DUNGANNON Farmers’ Mart will welcome the Northern Ireland Ile De France Sheep Breeders’ Club for its 42nd Annual Show and Sale on Thursday, August 2.
Judge will be past Chairman Michael McConville who will have the difficult task as he places stock from the leading show teams of 2018.
Following on from a very competitive show season which began with the Tullyheran Flock of Rodger Milligan taking Champion and Reserve Champion honours at the RUAS Balmoral, 2018 has been one of the most competitive in recent years with many flocks lifting red ribbons across the following shows – Ballymoney, Lurgan, Armagh, Ballymena, Omagh and Saintfield. Champion and Reserve Champion awards have been won by the following flocks – Carrick Flock, Edward Adamson; Garveway Flock, Rebecca & Georgina Mulligan; Mountnabview Flock, David Dalzell; Bencrum Flock, Melvyn Annett and the Glenhoy flock of David Mulligan.
In addition to these flocks stock will also be exhibited by Wesley Cousins from his Benview Flock, and the family representatives for the late Jim Donaldson (Loughorne Flock) have entered a nucleus of breeding ewes as well as the 2017 batch of ewe lambs that had been retained for breeding for the sale.
Genetic Improvements: Performance recording has been key to the popularity of the Ile De France breed in France with one of the most comprehensive recording systems in use, combining individual ram testing followed up by progeny test with breeders committing 30 per cent of the flock to AI using the top genetics within the breed.
Currently three flocks record, Carrick, Garveway and Glenhoy. 2018 has seen the highest indexed lamb in the society at 366 from the Glenhoy flock, but also it is worth noting that new genetics from sires Phillippe 50334 (imported from France) and Mountnabview Winston have bred lambs in the top 10 per cent of the breed.
Significant gains have been made in areas of eight-week weights, mature size, maternal ability and muscle depth combining to give approximately a 60 per cent increase in overall Terminal Index.
Special Reduction Sale: The executors of Jim Donaldson are sending a consignment of stock from his famous Loughorne Flock to the sale. The Loughorne flock is the current holder of the NI Ile de France Club’s Champion Flock having won it last October before his sudden passing.
In the mid 1970s Jim was one of the founder members of the NI Ile de France Club, starting with the purchase of three females and two males. Since that time Jim’s Loughorne Flock has held the Champion Flock title more times than any other flock. He was ‘over the moon’ when a shearling ram he had bred ‘Loughorne Le Gentil Homme’ was the first Ile de France to make 1000 guineas at a Society Sale in Carlisle.
One of his proudest moments was being asked to judge at The National French Show in 2004 being held that year at Rennes in north west of France, a recognition of his ability and expertise within the breed.
Over the years the Loughorne Flock has been consistently breeding stock of excellent quality and confirmation with the trademark of tight skins.
This sale gives breeders, old and new the opportunity to purchase stock with a lifetime of breeding behind them.