Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Cullyhanna-born prize bull smashes world record sales

A Cullyhanna farming family saw years of hard work pay off last weekend when their prize Limousin bull fetched a staggering £147,000 at auction, smashing the European and World record sales.

Trueman Jagger, the prize bull sold by Henry Savage and Sons, certainly lived up to his rockstar name, commanding a stellar price at Carlisle Mart on Saturday afternoon last, where he was bought by a syndicate of five buyers which included two of the biggest herds in England.

The average price for a bull in the same category is £10,000 and the previous sales record stood at £131,250. Jagger’s price on the day was also a UK and European all-breeds bovine record and helped lift the sale to £8,709 for 85 bulls, up by over £3,200 on the year and itself a new UK all-breeds record.

The pedigree bull had previously won the Intermediate and Supreme Champion awards and, at just 17 months old, weighed in at an incredible 1,065kg. Speaking to Radio Five Live about Jagger’s growth, Henry senior revealed that since he was born, the bull had gained over 2 kilos per day.

Breeder Henry, who spent years developing Jagger’s pedigree blood line, described his growth as “phenomenal”.

“You just don’t get that. It is just beyond belief that a bull could put on that much weight in that length of time. You might get a short spurt of growth for 50 -100 days but not 150 days or more.”

Henry said the biggest asset now for Jagger’s consortium of buyers was to sell the prize winning bull’s semen.

“His semen will go worldwide because any pedigree breeder will want to use it,” he said.

Henry senior and his four sons are understandably delighted to have sold their “once in a generation bull” for a world record price.  The farming family has put years of work into developing the bloodline of their Limousin cattle and are proud of his premium herd – who are all named after rock and pop stars such as Lennon, Latoyah and Lopez.

He said the family are “very proud to breed him and bring him on”.

“To sell him for a world record price is the stuff of dreams and something that you would never expect to realise,” Henry said.

“It’s quite humbling in many ways to do so but the family are excited about the bull’s future and we hope that he will go on to breed to his potential for the new owners and the Limousin breed as a whole.”

Asked if he would miss the prize winning bull, Henry admitted Jagger had been the centre of attraction at the farm with neighbours and friends, who had heard of his pedigree, dropping in to see for themselves how impressive he was.

“So there is a downside that he’s away now but I think the £147,000 helps to alleviate the pain somewhat,” he joked.

Heather Pritchard, spokesperson for Harrison and Hetherington, the organisers of the Carlisle bull auction, said Jagger’s reputation had preceded him and described him as “an outstanding bull who was greatly admired by many breeders.”

“It was rumoured he was a bull who was going to be a star, even before the show and sale,” she said.

“We knew he would fetch a good price, but even still, it was unbelievable,” she added.

Buying the bull was a five-way syndicate including the Alford family from Devon and Paul Dawes of the Dinmore herd, Hereford.

The other three were the Whinfellpark herd at Penrith, the Calogale herd in Carmarthenshire and the Swalesmoor herd at Lauderdale.

Speaking on behalf of the syndicate, Melanie Alford said: “There’s exceptional potential in a bull of this outstanding quality.  The terrific weight gain that he has shown is something that you would expect he will pass on to his progeny.  He’s a ‘marquee’ bull with a huge future ahead of him.”