THE 11th annual show and sale of pedigree registered Dorset Horn and Polled Dorset sheep was held in Borderway Mart on Friday, August 31.
This annual event continues to grow in popularity with breeders making their way to Carlisle from all parts of the UK, this year attracting entries from six NI Dorset breeders. Also travelling from NI were a number of potential buyers wishing to either establish or add to their Dorset flock.
This show and sale attracted an entry of 230 sheep comprising 25 rams and 205 females with quality sheep coming forward for sale and keen interest shown by the strong number of buyers present. As in previous years there was a very strong representation of NI bred sheep in the show ring, and the reputation of the breed from this part of the UK was certainly enhanced by the show results which reflected the consistent quality of the stock offered for sale year on year.
The earlier part of the day was given over to the judging of the various classes and this was expertly accomplished by judge Sian Downes. All classes were keenly contested and the judge, having had a selection of top quality animals to choose from, found her Supreme Champion in a superbly bred ewe lamb from the Kildowney Flock of Graham Cubitt, Glarryford. This well grown young ewe lamb exhibiting all the traits of the breed was sired by Downkillybegs Watson, off a Kildowney dam by Kildowney Smylie. She later went on to sell for 1000 guineas, and was purchased by Messrs Weston of Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
The top price of the sale was realised by the first prize shearling ram (and reserve overall champion) from the Huish Flock of DW Rossiter. This ram was sired by Downkillybegs Unique and out of a Huish dam by Blackhill Kipper, and sold for 2900gns, a record price for a Dorset ram at this centre, being purchased by Messrs Downes, Tregardon, Ceredigion.
Buyers were definitely in the market for quality stock and other leading prices were:
Graham Cubitt, 1050gns for ewe lamb to Messrs Weston, Derbyshire; Thomas Wright, 1050gns for ram lamb to Messrs Weston, Derbyshire; R&D Rossiter, 1050gns for ram lamb to Messrs Gray, West Yorkshire; G Cubitt, 1000gns for ram lamb to Messrs Byrnes, Aberdeenshire; J Larder, 1000gns for shearling gimmer to Messrs Hanna, Newtownards; T Wright, 950gns ram lamb to Messrs Pritchard, Gwynedd; G Cubitt, 900gns ram lamb to G&M Trading, North Yorkshire; M&C Maybin, 700gns ewe lamb to Messrs Weston, Derbyshire; DW Rossiter, 650gns ewe lamb to Messrs Hutchings, Cornwall; B Lamb, 600gns ewe lamb to Messrs Weston, Derbyshire; R Hill, 600gns ewe lamb to Messrs Weston, Derbyshire.
Thomas Wright for pens of ewe lambs: 400gns, 350gns, 300gns, and 300gns.
There was a high clearance of sales in all the classes and it was no surprise the sale averages were markedly up on the previous year, reflecting the quality of animals and the popularity of the Dorset breed.
Sale averages were:
Ram Lambs £671.19
Shearling Rams £1,225.00
Shearling Ewes £425.00
Ewe Lambs £338.30
Pens of ewes £252.50
Female and Overall Show Champion was a ewe lamb from the Kildowney Flock of G&M Cubitt
Male and Reserve Overall Ch-ampion was a shearling ram from the Huish Flock of DW Rossiter.
Reserve Female Champion was a shearling gimmer from J Larder’s Byeways Flock, and Reserve Male Champion was a ram lamb from T Wright’s Ballytaggart Flock.
The judge, in addition to selecting the champions in each class, had the task of selecting the prize winners in each section and these were as follows:
Shearling Ram – 1st DW Rossiter; 2nd K Hodgson; 3rd M&M Sheed.
Ram Lamb – 1st T Wright; 2nd G Cubitt; 3rd G Cubitt.
Shearling ewe – 1st J Larder; 2nd D&R Rossiter; 3rd A Steff.
Ewe Lamb – 1st G Cubitt; 2nd G Cubitt; 3rd B Lamb.
The NI Dorset Club would take this opportunity to commend the breed for its qualities, both in the pedigree sector and its ease of lambing, maternal instincts, fast growth rates and early finishing in the commercial sector. The next sale organised by NI Dorset Club, kindly sponsored by Danske Bank, is the final sale of the season and will be held in Ballymena Mart on Monday, October 1, with showing at 5pm and sale commencing at 6.30pm. This sale will offer new and established breeders the opportunity to purchase top quality male and female stock.