IN a year when many events have been cancelled, a new event has been added to the annual sheep calendar.
The last in-lamb Texel sale of the season in Northern Ireland is to take place at Ballymena Livestock Market on January 9 at noon. This debut sale (Ballymena Babes) offers potential purchasers the chance to purchase in-lamb Texel sheep from well established, proven flocks.
This high profile event is set to show quality exhibits with 70 gimmers on offer and all eligible for export. Sellers will assist where possible with transport within UK & Ireland. Online bidding will be available and any potential purchaser unable to attend must register with Ballymena Livestock Market before the sale.
The sale offers the opportunity for both new breeders and existing to purchase from well established flocks.
Selling alongside the well-known local flocks of Crawfordsland (David & James Boyd), Drumadowney (Stephen McNeilly), Findrum (Neil Watson), Poseyhill (Peter Boyd) and Templepark (W & J Herdman) is the renowned Milnbank flock, owned by Robbie Wilson from Aberdeenshire.
The Milnbank flock is well known throughout the UK and Ireland and has had considerable success in recent years, selling ram lambs to the tune of 40,000gns for Milnbank Ur The Boy, and females sold have reached the height of 20,000gns with numerous other prices in excess of 10,000gns.
The flock has consistently produced top end livestock and those attending the sale will have the opportunity to purchase some of these quality genetics. Milnbank has put nine strong gimmers forward for sale and these are scanned in lamb to the exciting 2020 purchases, the 50,000gns Sportsmans Dirty Harry and the 30,000gns Teiglum Dancing Brave.
The Doagh based Crawfordsland flock of David and James Boyd has six quality gimmers forward. The flock was formed in 2000, some 20 years ago, and has performed consistently well over the years in both the show ring and sales alike. Rams have sold to a high of 3,800gns, 2,000gns, 2,000gns, and 1,650gns and females to 1,600gns to purchasers all over the UK and Ireland.
The gimmers offered for sale come in lamb to the 4,500gns Harestone Cool Kid and the 2,000gns Crailloch Caeasar. These rams have done exceptionally well in 2019 and have been used over the entire flock in 2020. The Crawfordsland consignment offers some of its best 2020 gimmers.
Drumadowney Texels of Stephen McNeilly, based in Ballyclare, was formed more recently in 2014. Foundation stock was purchased from Fairmount, Forkins and Mullan flocks. Significant investment has been made recently over the years in top quality ewes and rams and 2018 and 2019 proved most successful to date in terms of claiming rossettes in both the ram lamb and ewe lamb classes at Balmoral Show.
The highlight to date for the flock has been claiming the overall interbreed ewe lamb championship and Texel Champion with Drum-adowney Cherry in 2019. The flock is offering for sale 12 gimmers and three embryo pregnancies from some of its best bloodlines. Many of these gimmers come in lamb to Sportsman Dynamite, which was purchased in 2020 and recently claimed the NI Junior Stock Ram award.
The County Tyrone based Find-rum Texels of Neil Watson are also exhibiting at the sale. The flock is long established, and in 2015 Neil rejuvenated the flock’s genetic pool with high quality purchases from some of the biggest flocks in the UK, including Garngour and Milnbank.
The Findrum flock offers for sale 10 gimmers and two quality ewe lambs. The gimmers are in the main by the 60k Strathbogie Yes Sir, 145k Knap Vicious Sid and Milnbank Avicci. The gimmers come in lamb to 2020 purchases Auldhousburn Donatello and Milnbank Diesel as well as senior stock ram Mullan Carlsberg.
The Poseyhill flock of Peter Boyd was established in 2005 and since then has went from strength to strength, claiming rossettes at many local shows as well as Balmoral RUAS. The flock has been privileged to host the NI Texel Open Evening in recent years and a highlight remains winning the Texel Championship at Antrim Show in 2016.
Poseyhill is a regular exhibitor at local and national shows and ram lambs have peaked at 3,000gns, 2,500gns and 1,800gns, combined with strong averages at the club sales. Poseyhill will be offering its entire remaining crop of gimmers for sale, 14 in number, as well as an embryo pregnancy. These will come in lamb to the £4.5k Harestone Cool Kid as well as proven sire Glenside Veegee and 2020 purchase Dynawhite Dynamite.
The final exhibitor is the Templepark Flock based in County Down of W & J Herdman. The Templepark flock was founded in 2009 and has produced some of the most influential genetics in the breed. These include ewe lamb sold to Mullan Texels which went on to produce offspring totalling in excess of £100k.
More recently successes have included winning the RUAS female and reserve female champion, with the ewe lamb being subsequently sold for £5k.
The Templepark offering includes genetics from these families and offers forward for sale a total of 10 gimmers and one embryo pregnancy. These come in lamb to Plasucha DNA and Sportsman Dynamite.