SUFFOLK females were in strong demand at the annual show and sale organised by the Northern Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society at Ballymena Livestock Mart.
Some 134 ewes and ewe lambs were catalogued for the evening and met with a clearance rate of 86 per cent with 22 buyers from mainland Europe and eight from the Republic of Ireland. With many new breeders in attendance keen to start a Suffolk flock, it is a testament to the strong interest in Suffolk sheep.
The judge for the evening was Stephen Sufferin of the acclaimed Crewelands flock who awarded Michael and Caolan McNally of the Benedyglen flock with first prize in the gimmer class. The County Derry breeder also went on to take the overall champion honours with his Lakeview Crafty sired ewe in lamb to Castleisle Kingsman, which went on to sell for 1100gns to David McKeeman, County Antrim.
The Craigdoo flock of the Grant Brothers also stood well in the gimmer class taking second place with Castleisle Casanvoa sired ewe in lamb to Limestone Dark Knight, being knocked down to Steven Caldwell, Moneymore for 1000gns.
Nicky Lowry stood third and fourth in the gimmer class selling to 1050gns and 800gns respectively to Jonathan Moon, Ballymena, and Sean McKendry, Kilrea.
The Fourscore breeder also topped the sale with his Fourscore First One sired ewe in lamb to Limestone Tyson selling to 2100gns to fellow Suffolk breeders Kimi and Lewis Chambers of the Knockahorn flock.
The aged ewe class saw Martin and Eoin Butler of the Castlewood flock take the winning rosette while going on to take the Reserve Champion title with Crewelands Captain Morgan sired ewe in lamb to Causeway Ranger. This was quickly snapped up by Christine Maybin of the Loughloughan flock for 1300gns.
Ben Lamb stood second with Patrick McVerry taking third and Philip Kennedy taking the fourth rosette selling to 650gns, 800gns and 500gns respectively.
In the ewe lamb class Sean and Jane McCloskey stood first and third, selling to Jan Van Ginderachter, Belgium, for 800gns, and Martin Brown, County Fermanagh, for 900gns. Lesley Liggett stood second and fourth.
Many thanks to the staff at Ballymena Livestock Mart and Michael Smyth who scanned all the sheep in lamb on the evening of the sale. Thanks also to the continued support of Uniblock, sponsors of the show and sale.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.