BLACKFACE breeders will be heading to Ballymena Mart for the Ulster Ram Breeders Association Annual Show & Sale on October 6 and 7 after having a very busy and successful year following their National Show in August.
The show will be held on October 6 commencing 4pm with sales on October 7, Lanarks, in Ring 1 at 10am (ram lambs being sold first followed by shearlings) and Perths in Ring 2 at 11am (shearlings sold first followed by ram lambs).
Two breeders looking forward to selling at the sale are Charlie Phillips and Conway Brothers. Charlie, along with his daughter Christine and shepherd Darren Kelly, farm a 900 strong flock of Lanark type ewes at Finglen farm, which rises to 2,000 feet, which he says is well exposed to the elements with snow being the biggest threat to the sheep on the hill. He believes the Lanark type is versatile and adaptable to his conditions and he’s had good success with the breed over the years, selling his top priced Lanark shearling ram at last year’s sale for 9000gns.
Outside Plumbridge, on the west of the Sperrins, brothers George and John Conway farm a flock of 420 Perth type and 80 Lanark type ewes along with help from their sons Leo and Eammon.
They graze their sheep over 360 acres of hill with other conacre and winter grazing ground. The brothers have had many a top price at the URBA Show & Sale, receiving 5500gns last year for a ram lamb.
They like to breed a tip which catches your eye, nice coat, good muzzle, good hair, strong on his legs and be of a good size. John and George like to support their local Plumbridge and Omagh shows and had a very successful day at the National Show in August when they received the Reserve Overall with a tip lamb and Reserve Champion Female.
Over 300 North and South type Blackfaces were judged at the National Show with the Grants from Cloughfin winning the North type Overall Champion and the Reserve Male Champion, and in the South Type section Graham Wallace took the Overall Champion with John and Patrick Harkin receiving the Reserve Overall Champion, Reserve Male and Female Champions.
Thanks once again to sponsors Danske Bank, United Feeds, Fane Valley Stores, J Thompson & Sons, Moores Animal Feeds and Natural Stock Care @ Alan Carson.