.

The 120-cow Ampertaine herd is run on a commercial basis, selling around 50-plus bulls each year for breeding; the majority of which are sold privately. The breeding focus is very much on easy-calving bulls.

‘Third time lucky’

Gareth Corrie, who runs Drumhilla Farm on the Ards Peninsula, Co. Down, said it was his third attempt at buying an Ampertaine bull.

“Majestic is a real breeder’s bull – I had been out to see him at home and was very impressed with him even in his working clothes,” he said.

“This is third time lucky for me; I tried to buy a couple of other bulls from James back in October but was unsuccessful, so I am delighted to have the positive outcome this time.”

Corrie runs a small pedigree herd at home, and will use Majestic on his own cows; however, his intention is to offer Majestic’s semen for sale as soon as possible.

Northern Irish connections

The Reserve Junior Male Champion – Loosebeare Nelson from EW Quick and Sons, Devon – also had Northern Ireland connections, as did several others hitting the sale ring.

Loosebeare Nelson - Res Jun Champion - 17,000gns

The January 2017 born bull by the Plumtree Fantastic son Ampertaine Jeronimo is out of Loosebeare Inky and came in at 17,000gns.

Nelson made the long trip back to the south-west having been purchased by JH Neale & Son from Cornwall.


At the sale, there were:

  • 33 senior bulls with an average of £5,256.30 (€6,002.46);
  • 47 Intermediate bulls with an average of £7,372.34 (€8,418.88);
  • 37 Junior bulls with an average of £6,575.27 (€7,508.66).

Auctioneers for the event were Harrison and Hetherington.