THE annual ‘Dorset Diamonds’ spring sale took place on Saturday March 26 in JA McClelland Livestock Mart, Ballymena, organised by the Northern Ireland Dorset Horn and Poll Breeders Club.
The sale attracted an impressive entry of 94 sheep all of which were eligible for EU export, offering breeders from far and near the opportunity to invest in quality genetics with the first pick of lambs to be sold this year.
The earlier part of the day was attributed to the pre-sale show which as always was well supported by breeders and onlookers with an excellent turnout all round.
Judge for the day was John Duggan, Co. Meath, who is a regular supporter of NI club sales, running his 50-ewe strong flock of Bellewstown Poll Dorsets. His pick of the day went to ram lamb class winner from A&C Kennedy with ‘Maineview Eureka’. This lamb showed excellent conformation, correctness, and breed type. Sired by stock ram Downkillybegs Daredevil, this was the first son to sell, being capitalised on by James Johnston, Aghalee for 2500gns.
Reserve champion of the day was awarded for a March born shearling ram ‘Lisnafillan De Nero’ from Laura Weir. Sired by Maineview Colorado out of homebred ewe Z13, this ram stood strong displaying power, style and presence. After a surge of bids, he was secured by William McCracken, Loughgall for 4600gns, taking top price of the day.
Continuing with her success, the next top price went to Laura Weir, this time with ram lamb ‘Lisnafillan Emperor’. Sired by Huish Napoleon out of Tardree T137, this smart lamb found his home again with William McCracken for 3600gns.
Following in close succession was ‘Beechmount Elvis’ from Amy McConnell. This eye-catching lamb offered length, size, and shape with breeding to match. Sired by Kilvaddy Bolt from homebred ewe W304, this lamb was added to the collection of William McCracken for 3100gns.
Next up was Laura Weir with a shearling ram ‘Lisnafillan Del Toro’, sired by Maineview Colorado this much-admired ram was sold for 2500gns to Elaine Gilmore, Portaferry.
In the female section, it was Ben Lamb who triumphed with his first place ewe lamb ‘Richhill E594’. Sired by Downkillybegs Huggy from a homebred ewe, this lamb oozed character and style, selling for 1200gns to Glen Millar. Hot on its heels was a shearling ewe ‘Lisnafillan D634’ from Laura Weir again by Colorado, exhibiting terrific body and shape selling to Richard Fitton, Burnley for 1100gns.
Trade remained strong and other leading prices were as follows:
S&E Caldwell: 1500gns to Henderson, Currie & McNeill
E&H Kennedy: 1200gns to G Knowles, Gracehill
S&E Caldwell: 1200gns to T Wright, Ballymoney
G&M Cubitt: 1100gns to E Skuce, Co Cork
W&K Carson: 1100gns to G Miller, Moneymore
R Currie: 1050gns to A Knox, Dromore
B Lamb: 880gns to G Millar, Moneymore
R Currie: 840gns to S&E Caldwell, Rasharkin
B Lamb: 800gns to R Moore, Porglenone
Shearling Rams 2152.50
Ram lambs 959.12
Shearling ewes 544.38
Ewe lambs 451.02
Despite volatile times for the agriculture industry in general, trade remained steady for the Dorset breed, both here in Northern Ireland, the mainland and further afield, reflecting the quality of sheep continued to be turned out at club sales.
The Dorset club wishes to extend its thanks to the judge, continued sponsors, and members for the success of the day and of course to the market staff for the running of yet another prosperous sale.
The next sale in the club calendar will be the July premier sale, held on Monday July 25 in Ballymena Livestock Mart which will follow the national show, this year to be held at Omagh Show on Saturday July 2.
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