Jim Croke, a renowned rare breed enthusiast breeding Zwartbles, Clunforest, Herdwick, and Dutch Spotted sheep, brought his idea of a rare breed sheep sale to life last year with 60 females from 10 breeds.
On the back of what he describes as “overwhelming” success with highs of €3,200, the event will return to GVM Mart Tullamore, Co Offaly, on November 26th, 2022.
The Rare and Minority Breed show will commence at 12 pm, with the sale to follow at 1 pm.
According to Croke – who is hosting the sale under the banner of Croke Promotion – there will be 150 females and 1 male forward for this year’s sale across 115 lots.
Entries are as follows:
- Border Leicester: 7;
- Blue Texel: 30;
- ClunForest: 4;
- Dassenkop: 6;
- Dutch Spotted: 20;
- DSS recipients: 5;
- Easy Care: 3;
- Herdwicks: 21;
- Jacob: 16;
- Kerry Hill: 5;
- Rouge: 7;
- Ryeland: 5;
- Soay: 13;
- Wensleydale: 1;
- Zwartbles: 9.
Speaking ahead of the sale, he told That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane:
“Not only is this a unique opportunity for people to acquire rare and minority breeds, but I also find the event to be great from a social point of view.”
“Everyone knows everyone in the sheep world. During the showing season, we are all so busy prepping sheep we hardly get to say hi. It is generally a nod or a wink, so it is a great chance to catch up.”
“The sale has doubled in size since its establishment in 2021. We have 151 entries from 14 breeds. Unfortunately, some breeders missed the deadline; otherwise, we probably would have 200 females.”
“The sale is open to everyone with a rare and minority; however, in the effort of fairness and equality, I reserve the right to restrict breeders’ entries in the effort of inclusion, with a result, breeders tend to put their best stock forward.”
“It is very unfortunate that we could not have the Galway breed back this year, but I am very happy overall with the variety we have.”
“For nine of the breeds, there will be a ewe lamb class. The first place from each of the nine classes will go forward, and an overall champion and reserve will be picked.”
“It will be great to have so many mixed breeds in a lineup for champion and reserve.”
“Lastly, I would like to mention and give thanks to Hilary Workman for helping in the background and her tremendous efforts in compiling this year’s catalogue,” he concluded.
Catalogue and bidding
The catalogue will be available online from November 21st, 2022.
Ringside and online bidding via LSL Auctions – contact the mart directly to approve your bidding application.