29 March 2002

Belgian Blues prove popular

THE popularity of Belgian Blues soared to new heights last week when farmers dug deep into their pockets to pay the highest average of £2084 for bulls at Portadown this season.

The Northern Ireland Belgian Blue Clubs show and sale brought an entry of outstanding quality and buyers responded by snapping up every bull in the yard and pushing prices to 3800gns.

The top call came for the Chatham herd of Ballymoney breeders Jack and Ann Morrison for Chatham Supreme. The bull is an all white son of Lenborough Oliver, which impressed the ringside with his exceptional growth and free movement, despite huge muscling.

Chatham Supreme had earlier won his class under judge Alan Cleland from Downpatrick. Herdmate Chatham Samson took the top male ticket and finished up reserve overall champion. He is also by Oliver and realised 3500gns.

Black-and-white Belgian Blue bulls have their die-hard supporters and when this colour combination occurs on a top-class bull theres usually some lively bidding. Gordon Buchanan from Lisbellaw was the benefactor this time when his black-and-white bull Rathlyon Raymond made 3300gns.

His sire is Greystone Jackpot and he is out of an imported cow by Jordan de Rettigny.

The third member of the Chatham herds string, Chatham Sandy, changed hands at 3050gns, earning the Morrisons an average of £3623 for the trio. Sandy is by Railway View Hector and out of a dam by Stoneleigh Claudius. Hector has been a senior stock bull in the herd.

Equalling the bid was the white bull Drumey Rex from Brian Brodison, Dungannon. He was by Bison de Somme and had a full brother at 2250gns on the day.

Good calving figures drew attention to Hillview Sean, a son of Totem de Chocquenee, from Adrian Richardsons herd at Maguiresbridge. He realised 3000gns (Automart). &#42