IRISH eyes were smiling when the Artnagullion flock of County Antrim brother and sister William and Libby McAllister scooped 7000gns top price honours at the Beltex Sheep Society’s annual show and sale of registered rams and females at Skipton Auction Mart.
The siblings, from Kells near Ballymena, headed the selling prices by a wide margin at the North Yorkshire mart’s premier breed highlight, staged on behalf of the Northern Club, with their third prize shearling ram, Artnagullion Feux, a March 2020 son of Greenall Dennis The Menace, bred in Northern Ireland by the Green family and a 3000gns Skipton purchase two years earlier.
Out of a home-bred ewe by Rathbone Tony, bred in North Craven by Eldroth’s Mike Davis and acquired by Artnagullion for 9000gns – he has since sired shearling rams to 16,000gns – the top price performer found pastures new in Cumbria when falling to James Whiteford of Tercrosset, Brampton.
The McAllisters are familiar faces at the annual showcase and themselves past supreme champions. Libby said of the sale leader on price: “It’s the best shearling ram we have had this year and we kept it especially for Skipton.”
Another familiar face from Northern Ireland, Matt Burleigh, who runs the Matt’s flock in Shanra, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh – who also stood supreme champion in both 2018 and 2019 – netted second top call of 4000gns and top price in section with his fifth prize ram lamb, Matt’s Goal Keeper, a February-born son of Murrays Expert, out of a Hackney Corker ewe.
It made its way to Mellor in Lancashire with the Monk family.