The Suffolk breed record in Northern Ireland was smashed three times and equalled twice such was the demand for Suffolks throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe at the recent Suffolk Sheep Society NI Branch Premier Export Show and Sale at Ballymena.
Leading County Antrim breeder Alastair Gault, Forkins flock, took
the new breed record of 18,000gns with a son of Birness Freedom out of a Forkins ewe by Forkins Fandango selling in a three-way split to Robin McAdoo of the Threeways flock, County Tyrone,
Gary McAdoo, Knockadoo flock, County Tyrone, and the Glyde flock of Philip Lynch, County Louth.
The Premier Show and Sale was held over two consecutive days with Jason and Campbell Watson, Bannview flock, clinching the Supreme Champion and Male Champ-
ion title with a son of Middlemuir Commander out of a Bannview ewe by Malinhead Jumping Jack, before being knocked down to judge Paul Delves for 6000gns as a new addition to his Bridgeview flock.
With the inclusion of females this year, Donbraid flock owner Ian Donald took the red rosette in the ewe lamb class and Overall Female Champion selling to 1550gns to OTHERTiago Graca, Portugal.
Philip Kennedy went on to take second, selling to 950gns to Steve Nee, Belgium, Rodney Blair third, also selling to Steve Nee for 900gns.
The shearing ewe class saw Jason and Campbell Watson come out with the winning rosette and going on to take the Reserve Female Champion award selling to 1100gns to S Wasson, County Donegal. Patrick McVerry took second and third selling to 1600gns and 1300gns respectively.
Next up the Gigot ram lamb class saw County Antrim breeder Brian McVicker of the Causeway flock paying 4000gns for the first prize Salopian Scuderia sired lamb from the Burnview flock of Stephanie and William Tait.
Alastair Gault took second with his Birness Freedom sired ram being knocked down to Robin McAdoo for the breed record of 18,000gns. Jack Smyth took third selling to E&J Gould, Coleraine, for 4400gns.
Meanwhile Philip Kennedy, Cavan-
agrove flock, took first in the coveted Novice class, selling to fellow County Tyrone breeder Colm McAleer for 2000gns, second Andrew Wilson selling to 1,500gns to C Storder, France, and third Michael Smyth, TheVews, selling to 15,000gns to Seamus Browne of the Errigal flock in County Donegal.
In soaring temperatures and with an impressive line up of ram lambs, Mr Delves had a difficult task ahead to select his winner but Bannview flock owners Jason and Campbell Watson came out on top to secure the winning rosette, going on to take Overall Supreme Champion with their Middlemuir Commander sired lamb and selling to judge Mr Delves for 6000gns.
Stephen Sufferin of the Crewelands flock went on to take second and Reserve Overall Champion with his Solwaybank Champion sired lamb changing hands for 12,000gns to Birness flock owner G Stuart and Craig Patterson, Cranorskie flock, Aberdeenshire, and third 3rd S&W Tait, a Strathbogie Joel sired lamb sold to C Storder, France, for 14,000gns.
The pen of three honours went to the Oakbridge flock of Philip Gurney with Lesley & Mervyn Liggett and Alastair Gault runners up.
This year also seen the intro-duction of two Young Handler classes. Lara Taylor took the winning rosette in the U14 class, 2nd Jack Moses, 3rd Neale Fleming.
U18 saw Sam Lucas take the red rosette, Anna Taylor 2nd and Christopher McClurig 3rd. Congratulations to everyone who
took part, great to see such enthusiasm with upcoming Suffolk Young breeders.
As mentioned earlier in the report the breed record was smashed three times and equalled twice.
A Gault 18,000gns sold to Robin McAdoo, Threeways flock, County Tyrone, Gary McAdoo, Knockadoo flock, Co. Tyrone and Philip Lynch, Glyde flock, Co. Louth; W Smyth 15,000gns sold to Seamus Browne, Errigal flock, Co Donegal; S&W Tait 14,000gns sold to C Storder, France; S&W Tait 13,000gns sold in a three way split to Martin and Eoin Butler, Castlewood flock, Co Antrim; Danny McKay, Rowandale flock, Co Antrim, and Michael McNally, Benedyglen flock, Co Derry; PDW Taylor 13,000gns sold to Norman Robinson, Benrafton flock, Co Down, and Tommy Feeney, Drumbarron flock, Co Monaghan.
The sale saw an 82 per cent clearance with an average of £1,976 and 157 sheep sold.
This year also saw the introduction of Marteye with online biding very prevalent with over 60 lots sold to the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and Europe.
Thank you to lead sponsors Danske Bank. Strabane Mills, County Tyrone, which sponsored meal for first prize winners in each of the classes. Advertisers: Steele Farm Supplies, James Delargy Farm Supplies, Lig-
gett Electronic Solutions, NFU Mutual, Donbraid Livestock Services,
Smyths Daleside, United Feeds, Wilsons of Rathkenny and Natural Stockcare. All their support was greatly appreciated.
Thanks also went to the staff of Ballymena Livestock Mart, Fraser Tweed Veterinary Inspector, Alfie Shaw, Agriimages, and everyone who made the show and sale a success.
Ewe lamb: 1, I Donald, 2, P Kennedy, 3, R Blair.
Shearling ewe: 1, RC & JCWatson, 2, P McVerry, 3, P McVerry.
Gigot Ram Lamb: 1, S&W Tait, 2, A Gault, 3, J Smyth.
Novice Cup: 1, P Kennedy, 2, A Wilson, 3, M Smyth.
Ram Lamb: 1, RC&JC Watson, 2, S Sufferin, 3, S&W Tait.
Group of Three: 1, P Gurney, 2, L&M Liggett, 3, A Gault.
Female Champion: I Donald. Reserve: RC&JC Watson.
Male Champion: RC & JC Watson. Reserve: S Sufferin.
Supreme Champion: RC & JC Watson.
Reserve Champion: S Sufferin.
Young Handlers – U14: 1, Lara Taylor, 2, Jack Moses, 3, Neale Fleming.
U18: 1, Sam Lucas, 2, Anna Taylor, 3, Christopher McClurg.