31 March 2000

Double delight for McAskie

at Portadown

By Jeremy Hunt

WITH only two breed society sales held in Northern Ireland each year, Belgian Blue bulls are guaranteed a good trade at Portadown.

A huge crowd of commercial bidders produced an electric atmosphere with a 4000gns top price achieved twice.

But the event will be especially remembered by Desmond McAskie who runs the Mountjoy herd in Omagh. His two red card winners accounted for both leading bids.

First at 4000gns was Mountjoy Poldark, a black July 1998-bred son of the successful sire Phillipper de Remichampagne and out of an Inglewood dam by Menu de Hombroux. Buyer was Daniel Rodgers, Kilkeel.

Minutes later the crowd moved into top gear again to match the bid for the white bull Mountjoy Peregrine. He is by Alambic, the hugely muscled import that has enjoyed such a tremendous run of success in the show ring in recent years. Buyer was Alan Creith, Armoy.

A strong string of bulls from the Springhill herd of Martin Bros at Newtownards gave them a 3400gns deal for the stretchy December 1998-bred Springhill Prince. He is by the Banco Pied de Veau-sired Springhill Matador and out of a cow by the good producer Opticien dAu Chene. Prince had a Beef Value of 26 putting him in the breeds top 10% for this trait. He sold to an undisclosed buyer.

Also keeping his identity secret was the buyer of Brian McMurrays bull Park Pearly White. Mr McMurray was exhibiting at Portadown for the first time and his bull, bred in the leading Park herd of JO Adams in Northants, was by Croft Minister and out of a Park Invader dam. The price was 3000gns.

Pedigree breeders were not in contention at the sale with trading dominated by commercial buyers who levelled the entry at £2591.

Bidders set the day off at a cracking pace putting a 2750gns price tag on the first bull in the ring. Consigned by Mel Lucas from his herd in Antrim, the white bull Lukeroyal Opel is by Vireur de Somme and out of an Opticien dam. He heads for Co Tyrone with L McLaughlin.

And there were more double victories to celebrate when it came to the show title. Andrew Craig from Coleraine brought a wagonload of bulls from his Woodview herd and walked off with both the championship and reserve titles.

Both victors were white bulls sired by Navire de Septon and bred out of full maternal Sisters. They realised 2700gns and 2600gns to M McCutcheon, Omagh and D Taylor, Ballymonney respectively.

Adrian Richardson from Maguiresbridge achieved a best of 2450gns for Twyning Ash Perry. This bull was bred in Glos by R and J Carter and combines Jardinier de la Bonne Raie with Lawns Dominic. Mr Richardsons other entry, by Eclatant de la Sucrerie, also carrying the Twyning Ash prefix, made 2150gns. (Automart). &#42