BALLYNACANNON breeder Dennis Taylor clinched the Suffolk Champion accolade at Balmoral Show with his impressive Birness Freedom sired shearling ewe.
Judge Andrew Wilson, from Donegal, was impressed with the stock presented to him at the opening day of Balmoral and certainly had difficult decisions to make in each of the classes.
His first major decision was to hand the first place rosette to Carony flock owners Lesley and Mervyn Liggett after their Birness Bees Knees ram triumphed in the aged ram class. The Burnview flock of Stephanie and William Tait went on to claim second with their Strathbogie Joel ram with Jack Smyth of the Bessiebell flock claiming third.
Denis Taylor of the acclaimed Ballynacannon flock took first in the shearling ram class with Ballynatone Showstopper with this shearling ram going on to take overall Reserve Champion, Jason and Campbell Watson of the Burnview flock claiming second with Blackbrae Barbarian X and Stephanie and William Tait taking third.
With a line-up of 16 strong ram lambs, the Limestone flock of Mark Priestley took first with a son of Stockton Sniper Son with Stephanie and William Tait’s Birness Warrier son taking second and Alastair Barkley’s Blackbrae Black Label son claiming third.
In the aged ewe line-up it was Rossbrook flock owner Keith Johnston’s eye-catching Ballynacannon Taylor Made bred female who was handed the first place rosette and Blackbrae flock owner Alastair Barkley’s Drimmie Blackisle bred ewe taking second.
The onlookers then got their first glimpse of the impressive Birness Freedom sired shearling ewe presented by Dennis Taylor ahead of County Down breeder Mark Priest-ley’s Convoy Pablo Escobar sired shearling ewe taking second with Dennis Taylor also going on to take the third placed rosette.
Mark Priestley shone in the ewe lamb category with his Stockton Sniper Son ewe lamb taking first spot, Mullaghboy flock owner David Ford took second with his Forkins McCoy sired ewe lamb and the Crewelands flock of Stephen Sufferin taking third.
Mark Priestley continued his success coming out on top winning the group of three just ahead of Jason and Campbell Watson and Stephanie and William Tait whilst the Limestone flock also took the winning rosette with its pair of lambs followed closely by William and Stephanie Tait and David Ford.
In the final deliberations the Ballynacannon flock claimed Male Champion, Female Champion, the coveted RUAS Supreme Champion, and Reserve Champion. Mark Priestley took Reserve Male and Female Champion.
All in all, a fantastic few days for the Suffolk breed to showcase Northern Ireland’s premier livestock.
The Northern Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society now looks ahead to its branch championships taking place on June 11 at Armagh Show with a large entry of quality Suffolk sheep assured.
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